June 6th, 2014 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Postcards from the Arctic
Story by Jane Whitney
I notice Inuit in the same line up as us as we check in for our flight with First Air in Ottawa. Women wearing brightly coloured amauties (a hooded jacket to carry young). A little boy with a cropped haircut running around in his striped T-shirt and a big green jawbreaker in his mouth. It feels so right to hear them speak in Inuktitut. I see the familiar northern greeting - smiling eyes, friendly conversation. I am excited to return to their land. It is a feeling of deep exhilaration.
The big, open landscape here is very, very quiet, save for the water dripping off the ice and the call of the glaucous gull or raven. There is no constant background noise of either air or vehicle traffic. You can hear children's laughter as they play outside on the dirt roads or in melt water on the ice. You can hear the dogs howl once a day as they wait next to the qamutiq
, a traditional Inuit wooden sled, parked out on the ice.
There is an Inuktitut word to describe being content out on the land in the north: quviannik
, "to feel deeply happy". This is how I am feeling.