Environment News Spotlight
NYTimes: Igloo Building in Nunavik for the NY TIMES
aaron vincent elkaim
Oct 10, 2018
KANGIQSUJUAQ, Quebec — Adami Sakiagak, his tongue poking out of the side of his mouth in concentrated effort, trimmed the edges on a block of snow above his head. Ice crystals cascaded around him as the block settled into place, the capstone of an igloo, that architectural structure so characteristic of the Arctic.
Mr. Sakiagak’s parents were born in igloos and he learned to build the snow domes with his father growing up on the open tundra as a child. Now, Mr. Sakiagak, a 57-year-old Inuit, builds them to teach younger generations the disappearing craft.
“At one time people had no camps,” he said, referring to shelters now scattered across traditional hunting and fishing grounds. “And any person who went out onto the land, they usually built an igloo.”
Canadian investment in the Arctic was negligible until the Cold War, when the region had a string of military bases to guard against Soviet attack. Well into the 1950s, the Inuit followed their ancient ways, living off the land. Even today, many Inuit depend on hunting and fishing to survive.
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A Lost Art in the Arctic: Igloo Making
One of Canada’s remaining igloo builders teaches the disappearing technique that was once common knowledge among the Inuit people.