Unikkausivut - Sharing our Stories

Unikkausivut - Sharing our Stories

The Inuit have a long and vibrant tradition of passing tales and legends down from one generation to the next using visual arts and storytelling. For the past 70 years, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has been documenting life in the Arctic through the production of films by, and about, the Inuit. The NFB’s collection of more than 100 documentaries and animated films represents a unique audiovisual account of the life of the Inuit—an account that should be shared with, and celebrated by, all Canadians.

The National Film Board of Canada - in collaboration with the Inuit Relations Secretariat of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Government of Nunavut (Department of Education), and with the support of Inuit organizations - has selected more than 60 films from its collection, the most important worldwide, that represent all 4 Canadian Inuit regions (Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut and Inuvialuit), some available in Inuktitut.

Discover a powerful portrait of the Inuit experience, past and present, in these animated shorts and documentaries.

Own the Unikkausivut - Sharing our Stories DVD boxset.

A new learning resource is available English and in French, as well as in four Inuktitut dialects from Nunavut (syllabic), Nunavik (syllabic), Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit. A special thank you to the Inuit Relations Directorate of Indigenous Affairs and Northern Affairs Canada for their support.

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Photo credit: Évangeline De Pas

  • Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
    2006|52 min

    This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed.

    A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.

  • The Last Days of Okak
    1985|23 min

    This short documentary tells the story the once-thriving town of Okak, an Inuit settlement on the northern Labrador coast. Moravian missionaries evangelized the coast and encouraged the growth of Inuit settlements, but it was also a Moravian ship that brought the deadly Spanish influenza during the world epidemic of 1919. The Inuit of the area were decimated, and Okak was abandoned. Through diaries, old photos and interviews with survivors, this film relates the story of the epidemic and examines the relations between natives and missionaries.

  • Vistas: InukShop
    2009|2 min

    Filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk mixes archival and new footage to make a statement about the appropriation of Inuit culture throughout history.

  • Never Lose Sight
    2009|21 min

    This short documentary presents the environmental challenges in Nunavut. Beneath the immaculate layer of snow, there are mountains of trash. Iqaluit's 2 dumps are filled beyond capacity and the municipality has no plan to solve the problem. Throughout the film, we discover the problems faced by this isolated region and learn just how serious they are. But above all, we hear a call to action from the residents, who don't want to see the North they love disappear. In French with English subtitles.

    This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.

  • Uranium
    1990|48 min

    This documentary looks at the hazards of uranium mining in Canada. Toxic and radioactive waste pose environmental threats while the traditional economic and spiritual lives of the Aboriginal people who occupy this land have been violated. Given our limited knowledge of the associated risks, this film questions the validity of continuing the mining operations.

  • Coppermine
    1992|56 min

    This feature documentary introduces us to the Copper Inuit of the Coronation Gulf region of Canada's Northwest Territories, one of the last aboriginal groups to be contacted by people from outside. When Doctor R.D. Martin arrived in Coppermine in 1929, he had to deal with one of the consequences of that contact: a full-blown tuberculosis epidemic.

  • Lumaaq: An Eskimo Legend
    1975|7 min

    Lumaaq tells the story of a legend widely believed by the Povungnituk Inuit. The artist's drawings are transferred to paper, cut out, and animated under the camera. The result is Inuit prints in action. Dialogue, music and artwork make this film a total cultural transplant.

  • The Owl Who Married a Goose: An Eskimo Legend
    1974|7 min

    In this short animation based on an Inuit legend, a goose captures the fancy of an owl, a weakness for which he will pay dearly. The sound effects and voices are Inuktitut, but the animation leaves no doubt as to the unfolding action. A story with the wry humor characteristic of many Inuit tales.

  • The Northern Lights
    1992|47 min

    This feature length documentary examines the phenomenon of the northern lights, aka the aurora borealis. Though scientists have advanced many theories in an attempt to explain it, mysteries still linger. Experience a visual panorama of animated legends and international space launches as indigenous people and scientists offer their perceptions of the wondrous northern lights.

