Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Saqiyuq is the name the Inuit give to a strong wind that suddenly shifts direction; "Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women" is a vivid portrait of the changing nature of life in the Arctic during the twentieth century. Through their life stories, a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter take us on a remarkable journey in which the cycles of life - childhood, adolescence, marriage, birthing and child rearing - are presented against the contrasting experiences of three successive generations. Their memories and reflections give us poignant insight into the history of the people of the new territory of Nunavut. Apphia Awa, who was born in 1931, experienced the traditional life on the land while Rhoda Katsak, Apphia's daughter, was part of the transitional generation who were sent to government schools. In contrast to both, Sandra Katsak, Rhoda's daughter, has grown up in the settlement of Pond Inlet among the conveniences and tensions of contemporary northern communities - video games and coffee shops but also drugs and alcohol. During the last years of Apphia's life Rhoda and Sandra began working to reconnect to their traditional culture and learn the art of making traditional skin clothing. Through the storytelling in "Saqiyuq", Apphia, Rhoda, and Sandra explore the transformations that have taken place in the lives of the Inuit and chart the struggle of the Inuit to reclaim their traditional practices and integrate them into their lives. Nancy Wachowich became friends with Rhoda Katsak and her family during the early 1990s and was able to record their stories before Apphia's death in 1996. "Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women" will appeal to everyone interested in the Inuit, the North, family bonds, and a good story.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMontreal, Canada
PublisherMcGill-Queens University Press
Number of pages301
ISBN (Print)0773518878, 978-0773518872
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

Publication series

NameNative and Northern Series
PublisherMcGill-Queen's University Press


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