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Time and Place: The Kingalik of Ulukhatuk

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We invite you to celebrate "Kingalik Jamboree" with the Copper Inuit of the North West Territories. These ancient people have, in just a few decades, gone from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Kingalik Jamboree is a time when they can pass the timeless skills and traditions of survival in this frozen land from one generation to the next. The festival occurs under the midnight sun of the summer solstice around a community called Holman. Southern foods are shipped here, but are much more expensive than down south, and often arrive spoiled. So Inuit continue to harvest "country food," including seal, caribou, musk ox, Arctic char and, at this time of year, a sea duck they call "Kingalik." Kingalik is the male of a sea duck we call king eider. The birds migrate 4,000 km between wintering grounds in Alaska and summer nests here. Every year, hunters set up camp and harvest the ducks they need to feed their extended families. The site of the hunt is a spectacularly beautiful gap between Victoria and Holman Islands. The Kingalik Jamboree is a celebration of summer, of the first fresh meat of the year, and, as many Inuit make very clear to us, of the freedom they feel in returning to the land and the camps after a long, dark winter in southern style housing. This is the story of an ancient people and their relationship with a wondrous duck in this Time & Place.

2004, 22 min 10 s

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