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Michael Kusugak

Michael KusugakI am an Inuk from central Arctic, Canada. I was raised at the north end of Hudson Bay, in the traditional, nomadic fashion. I first heard the traditional legends from my grandmother, lying among caribou skins, in the flickering light of a qulliq, the traditional seal oil lamp, in an igloo, en route to somewhere. We were always en route to somewhere. Later, I remember my uncle, Mapsalaaq, and then my uncle, Kreelak (actually, it was pronounced Qilak) telling those same stories. I have since heard different versions of those stories, told by people from around the circumpolar world. The most famous character is Kiviuq, whose exploits are known among Inuit from Siberia to Greenland. Those are the stories I tell, today. To set the scene, I also talk about where I grew up, travelling by dogsled across the "True north,"  not quite so strong, but, nonetheless, free.

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