Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women

Article excerpt

BY NANCY WACHOWICH, IN COLLABORATION WITH APPHIA AGALAKTIAWA, RHODA KAUKIAK KATSAK AND SANDRA PIKUJAK KATSAL.

MCGILL-QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRESS

Saqiyuq chronicles the changes in recent arctic history through the stories of three Inuit women: grandmother, mother and daughter. The book was put together by scholar Nancy Wachowich, originally in response to a call from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples to look at three-generational life histories. Wachowich recorded and transcribed the words of Apphia Agalakti Awa (born in 1931), her daughter Rhoda (born in 1957) and granddaughter Sandra (born in 1973). She organized the text into chronological stories to make Saqiyuq.

The bulk of the book is material from Awa's interviews. Awa lived on the land until 1972, and describes travel between hunting and fishing camps, struggles with illness and death, work in preparing food, skins and hides, childbirth and the raising of children on the land, the introduction of Christianity and the increasing contact with Qallunaaq (white) ways. …