Imagine being only six years old, waking up one day and being told you are going to leave your home and all the familiar places where you’ve played. Imagine not being given a straight answer every time you ask why you had to move.
The Inuit people who lived in Uammannaq moved from the land that they loved and went on a long journey to an unknown place. They weren’t forced to leave everything behind, they did it out of respect to their spiritual leader.
This feature documentary tells the story of two Inuit communities of the circumpolar north. One group can be found on Baffin Island and the other in Northwest Greenland. These two groups are linked because of a migration that was led by a valiant shaman named Qitdlarssuaq.
This shaman was a restless man. He was respected among his people for being fearless and courageous. He had a vision of people waiting far across the sea and he got up and followed that vision even though it would mean a long and difficult journey in harsh weather conditions.
They left from Baffin Island, Canada and after many long years, finally landed on the coast of Avanersuaq, Greenland. Only about one hundred of them were left by then. The severe cold had taken the lives of many of the elders.
The newcomers changed many aspects of the lives of the residents. In fact, it went both ways. It was a good thing too, because they were all in need of fresh ideas and new tools. However, still today the group retains their culture and many of the lessons that Qitdlarssuaq taught them.
For instance, although many people now use snow vehicles to get around, the people of Avanersuaq, choose not to. They want to hold on to their traditions for as long as they can. The ice is thinner these days and that makes it very dangerous for hunters to travel long distances in their sleds. Still, the Inuit have always adapted to harsh conditions.
The deep ties that still bind the two communities together inspire Navarana, an Inuit elder and descendant of the shaman. This will be the secret ingredient that will help them to face the inevitable consequences of social and environmental change happening all around. Watch this film now.
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