  • Eye Witness No. 30
    1951|10 min

    These vignettes from 1951 covered various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Subjects included here are British Columbia's Cariboo Trail, once the scene of a great gold rush and which still pays off for the placer miner and occasional prospector; Canada's new state residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, a redesigned old stone mansion destined to become Canada's No. 10 Downing Street; a unique ceremony in remote Chesterfield Inlet as the first Inuit girl in history receives the veil of the Grey Nuns; Great Lakes conservationists outsmart the eel-like bloodsucker that preys on fish; and the new blue model uniforms designed for the Women's Division of the Air Force.

  • The Sniffing Bear
    1992|7 min

    This animated film uses the Arctic landscape and the traditional Inuit characters of the Bear, the Seal and the Owl to raise young people's awareness about the harmful effects of substance abuse. A polar bear experiences hallucinations after inhaling fumes from an abandoned gas can. A nearby owl and seal help to show the bear the error of his ways, thus preventing him from falling further into addiction. This film was an initiative of the Natives of the Institution La Macaza to warn children of the dangers of inhaling toxic chemicals.

  • No Address
    1988|56 min

    This feature-length documentary by Alanis Obomsawin examines the plight of Native people who come to Montreal searching for jobs and a better life. Often arriving without money, friends or jobs, a number of them quickly become part of the homeless population. Both dislocated from their traditional values and alienated from the rest of the population, they are torn between staying and returning home.

  • Land of the Long Day
    1952|37 min

    This short documentary journeys to Baffin Island. For four months in the summer, the Arctic has continuous daylight. During this time, provisions must be made for the long dark winter ahead. Idlouk, an Inuit hunter, recounts his experiences living in this northern land, where he hunts seal, walrus, whales and polar bears, among other animals. His wife, children and elderly parents each have their own work to do in their unending struggle to survive in this harsh land.

  • Aki'name (On the Wall)
    1968|22 min

    When Canada was preparing to welcome the world to Expo 67 in Montreal, two artists who contributed their talents were Inuit stonecarvers Kumukluk Saggiak and Elijah Pudlat. They decorated a giant mural in the Canadian pavilion, Katimavik (the meeting place). This film shows the two carvers at work on their wall and also conveys some of their impressions of life in suburbia.

  • Between Two Worlds
    1990|57 min

    This feature film is a documentary portrait of Joseph Idlout, a man who was once the world's most famous Inuit. Unknown to most Canadians today, Idlout was the subject of many films and books, and one the Inuit hunters pictured for many years on the back of Canada's $2 bill. In this film Idlout's son, Peter Paniloo, takes us on a journey through his father's life - that of a man caught "between two worlds."

  • Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories/Unikkausivut : transmettre nos histoires
    2011 | 1 s

    Inuit Audiovisual Legacy

    70 years of words & images For more information, please contact: Julie Huguet Project Manager, Institutional and Governmental Affairs Office of the Assistant Commissionner and Corporate Services Telephone: 514-283-9256 Email: j.huguet@nfb.ca

  • How to Build an Igloo
    1949|10 min

    This classic short film shows how to make an igloo using only snow and a knife. Two Inuit men in Canada’s Far North choose the site, cut and place snow blocks and create an entrance--a shelter completed in one-and-a-half hours. The commentary explains that the interior warmth and the wind outside cement the snow blocks firmly together. As the short winter day darkens, the two builders move their caribou sleeping robes and extra skins indoors, confident of spending a snug night in the midst of the Arctic cold!

  • The Living Stone
    1958|32 min

    This documentary shows the inspiration behind Inuit sculpture. The Inuit approach to the work is to release the image the artist sees imprisoned in the rough stone. The film centres on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.

  • Labrador North
    1973|37 min

    This short documentary looks at the government relocation of the Labrador Inuit and the effects on their culture and social structures.

  • The Annanacks
    1964|29 min

    This short documentary depicts the formation in 1964 of the first successful co-operative in an Inuit community in Northern Québec. The film describes how, with other Inuit of the George River community, the Annanacks formed a joint venture that included a sawmill, a fish-freezing plant and a small boat-building industry.

  • If the Weather Permits
    2003|27 min

    This short documentary studies life in the village of Kangirsujuaq, in Nunavik. In this community lying on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, children's laughter fills the streets while the old people ponder the passage of time. They are nomads of the wide-open spaces who are trying to get used to the strange feeling of staying put. Here, teenagers lap up "southern" culture and, to kill time, play golf on the tundra. Here, the elders are slowly dying, while their entire culture seems to be fading away.

