Vallee, Frank G. (1967[1962]) Kabloona and Eskimo, Northern Co-ordination and Research Centre, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Ottawa

Keywords: Baker LakeemploymentNorthern Co-ordination and Research Centreresettlementshack housingtents

Based on ethnographic research conducted in Baker Lake in summers of 1959 and 1960, a period when Inuit were moving from hunting camps to the permanent settlement. Sociologist Vallee indicates that between 1956 and 1959, the proportion of Inuit remaining “on the land” shifted from 78% to 55%. He counted c. 90 Inuit in town in 1956, increasing to 165 three years later (though some were schoolchildren from camps who were boarding with Inuit town dwellers). Vallee’s goal was to observe and analyze relations between Inuit and transient, non-Natives (HBC managers, healthcare workers, radio station operators, teachers, etc.); this work is where he distinguishes between Nunamiut (Inuit oriented to traditional culture and practices) and Kabloonamiut (Inuit oriented toward white culture, consumption habits, and attitudes). Vallee seems to have relied on information supplied by the Northern Service Officer, teachers, RCMP and the Anglican and Catholic missionaries for most of his data.

During the research period, Inuit in camps lived in snowhouses and tents. Many Inuit in the settlement lived also lived in snowhouses and tents (20 households). Five Inuit households occupied houses provided by non-Native employers, and another nine lived in houses they had constructed from discarded packing materials. Vallee describes them as one-room shacks” (p.19). All non-Natives live in structures provided by their employers. He notes that Inuit “dwellings are either on the fringe of the settlement, emphasizing the ‘marginality’ of the inhabitants, or are in zones allotted to the Kabloona institutions which they serve, emphasizing the dependency of these inhabitants on one or the other institution and its agents” (p. 20).