Edited by Leah Otak and Peesee Pitsiulak-Stevens Translated by Louis Tapardjuk
6″ x 9″
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Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs in Baffin Region
Traditionally, Inuit do not call each other by their given names. Instead, a system of kinship and family terms is used, known as tuqłurausiit. Calling friends, family, and community members by kinship terms is a way to show respect and foster closeness within families. Children were named after their Elders and ancestors, ensuring a long and healthy life.
As more and more Inuit refer to each other by their English first names, rather than their traditional kinship terms, the tradition of tuqłurausiit is slowly disappearing. This book presents interviews with Inuit Elders from Baffin Region, Nunavut, about how the practice of tuqłurausiit has changed over the years. Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs in Baffin Region helps to preserve the knowledge of this tradition for younger generations, both Inuit and non-Inuit.
Leah Otak was a historian who had profound influence on the understanding of Inuit history and culture. In her rich career Leah worked as a CBC broadcaster, medical interpreter, administrator, and scientific field coordinator. For 20 years Leah contributed to the establishment of the Igloolik Oral History Project, supporting research and caring for the extensive archive of Inuit Elder interviews.
Peesee Pitsiulak-Stevens is a former Dean of Nunavut Arctic College, where she worked for 14 years. In her career as a teacher and education leader, Peesee strengthened Inuktitut language and cultural development across the territory. Peesee retired after 36 years of dedicated service to the Government of Nunavut and lives in Iqaluit.