We intend to offer a broad range of programs for community members in the workshops. Where possible we will work with community groups to develop programs in the years leading up to opening day and to ensure that the workshops are designed with their needs in mind. For example:
The Qajakkut Society was established in 2016 to revive the art of building kayaks and paddling and hunting using kayaks. IHT has supported Qajakkut since its inception. The Society initially worked with an elder from Kimmirut to revive the Baffin style of kayak-building. They have worked with local youth to help them build kayaks, and in 2022, with the support of QIA and the federal government, brought people from five Baffin communities together to each build a kayak to take back to their community to celebrate the Tallurutiup Imanga Agreement.
The society has a storage shed on the beach behind the Elders qammaq and is now working out of IHT’s workshop. Club board member and instructor Aasivak Arnaquq-Baril is looking forward to having access to a fully equipped workshop in the NIHC to build kayaks and other Inuit tools and equipment.
“The change from traditional Inuit society to a modern, sedentary lifestyle was not a ‘natural’ development for us. It was imposed on our parents and grandparents. This abrupt shift has left the majority of Inuit with a severe dearth of institutional power. In my eyes, the establishment of an Inuit-owned-and-operated Heritage Centre, and the construction of facilities for use by our own communities, is another corrective step down the long road to self-determination.
The need for workshop space is felt by many organizations and countless individuals in Iqaluit. Qajakkut is fortunate to have had the Inuit Heritage Trust supporting us in our growth as a non-profit. But there are many other Inuit without such luck. This Heritage Centre and the space that will be made available to community members will help to bridge this gap in access to safe and suitable working places.” – Aasivak Arnaquq-Baril
For more information about upcoming programs offered by Qajakkut Society, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org