  • The Owl and the Lemming: An Eskimo Legend
    1971|6 min

    Using life-like seal fur puppets, this animated short by Co Hoedeman tells the traditional Inuit tale of the owl and the lemming.

  • Owl and the Raven: An Eskimo Legend
    1973|6 min

    Using life-like seal fur puppets, this animated short by Co Hoedeman tells the traditional Inuit tale of the owl and the raven. Why did the raven’s feathers turn jet-black? And what did the owl have to do with it?

  • Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice: Part 1
    1968|24 min

    This short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit depicts life in an Inuit camp on the shore of Pelly Bay in early summer. A hunter catches a seal and drags it back to camp, where he and his wife cut it up. There is a use for everything--blubber, hide, fur, even the intestines.

  • Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice: Part 2
    1967|33 min

    The second installment in this documentary series on the Netsilik Inuit shows a hunter's attempt to harpoon a seal. The hunter moves too soon and misses his catch. He prepares for a night vigil at the seal's breathing hole.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: I Am But a Little Woman
    2010|4 min

    Inspired by an Inuit poem first assigned to paper in 1927, this animated short evokes the beauty and power of nature, as well as the bond between mother and daughter. As her daughter looks on, an Inuit woman creates a wall hanging filled with images of the spectacular Arctic landscape and traditional Inuit objects and iconography. Soon the boundaries between art and reality begin to dissolve.

    Pedagogical guide

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: The Bear Facts
    2010|4 min

    In this animated short, a self-important colonial explorer emerges from a sailing ship and plants a flag on the Arctic ice, as a bemused Inuit hunter looks on. Then the explorer plants another, and another, and another, while the hunter, clearly not impressed that his land has been “discovered,” quietly goes about his business. In this charming and humorous re-imagining of first contact between Inuit and European, Jonathan Wright brings us the story of a savvy hunter and the ill-equipped explorer he outwits.

    Pedagogical guide

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: Qalupalik
    2010|5 min

    This animated short tells the story of Qalupalik, a part-human sea monster that lives deep in the Arctic Ocean and preys on children who do not listen to their parents or elders. That is the fate of Angutii, a young boy who refuses to help out in his family’s camp and who plays by the shoreline... until one day Qalupalik seizes him and drags him away. Angutii's father, a great hunter, must then embark on a lengthy kayak journey to try and bring his son home.

    Pedagogical guide

  • My Village in Nunavik
    1999|47 min

    Shot during 3 seasons, this documentary tenderly portrays village life in Puvirnituq on the shores of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec, as well as the elements that forge the character of its people: their history, the great open spaces and their unflagging humour.

    This film was directed by Bobby Kenuajuak, who was born in Puvirnituq in 1976. At age 23, he won a NFB contest for Aboriginal filmmakers, which allowed him to produce this film.

  • Inuuvunga - I Am Inuk, I Am Alive
    2004|57 min

    In this feature-length documentary, 8 Inuit teens with cameras offer a vibrant and contemporary view of life in Canada’s North.

  • Islet
    2003|7 min

    Combining figurative abstraction with magic realism, this animated short depicts a world in which whales fall out of the sky and fish turn into balloons. It is a black and white evocation of the real world, transformed by the director's special sense of whimsy. With bold lines reminiscent of the stark simplicity of Inuit art, this cautionary tale is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. We are all affected by the fate of the Arctic, which each year is disappearing a little farther into the ocean.

  • Kamik
    1989|14 min

    This short documentary is a portrait of Ulayok Kaviok, one of the last of a generation of Inuit, born and bred on the land. Ulayok and her family, like many Inuit today, strive to balance 2 very different worlds. Her skills in making the sealskin boots called kamik may soon be lost in the cultural transformation overtaking her community. Kamik offers a glimpse of those universes and the thread one woman weaves between them.

  • I Can Make Art ... Like Andrew Qappik
    2005|11 min

    This short documentary is a portrait of Andrew Qappik, a world-renowned Inuit printmaker from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Originally inspired by images in the comic books he read as a child, Andrew now finds his subjects in the stories, traditions and day-to-day events of his world.

