Bumping Along, Learning

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Weather: -25c; clear, sunny skies; wind chill -35c

Clyde River (Kanngiqtugaapik), Nunavut – Morning -Today, producer Levon, cameraman Luc, soundman Jean and myself, went on a seal hunt with a group of local hunters headed up by Elijah Palituq.

We left at 8:30am. It became quite the production.

The ‘Eye on the Arctic’ team and local hunters leave for day-long seal hunt

Jean and Luc rode with the equipment in one qamutik. Levon and I rode in the other.

Qamutiks are the wooden sleds Inuit use to haul their gear around by dog team or snowmobile. There’s no shock absorbers. Riding in them can get very, very bumpy, especially if you’re going up or down hills or over jagged sea ice.

Here’s what the ride was like for me and Levon:

{flv}KomatikRide2{/flv}

Levon and me in komatik near Clyde River.


After 45 minutes, we stopped at a camp. There were a handful of wooden cabins with heaters inside. Everybody got off the snowmobiles and out of the komatiks. I went into one of the cabins with Joe, a 14-year old from our group.

Elijah Palituk chats with hunters at local camp. Photo Eilis Quinn

Sled dog waits near komatik at hunting camp near Clyde River, Nunavut. Photo Eilis Quinn

Joe was a very articulate and animated kid. As we drank hot water together out of plastic cups, he told me how he likes being out on the land “a million times better” than watching TV, that he wants to be a caribou hunter when he grows up and that he’s learning to drive his own dog team.

He said he’s already really good at hunting seal, caribou and polar bear. But that he still has a lot to learn about reading the environment and surviving out on the land on his own.

He said that he loves learning what he called ‘country skills’ but that he didn’t like it when he was out with elders and they yelled at him because he wasn’t doing something right.

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

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