While we were closed in April, I received a lovely message from Jason Lau, editor of Tusaayaksat Magazine, asking if we'd be interested in carrying their magazine at our shop. He had found us through Penguin Random House's Independent Bookstores Directory of shops that were selling online and making deliveries during COVID closures (thanks Penguin!)
I was immediately drawn to the magazine from his description:
"We are a non-profit, Indigenous publication (published by the Inuvialuit Communications Society in Inuvik, Northwest Territories), meaning most of our content is either created by Indigenous people, Inuvialuit, and/or Canadian Northerners. In a time of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, we are working hard to publish authentic Indigenous voices and artwork, and bring them to the forefront."
The absolutely stunning covers also drew me in:
Once we reopened in June, my first order for the bookshop was Tusaayaksat Magazine. I'm so glad to now hold these gorgeous issues in my hands and to be able to share them with you all. Thank you Jason and the Tusaayaksat team for reaching out to us, and for sending our package so quickly!
Reading through the pages, you will immediately understand that Tusaayaksat is an important, beautiful and moving publication that deserves our attention and support. Each issue is carefully crafted with gorgeous photography and artwork highlighting Inuvialuit people, culture, and news.
"Tussayaksat means stories and voices that need to be heard. We celebrate Inuvialuit people, culture and heritage. Our Mission: To empower, celebrate, communicate, heal, and bond; to bring you the best coverage of our news, vibrant culture, and perspectives."
- Inside the cover of Tusaayaksat Magazine, Ukiuq Winter 2019 issue
"To our youth and young people: never be scared to speak your mind, and always try something new, even if it scares you. It's normal to feel that way when it's about a change in your lifestyle. No matter how many mistakes you make, you can amend your mistake; learn from it and better yourself after. Be young, do your thing. Just be sure it's the right thing for you. Stand up for yourself. Change whatever you are doing that makes you unhappy. Life's too short to spend it unhappy, even if it means letting go of that toxic relationship or friendship. One day in your life, you will feel like your life is worthless and you are stuck and don't know where to get help, but there is always someone who can help! Don't ever feel like your goal is never reachable. You can figure it out - I believe in you guys."
- Mona Kudlak, from Tusaayaksat Magazine, Ukiuq Winter 2019 issue
"I think you have to live up in the North pretty much your whole life to really capture things like northern lights in paintings. To me, that's the way I look at it. I have been living here pretty much my whole life. It just amazes me - the colours, the shapes that come out. The same goes for sunset paintings and other paintings I do. You get that being out in the land, you know? You can't get that down in the city life. When you live in a city, there's so much light all over, you can't see things like northern lights out there! When you live in a remote community, being out in the land at night - boy, it's like you can almost touch them out there. While I do most of my work at home, in the house - there's a lot of times I use a nice Fuji camera to take pictures. I'd have that to look at and capture those colours and scenes through my pictures."
- Kuninaan Ruben, from Tusaayaksat Magazine, Upinraksaq Spring 2020 issue
There is so much to enjoy and learn from and about in these pages. Inuvialuit kids, youth, leaders, artists, writers, workers, educators, mothers, fathers, and elders share their thoughts and experiences here in their own words and in their power. The stories shared are tender, earnest, challenging, humorous, loving, heartfelt, powerful, and informative. The photography and artworks are shining, bold, vibrant, intimate, dear, and brave, just like the individuals featured within.
This publication should be required in every Canadian school and public library's subscriptions. I would like to urge every household that is committed to antiracist and decolonial work to purchase an issue of Tusaayaksat Magazine and to subscribe. $5 from every issue purchased through Humpty Dumpty Books will be donated back to the Inuvialuit Communications Society to further support their important work.
Come check out these issues for yourselves at our shop, now open 10am to 6pm every day!