    In I Can Make Art Like Andrew Qappik, he captivates his student audience by creating a soapstone relief print before their very eyes. Then it's the kids' turn. They explore Andrew's symbolic imagery - and their own - as they each create a self-portrait relief point.

  • Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak
    1963|19 min

    This documentary shows how an Inuit artist's drawings are transferred to stone, printed and sold. Kenojuak Ashevak became the first woman involved with the printmaking co-operative in Cape Dorset. This film was nominated for the 1963 Documentary Short Subject Oscar®.

  • In Search of the Bowhead Whale
    1974|49 min

    This adventure film features Scott McVay, an authority on whales, and filmmaker Bill Mason. The objective was to film the bowhead, a magnificent inhabitant of the cold Arctic seas brought to the edge of extinction by overfishing. With helicopter and Inuit guide, aqualungs and underwater cameras, the expedition searches out and meets the bowhead and beluga.

  • Fishing at the Stone Weir: Part 1
    1967|30 min

    This short documentary about the Netsilik Inuit was shot at the height of summer. The skin tents are up, and it is time to fish. The men go into the river to form enclosures to trap fish. Once trapped, they are speared with three-pronged leisters. A woman cleans the catch, which has been strung on a thong. Everyone enjoys bits of raw fish.

  • At the Spring Sea Ice Camp: Part 1
    1967|26 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, Inuit families travel across the sea ice. Before night falls, they build igloos. A boy practices throwing his spear at a figure he has made in the snow. A woman crimps the sole of a sealskin boot she is making.

  • At the Spring Sea Ice Camp: Part 2
    1967|26 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, men hunt seal through the sea ice. A hunter strikes, and takes his catch home to skin. A polar bear skin is pegged out to dry, and people nibble on raw fish from the cache.

  • At the Spring Sea Ice Camp: Part 3
    1967|26 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, a hunter, travelling alone with sled and dogs, snares and kills a squirrel. In camp, a sled is made from a polar bear skin. The family breaks camp, and moves ashore for the summer.

  • Through These Eyes
    2004|55 min

    An American elementary school program from the 1970s, Man: A Course of Study (MACOS), looked to the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic to help students see their own society in a new way. At its core was The Netsilik Film Series, an acclaimed benchmark of visual anthropology from the National Film Board that captured a year in the life of an Inuit family, reconstructing an ancient culture on the cusp of contact with the outside world. But the graphic images of the Netsilik people created a clash of values that tore rifts in communities across the U.S. and revealed a fragile relationship between politics and education. A fiery national debate ensued between academic and conservative forces.

    Through These Eyes looks back at the high stakes of this controversial curriculum. Decades later, as American influence continues to affect cultures worldwide, the story of MACOS resonates strongly.

  • Animation from Cape Dorset
    1973|18 min

    This film is a collection of short animated sequences produced by Inuit of the Cape Dorset (Baffin Island) Film Animation Workshop, which was established to teach northern people a new and novel form of creative expression. The results, as shown here, reveal an easy adaptation to the medium, a keen sense of observation and an underlying humour. There is some explanation in English and some in Inuktitut.

  • Aviators of Hudson Strait
    1973|28 min

    This short documentary looks at early Canadian aviation through film footage shot by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the recollections of retired Air Vice-Marshal Thomas A. Lawrence, leader of the 1927-28 aerial survey expedition to Ungava Bay and Hudson Strait. The formidable challenge of flying under Arctic conditions, the hazards faced and the emergencies solved, often with the help of Inuit, make an absorbing chapter of northern frontier history.

  • Our Northern Citizen
    1956|29 min

    This short documentary illustrates the impact of new developments on the Inuit of Baffin Island, as well as the local reaction to the decision to move the settlement of Aklavik across the Mackenzie River.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: Lumaajuuq

    This animated short is a tragic and twisted story about the dangers of revenge. A cruel mother mistreats her son, feeding him dog meat and forcing him to sleep in the cold. A loon, who tells the boy that his mother blinded him, helps the child regain his eyesight. Then the boy seeks revenge, releasing his mother’s lifeline as she harpoons a whale and watching her drown. Based on a portion of the epic Inuit legend “The Blind Boy and the Loon.”

