Stuckenberger, A. Nicole (2006) Sociality, temporality and locality in a contemporary Inuit community, Études/Inuit/Studies 30(2): 95-111

Keywords: camp life, Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island)resettlementseasonal patterns of activitysocialityviolence

With the introduction of permanent settlements constructed by the Canadian government in the 1960s, the size of Inuit communities dramatically increased. The new living conditions discouraged Inuit from moving between settlements and replaced nomadic Inuit camps with permanent residences, which offered direct access to public services, education, healthcare, and church facilities. At the time of Stuckenberger’s study, Qikiqtarjuaq had approximately 500 Inuit and 15 Qallunaat (white) residents. Most Inuit perceived that living in the community provided them with benefits, such as housing, supermarkets, school, and healthcare. However, the settlement is also associated with detrimental effects on individual well-being, such as substance abuse and domestic violence. Stuckenberger suggests these issues may be due to the composition of the settlement, which brought various camps together, that may have preferred to be kept at a distance.

Regarding winter camp life, some members expressed their delight in concentrating on their families, living off the land, and forgetting about settlement life. Cooperation and sharing of food involved all camp members. The Inuit believe is that each person is connected to the land, seasons, animals, people, and the spirit world in their own way. Each member's relevant relationships are present, and subject to renewal and improvement at the winter camp. camps are also experienced as a context for articulating Inuit cultural identity through hunting, gathering and camp practices.

However, in family-based summer camps there is much less focus on the collective group, and intensity of public religious life. These tent settlements consisted of a nuclear family, and occasionally included other relatives and guests. The summer camp contrasted the more public domesticity of the winter camp, as the household was based on a patriarchal household structure. Property was understood to belong to individuals and families, and food was shared primarily among the inhabitants of a tent.