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Does an Inukshuk represent Canada?

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has collaborated with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) on a project called Vistas. It is a series of 13 short films by Aboriginal filmmakers on the subject of nationhood.

InukShop is one of the 13 films by Jobie Weetaluktuk. He is a writer, editor, broadcaster and filmmaker who originally hails from Inukjuak, Quebec, and is now based in Montreal.

In InukShop, he mixes archival and new footage to make a statement about the appropriation of Inuit culture throughout history. The film speaks to the most recent use of an Inuit symbol, the Inukshuk, at the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver. Many Inuit communities have been proud to see a part of their heritage connected to such a prestigious event, others have not.

Take a look at the film below and see how you feel about the representation of Inuit identity in our modern lives.

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To see all the films go to



Tungijuq (2009) features Inuit jazz throat-singer Tanya Tagaq and, Fast Runner Trilogy filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, in a meditation on the role of the seal hunt and the claim for sovereignty over traditional ways.

The film is created and directed by Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael with executive producers Kunuk and Norman Cohn.

Tungijuq premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

It has gone onto screen at the 2009 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival (winning the award for Best Short Drama) and the 34th Annual American Indian Film Festival. It is currently at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The film is visually stunning as the characters transform seamlessly from one form to another, as their environment shifts from land to sea.

Tagaq transforms from animal to human to seal and back again revealing a thought-provoking cycle of life.

There is no dialogue, only the pulsating rhythm of Tagaq’s throat singing to charge the film along.

Watch the film here and check out the film’s webpage for more details.

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Express Yourself

I have been following all things Inuit since taking classes in Aboriginal art history at university. Now that I’ve been out of there for almost a year, I’m still just as passionate about the subject. I will be following all types of Inuit art including visual art, film and music; from the past to the present. I think it is such an important part of Inuit and Canadian culture and history.

Feel free to comment with any feedback, ideas or questions.

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