    Pedagogical guide

  • The Man and the Giant: An Eskimo Legend
    1975|7 min

    This short film, in which a hunter is pursued, bound up and carried to a cave, tells the legend of a river, and of how fog came to the land. The story is enacted by Inuit using katadjak or throatsinging. The audience is locked in an alien world of sights and sounds where human activity seems propulsed by primeval forces.

  • Northwest Frontier
    1942|28 min

    This short documentary depicts the vast expanses of the great Northwest. It illustrates the old fur trade, new mining developments, the importance of church missions, the welfare of Indian and Inuit peoples and the role of air transportation in drawing this huge territory into the mainstream of Canadian life.

  • Stories From Our Land 1.5: Nippaq
    2011|3 min

    There’s a lot happening in the Arctic. Canadians are talking about environmental, geopolitical, military and cultural issues, and Stories from Our Land: 1.5 adds engaging voices to the discussion. The Stories program gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to create a 5-minute short that followed a couple of key guidelines: Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration, and it had to tell a northern story from a northern perspective.

    Nippaq
    Hunter Joshua Atagooyuk stands by a seal's breathing hole. He hunches over, silent, waiting. The sun crosses the sky, hours pass, yet Atagooyuk remains, waiting for the right moment to strike.

    Filmmaker Qajaaq Ellsworth lives in Iqaluit.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo!
    2011|5 min

    There’s a lot happening in the Arctic. Canadians are talking about environmental, geopolitical, military and cultural issues, and Stories from Our Land: 1.5 adds engaging voices to the discussion. The Stories program gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to create a 5-minute short that followed a couple of key guidelines: Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration, and it had to tell a northern story from a northern perspective.

    If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo!
    In the spirit of the 1949 NFB classic How to Build an Igloo, this film records Dean Ittuksarjuat as he constructs the traditional Inuit home. From the first cut of the snow knife, to the carving of the entrance after the last block of snow has been placed on the roof, this is an inside-and-out look at the entire fascinating process.

    Filmmaker Allen Auksaq lives in Iqaluit.

  • Stories From Our Land 1.5: Going Home
    2011|5 min

    There’s a lot happening in the Arctic. Canadians are talking about environmental, geopolitical, military and cultural issues, and Stories from Our Land: 1.5 adds engaging voices to the discussion. The Stories program gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to create a 5-minute short that followed a couple of key guidelines: Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration, and it had to tell a northern story from a northern perspective.

    Going Home
    Abdoul Aziz Sakho fastens his rooftop sign - number 148 - to his cab and embarks on an evening of driving mostly familiar passengers to their destinations in and around Iqaluit. It's a routine night ... until Sakho picks up an unsettling fare.

    Filmmaker Bjorn Simonsen lives in Iqaluit.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: Family Making Sleds
    2012|5 min

    There’s a lot happening in the Arctic. Canadians are talking about environmental, geopolitical, military and cultural issues, and Stories from Our Land: 1.5 adds engaging voices to the discussion. The Stories program gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to create a 5-minute short that followed a couple of key guidelines: Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration, and it had to tell a northern story from a northern perspective.

    Family Making Sleds
    A man threads rope through runners and slats, expertly tying the knots that hold them together. Meanwhile, a woman and her child cut up cardboard, shaping and decorating the pieces to create their own stylized sleds. Family Making Sleds is an homage to the skill of building sleds that also captures the sheer joy of using them to race downhill.

    Filmmaker Rosie Bonnie Ammaaq lives in Igloolik.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo!
    2011|5 min

    There’s a lot happening in the Arctic. Canadians are talking about environmental, geopolitical, military and cultural issues, and Stories from Our Land: 1.5 adds engaging voices to the discussion. The Stories program gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to create a 5-minute short that followed a couple of key guidelines: Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration, and it had to tell a northern story from a northern perspective.

    If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo!
    In the spirit of the 1949 NFB classic How to Build an Igloo, this film records Dean Ittuksarjuat as he constructs the traditional Inuit home. From the first cut of the snow knife, to the carving of the entrance after the last block of snow has been placed on the roof, this is an inside-and-out look at the entire fascinating process.

