A little cultural and history lesson

Friday, September 28, 2007
Considering that I have been up in the North for almost 7 weeks now, I think it is time for a little cultural and history lesson for my southern followers.

A little “history / cultural” lesson for all of you back home following my journey way up North of 60.

Flag of Nunavut

The flag of Nunavut was officially adopted on April 1, 1999. The colors blue and yellow symbolize the riches of the land, sea and sky. Red is a reference to Canada. The Inuksuk symbolizes stone monuments which guide people on the land, and also marks sacred and other special places. The star is the Niqirtsuituq (North Star), and the traditional guie for navigation. The North Star is also symbolic of the leadership of the elders in the community.

Symbols of Nunavut

Rock Ptarmigan : While most birds migrate south in the early fall, the Rock Ptarmigan is truly and arctic bird, living in Nunavut throughout the year. Called Aqiggiq in Inuktitut, it is found throughout the circumpolar world. The Rock Ptarmigan is the official bird of Nunavut.

Purple Saxifrage: The Purple Saxifrage is one of the first plants to flower in the Arctic Spring. This plant most often grows in very rocky ground where no other plants seem able to grow. Called Aupilaktunnguat (”something like bloodspots”) in Inukititut, the petals of the purple saxifrage are usually a vibrant purple colour, although a single white flower can occasionally be seen. The purple saxifrage plays a number of roles in Northern culture. The full blooming of the flowers indicates the time of year when young caribou are being born out on the land. The flwers of the purple saxifrage have a sweet taste and are eaten especially in communities where berries are not adundant. The Purple Saxifrage is the floral emblem of Nunavut.

Canadian Inuit Dog: Called Qimmiq in Inuktitut, this dog is one of the world’s oldest pure breeds and is known to have been resident in the Arctic for at least 4000 years. This dog has been essential to the survival of the Inuit for generations, being the only draft animal for long-range travel and willing and capable hunting companion. The Canadian Inuit Dog is the official animal of Nunavut.

Carvings & Sculptures of the Symbols of Nunavut at the Legislative Assembly:


mom said...

This is the stuff of "Getting to know our neighbours" Are you ready yet??

Kennie said...

Ready as in .....