In April 1999, the Inuit dream of a self-governing territory in the eastern Arctic - Nunavut (Our Land) - became a reality. In celebration of this historic event comes a new edition of Inuit Journey, a firsthand account of another turning point in Inuit history: the establishment in the early 1960s of member-owned, member-run Inuit co-operatives, which played a major role in the march toward independence.
Edith Iglauer was on assignment for The New Yorker in 1961 when she went to the Canadian Arctic to write about the first Inuit co-operative. She accompanied a small party of Canadians led by Donald Snowden, a dynamic young idealist who had been hired by the Department of Indian Affairs in response to a crisis: the traditional food supply of the Inuit was disappearing; people were dying of starvation; the survivors were struggling to cope with a massive erosion of their way of life. Iglauer attended the historic gathering of government workers and Inuit leaders at George River (later renamed Kangiqsualujjuaq), where the first co-operative held its first business meeting.
It was an event that changed people's lives. Thanks to Snowden's belief that when people are given the chance, they make wiser decisions for themselves than others make for them, and thanks to the incredible imagination and stamina of the Inuit people at George River, co-operatives proved invaluable as the Inuit moved toward a new form of self-sufficiency.
This new edition contains 20 previously unpublished black-and-white photographs, and a new preface and epilogue with updated information and Iglauer's affecting story of her own, more personal journey to revisit Kangiqsualujjuaq in 1994.