    Filmmaker Allen Auksaq lives in Iqaluit.

  • Qimmit: A Clash of Two Truths
    2010 | 1 h 8 min

    This feature documentary offers an overview of the changes experienced by the Inuit from 1950-1970 with their loss of sled dogs and semi-nomadic lifestyle. A controversial issue at the time, many Inuit still believe that their dogs were deliberately killed by the RCMP as part of government policy to force them off the land and into "civilization." Qimmit: A Clash of Two Truths explores how and why the sled dogs disappeared, a mystery that has left deep wounds across Canada's Arctic.

  • Inuuvunga, I am Inuk, I am Alive (Inuktitut version)
    2004|57 min

    In this feature-length documentary, 8 Inuit teens with cameras offer a vibrant and contemporary view of life in Canada’s North.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab - Qalupalik (Inuktitut Version)
    2010|5 min

    This animated short tells the story of Qalupalik, a part-human sea monster that lives deep in the Arctic Ocean and preys on children who do not listen to their parents or elders. That is the fate of Angutii, a young boy who refuses to help out in his family’s camp and who plays by the shoreline... until one day Qalupalik seizes him and drags him away. Angutii's father, a great hunter, must then embark on a lengthy kayak journey to try and bring his son home.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab - Lumaajuuq (Inuktitut Version)
    2010|7 min

    This animated short tells the story of Qalupalik, a part-human sea monster that lives deep in the Arctic Ocean and preys on children who do not listen to their parents or elders. That is the fate of Angutii, a young boy who refuses to help out in his family’s camp and who plays by the shoreline... until one day Qalupalik seizes him and drags him away. Angutii's father, a great hunter, must then embark on a lengthy kayak journey to try and bring his son home.

  • Nunavut Animation Lab: I Am But a Little Woman (Inuktitut Version)
    2010|4 min

    Inspired by an Inuit poem first assigned to paper in 1927, this animated short evokes the beauty and power of nature, as well as the bond between mother and daughter. As her daughter looks on, an Inuit woman creates a wall hanging filled with images of the spectacular Arctic landscape and traditional Inuit objects and iconography. Soon the boundaries between art and reality begin to dissolve

  • Lypa

    This short documentary is a portrait of Inuit hunter and artist Lypa Pitsiulak, who decided to return to the land several years ago. His goal was to rediscover his culture, teach his family survival skills in the harsh Arctic environment, and pull himself and his family away from the negative influences of white culture. The film portrays his lifestyle, his love for his family, and some of the sources of his artistic inspiration. It also highlights his beautiful prints and sculptures, with their fantastic interweaving of figures from the animal, spirit and human worlds.

  • Northern Games
    1981|25 min

    This documentary short depicts the traditional games of the Inuit as they are practised 800 km north of the Arctic Circle by youth in competition from communities across the North. The film describes the skills required to play them, the traditions behind the games, and the spirit of co-operation, as opposed to hard competition, that inspires the participants.

  • Tuktu and the Ten Thousand Fishes
    1967|14 min

    This short docu-fiction film tells the story of Tuktu, who is taken on a fishing trip to the ancient stone weir. There, he sees his father and other hunters spear fish in great numbers, and watches his father and his uncle make fire with an Inuit fire drill.

  • Tuktu and the Trials of Strength
    1967|14 min

    In this short docu-fiction film, strong and hardy Inuit hunters demonstrate and test their strength in boxing, tug-of-war, and other strenuous activities. We see and hear the drum dance, a demonstration of Inuit poetry and rhythm.

  • Tuktu and his Eskimo Dogs
    1966|14 min

    This short docu-fiction film illustrates how traditionally dogs were used by the Netsilik Inuit, in winter and summer. We see puppies and sled dogs used as pack animals. Eskimo dogs were also used for hunting, being particularly skilful at sniffing out seal blowholes when deep snow covered the winter sea ice.

  • At the Autumn River Camp: Part 1
    1967|26 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, it is late autumn. The Inuit move to the river valley where they build karmaks--shelters with snow walls and roofs of skins. The men fish with spears and their catch is cooked over an exterior fire. The family then eats inside the karmaks.

