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Stats and Stories
Our grants making a difference

Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society

Program and component
Creating, Knowing and Sharing, Short-Term Projects

Community
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Field of practice
Customary Arts

Amount
$78,640

Fiscal year
2019–20

Making Traditional Footwear and Reviving Knowledge

Seven children in a circle displaying traditional Inuit kamiks.
Participants pose with their finished boots at the Kiihimajuq Kammak (crimped sole boot) workshop in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Photo: courtesy of Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society

Inuinnait wear specific footwear to compliment their traditional drum dance clothing, but knowledge of how to make these beautiful coverings for the feet has largely lost in some Nunavut communities. The Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society is addressing the issue.

Rediscovering traditional knowledge

The traditional soft boots commonly known as kamiks (or kamiit) are crafted from sealskin and trimmed with caribou. The Society supports workshops where Inuit artisans transfer their knowledge and skills to those who are keen to learn.

Recording the workshop to share the knowledge more widely

Opportunities for this kind of inter-community knowledge-sharing and renewal of skills are rare because many Inuinnait live in remote, fly-in communities, rendering access to these Knowledge Keepers expensive. With funding from the Canada Council, the Society plans to bring Mary Kudlak, an Inuinnait elder and artist, to lead a 10-day workshop at a cultural centre in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, along with several other elders and 10 participants. The Society will also document the workshop for future reference.

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Tagged As Stats and Stories Creating, Knowing and Sharing Short-Term Projects Nunavut