Cecilia M.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Avalon Regional Heritage Fair

High Fashion in the High North

This project explores how Inuit people cope with their environment by looking specifically at clothing. I focus on the Amauti and show how its function and beauty challenge stereotypes of Inuit and Northern life.



What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing that I learned was about the different types of Inuit people who live in different parts of the North. I learned that some of these differences had to do with how the Europeans came to some of the groups before other groups, which influenced and changed language and culture. This shows me how Europeans had a huge influence on the Inuit and makes me wonder about how their culture might have been, what their styles of life might have been, if they hadn't been in contact with Europeans.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I would want to share the lesson that while many people think that Inuit culture is underdeveloped or hard because it is in the North, it is not. Just because they don't have the latest "things," they still have a deep culture with many particular ways of doing things that we need to be open minded to understand. This project shows how through artwork and the emotion put into clothing the real culture of life in the North, while it can be hard, is beautiful.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Me and a lot of the people I know don't have the same physical strengths and determination as Inuit people in the North. We can go get our food at supermarkets, while they have to hunt and put in real effort to make sure they survive. They also have different ways to entertain themselves. For us, we use a lot of technology, ipads and things, whereas they use traditional games, like spear-the-caribou, to help them develop the skills they need to hunt