  • At the Autumn River Camp: Part 2
    1967|33 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, a family moves once again, this time into an igloo built by the men. A sleigh is constructed from skins, frozen fish and caribou antlers. When ready, it is loaded and the family heads down the river to the coast.

  • At the Caribou Crossing Place: Part 1
    1967|30 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, the time is early autumn, the place an Inuit camp in the Pelly Bay region of the Canadian Arctic. A woman, a boy and two men are shown occupied with their various activities. A woman works on caribou skins. Men return from the hunt with another caribou. A boy picks berries and then plays at being a hunter.

  • At the Caribou Crossing Place: Part 2
    1967|29 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, 2 men join the 4 people at camp. The men build a row of inukshuit, manlike figures which they use to deflect the oncoming caribou into the water, where they are subsequently speared and floated ashore. A great feast follows.

  • At the Winter Sea Ice Camp: Part 1
    1967|35 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, an Inuit family stop their trek and make camp. It is late winter when the cold is severe. The men cut blocks for an igloo while the women shovel the site. During the day, the men sit patiently on the ice, waiting for seals.

  • At the Winter Sea Ice Camp: Part 2
    1967|36 min

    This short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit shows life at the campsite. Children amuse themselves with makeshift toys. Women tend their children, make clothes, and repair the igloos. When the men return with their catch, everyone goes inside where work, story-telling and games occupy each one's time.

  • At the Winter Sea Ice Camp: Part 3
    1967|30 min

    In this short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit, work begins on a spacious community igloo. When the men return to their hunt, the women continue with their work and play games with the children. A seal is dragged into the igloo to be shared by everyone, including the dogs, who are called in to clean up.

  • At the Winter Sea Ice Camp: Part 4
    1967|34 min

    This short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit shows the life of the community inside the igloo. A stone chip is removed from a woman's eye. Men and women gamble at spear-the-peg game. The day ends with a drum performance. The next day the big igloo is deserted and the Inuit are again trekking over the broad expanse of sea ice.

  • Building a Kayak: Part 1
    1967|32 min

    This short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit depicts the initial steps in the construction of a kayak. The run-off is in full flow and it is time for the Inuit to build a watercraft. The whole family is involved in shaping this invaluable tool.

  • Building a Kayak: Part 2
    1967|32 min

    This short documentary on the Netsilik Inuit depicts the latter steps in the construction of a kayak. More skins are soaked; more ribs are split and shaped. Finally, the kayak is ready. The men launch and test their new kayak and admire its performance.

  • Fishing at the Stone Weir: Part 1
    1967|30 min

    This short documentary about the Netsilik Inuit was shot at the height of summer. The skin tents are up, and it is time to fish. The men go into the river to form enclosures to trap fish. Once trapped, they are speared with three-pronged leisters. A woman cleans the catch, which has been strung on a thong. Everyone enjoys bits of raw fish.

  • Fishing at the Stone Weir: Part 2
    1967|26 min

    In the second installment of this short documentary about the Netsilik Inuit, the fishing continues. The plentiful catch is stored in stone caches after the women have cleaned it. Some of the fish is cooked in a stone pot.

  • Group Hunting on the Spring Ice: Part 1
    1967|34 min

    This short documentary about the Netsilik Inuit was shot in late June and much of the land is bare. There is plenty of activity in the camp as a man fashions a bow from bone and sinews while the children play. The following day the men move out on the sea ice to look for seal pups.

  • Group Hunting on the Spring Ice: Part 2
    1967|27 min

    In the second installment of this documentary series about the Netsilik Inuit, the men are out on the sea ice and the women work at tasks at the camp, such as drying out the sealskins, cooking sea gulls, gathering moss as fuel. Everyone ends up playing a juggling game.

  • Group Hunting on the Spring Ice: Part 3
    1967|33 min

    In the third installment of this documentary series on the Netsilik Inuit, the men are out on the ice catching seals and relishing their liver and blood. Upon their return, the women cut away the blubber from the meat and everyone sits down to eat.

  • Jigging for Lake Trout
    1967|31 min

    In this short documentary about the Netsilik Inuit, more wildlife returns as winter draws to an end. The family is now living in a karmak. The man chips a hole on the lake ice and jigs the line to attract the fish. His wife joins him, and both remain at the hole through a severe blizzard.