Feb 27, 2001 — The Inuit people populate a huge swath of land from Alaska in the West, across Canada to the Atlantic Ocean, and East to Greenland. Despite the broad territory, they speak a common language, Inuktitut. In 1993, over twenty years of land claims with the Canadian Government resulted in new territories and self-government for the Inuit. A new province called "Nunavut", located north of Ontario and Quebec, joined Canada in 1999. St. Lawrence University is featuring Inuit and Nunavut Culture as the theme for this year's Festival of the Arts. Jose Kusugak, president of the Inuit Tapirisat, the advocacy organization for the Inuit in Canadian government, visited Canton to kick off the festival. When the land claim movement began in the early '70s, Kusugak was travelling the Inuit territories to learn more about the various dialects in the Inuit language. He discovered that people in the isolated towns he visited didn't understand the purpose of the land claims. He told David Sommerstein that he needed to shift his mission to teach the political implications of the talks with the Canadian government.
St. Lawrence University's Festival of the Arts is called "From Nanook to Nunavut: The art and politics of representing Inuit culture" Presentations of Inuit art, literature, music, and dance will run through March 7. Go to full article