Havelka, Susane (2014) “Living Inuktitut”: from village to camp, modifying the landscape the Inuit way, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 26(1): 52
Summary of a paper presented at Whose Tradition? Biennial Conference of the International Association for Traditional Environments in Kuala Lumpur in December 2014. The author asserts that since World War II, the Canadian government has neglected the culturally specific needs of the Inuit when it comes to housing. Historically, the Inuit have never been consulted on the design, location, and/or size of housing.
The author’s thesis is that appropriate Inuit design principles and cultural insights are crucial to their way of life. Havelka offers examples of specific spatial practices and constructions that are reflected in the spaces that Inuit inhabit. Thus, how the Inuit inhabit a space is reflective of their cultural understandings and practices of the visible and invisible worlds they live in. She promotes the participation of Inuit and their design principles, and self-built structures as a more sustainable model of housing in the eastern Arctic.