The other day I was working on my online craft store. I noticed an interesting article about all the different ways non-indigenous people were trying to learn about the Canadians who were here first. Right away it made me wonder about the things that we can do to understand and help these people. I wondered what I could do personally with some of my hand-painted T-shirts and handcrafted jewelry to support such a noble cause.
Digging a little deeper I came across a website called the Groundwork for Change. If you get a moment, it’s a good idea to take a look at the content here. It has a lot of interesting features that will help to grow the relationship between indigenous and non indigenous people in this country.
It is this attempt at fostering a new relationship between the two people that inspired my T Shirt – Inukshuk Design by Artburn. I thought it might be interesting if I shared a little about what I found when I researched the design. Inukshuk is the Inuit word for something that is made in the likeness of a human. We generally see these as a figures
made of stone. They are used to mark the way and tell other travelers they are heading in the right direction.
Harsh Arctic Winters
It seems that during the harsh Arctic winters in the Canadian north, smaller groups of hunters and their families marked the places where they had found good seal hunting and fishing. This is the way that other groups would know someone else had been there and had found a place where they could find food to feed their families.
The very first Canadians put a real emphasis on the importance of family because each member was critical to their survival. Older relations taught lessons to the young and everyone had a part in erecting these stone monuments during the summer months.