Condon, Richard G. (1987) Inuit Youth: Growth and Change in the Canadian Arctic. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Keywords: architecture and design, children and youth, crowding, Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, resettlement, social housing, Ulukhaktok (Holman)
Condon conducted his research as part of the Harvard Adolescence Project, which examined social and psychological responses to maturational changes and how these were incorporated “into the ideological and behavioral fabric of individual societies (p. 7).” The research was conducted in Ulukhaktok (Holman) in 1982-83.
According to Condon, Inuit found the Ulukhaktok settlement attractive because it provided greater security in terms of healthcare, food, and employment (p. 29). The earliest Inuit residents of Ulukhaktok lived in makeshift houses built out of scrap wood, cardboard, canvas, and other materials available in the settlement (p. 29). The first government provided housing units arrived in 1960. In 1963, the settlement had 7 “matchbox” houses, 6 scrap houses, 4 plywood shelters, and 1 frame house as well as a federal day school (p. 29). By 1982, there were 68 government-subsidized rental houses in the settlement under the control of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC), and the average household size was 6.6 persons (p. 93). Allocation of houses was reported to be based on need and family size (p. 47).
Condon observed that the interior of new homes in the settlement were similar to houses in southern Canada (p. 39). He also noted most of the older houses had 1 to 2 bedrooms while the newer houses had 3 to 4 bedrooms (p. 93). Even though the newer houses had more space than older units, families still had trouble allocating sleeping spaces to all family members. Condon reported that Inuit found the storage spaces undesirable because they lacked ventilation or windows. Because of these reasons, storage rooms were sometimes converted into sleeping spaces for younger children (p. 94).