Makivvik and Avataq Cultural Institute participated in the annual Kwe! Meet with Indigenous Peoples event in Quebec City in June. Makivvik’s VP Economic Development Andy Moorhouse spoke at the event’s opening ceremony, and Avataq had a tupiq set up for the public to enter and see some pieces from the collection reflecting the culture of Nunavik Inuit.
Avataq’s Isabelle Avingaq Choquette explained that they had decided to have the theme of Inuit games in the tupiq. They displayed photos and carvings from Avataq’s archive of people playing games, along with a screen showing Nanook of the North. Also featured inside the tent, were two beautiful amautiks, one borrowed from Beatrice Deer, as well as a baby amautik and some kamiks.
The tupiq was also the site for some throat singing performances from Janice Parsons and Sandy Emudluk, Sylvia Cloutier and Akinisie Sivuaraapik, and Evie Mark, who also lit the qulliq and played some traditional games with the public. Nunavik tea was available for people to sample. Aloupa Airo Watt demonstrated the high kick outside the tent and encouraged people to try it themselves.
Ivujivik’s Mary Paningajak was part of the Nunavik delegation who also on site sharing her art and stories. She said the event, which allows Inuit and First Nations to not only be together, but to also share their culture with the rest of the world, is beautiful, and lets the public see what Inuit are capable of on their own land.
Kwe! began in 2017 to showcase, promote, and celebrate Quebec’s 11 Indigenous groups. Along with cultural performances and an artisans’ boutique and bookshop, there were film screenings and panel discussions and talks, including “The Butterfly of Climate Change,” a talk featuring Sara May, the first Nunavik Sentinel, trained to collect and identify insects.