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"No Sweat In the Arctic:  Canada Arctic Adventures and Stories"

By columnist:  Eddie Dean Kolausok, YellowKnife, North West Territories

| Arctic Region Short Story  | More Books & Stories  | Poetry-Poems | Anecdotes | Folk Tales | Oral History Recorded | Arctic Web Reference Sites |

Provenance welcomes it's newest columnist-journalist and arctic stories editor Mr. Eddie Dean Kolausok.


AURORA SHINING - Book cover - clik for ISBN

[December 2004]

... I spoke with some friends and family members from Aklavik last night at length and they remember the Livingstone Farm.  They also have some really funny stories about other interesting characters and situations. Here is just a short one they provided:

Once upon a time in Aklavik there was a man who lived to have fun and play as many practical jokes on as many people as possible. He overdid his pranks though by putting rubber boots in an elder's net. This got the whole town worried about the possibility that someone had drowned.

To make matters worse, the man was helping another elder paint his house around the same time.  When it was time for lunch he put the paint cans up on a high table outside and left for lunch. When he came back a few of the elders husky dogs had gotten into the paint as they thought it was food. The elder now had a few green huskies and was snickered at for this.

The final straw was when the man sold a gunny sack full of muskrats to a trusting fur trader. The only problem here was that the gunny sack only had rats on the top. The rest of the sack was filled with dirty clothes. The man was paid for 80 rats when he only provided about ten rats in the gunny sack. This of course was deception and fraud and the arms of justice were fast in the 1940 in Aklavik -- especially for the man who was a prankster and who had already had many in the community upset with him.

After a greased lightening trial, the man was sentenced to spend three months or the whole summer in jail.

When he was in jail the man was put to work cutting all the cord wood for the RCMP's winter wood supply. The man worked hard and cut all the wood up during the beautiful summer. When his release time came in the early Fall he left with a big smile on his face. The Constable was smiling too. When the man was leaving the Constable told him,   " thank you very much for cutting all that wood for the winter, now we won't have to be bothered with that menial task." 

A few weeks later it started to get cold so the Constable took some wood from the wood piles that were cut by the man. The Constable went to put the wood in the stove but the wood would not fit into the stove.

 " Son of a moose skin flap jack flipp'in bugger," said the Constable, " this wood is to damn long to fit in our stoves."  Muttering to himself, the Constable went out to the wood pile and cut about three inches of a small pile of wood. He knew he would have to re-cut all the wood to length and he just shook his head and yelled,  "Son of a moose skin flap jack flipp'in bugger!"



My Frozen Tears

Mom, I yelled,
As loud as a shivering snared rabbit.
She slipped out of my sight
Into the night
Beyond my reach,
Away from my screech.

All alone I stared
As the West Wind glared,
Acknowledging an ice blue sight.
Fight turned to fright
On that crisp cold Inuvik night.
Icicles pierced my eyes
As I longed to be near the comfort of her.

Stripped of her security.
Unable to enter the liquid oasis
Where confused souls lapped up false happiness,
It all vibrated with madness,
The crushing sadness
Had finally mutilated mom's gladness.

Too young to delegate blame,
I had no choice but to wait, watch, wonder, and worry in pain. How insane!
Oh! The pain, the pain.
Like being lost in frigid waters,
I felt that only mom could pull me from
My Frozen Tears.

© 2004 Eddie Dean Kolausok,
YellowKnife, North West Territories, Canada


Other Publications & Writings of Eddie D. Kolausok

  • Across Time and Tundra:  The Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic by Ishmael Alunik, Eddie D. Kolausok & David Morrison.  Published by Raincoast Books in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the University of Washington Press, ISBN I-55192-645-8
    The book won the following awards in 2004: Lela Common Award from the Canadian Writer's Association; CLIO Award from Canadian Historical Association.

  • "Call me Ishmael:  Memories of an Inuvialuk Elder" by Ishmael Alunik. Published by Kolausok Ublaaq Enterprises KUE, N.W.T. Canada
    ISBN 0-9684571-0-X
    Read short story from this book The Last Visit by the Little People

AURORA SHINING - Book cover  - by Eddie Kolausok - clik for enlargement of image
  • Aurora Shining by  Eddie D. Kolausok. Published by KUE, NWT Canada
    ISBN 0-9684571-1-8


Contact Eddie Kolausok at


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Glossary-Dictionary of INUVIALUIT Words-Terms

Each native word-term below is followed by their English translation-meaning in quotation marks

  • Mahsi Cho "means thank you in the Gwich'in Dene language"
  • Alappaa "it's cold!"
  • Alii "an expression one uses when alarmed or fearing something"
  • Anaqanaallu "see you later"
  • Aqqali "an expression of unexpectedness, surprise, like saying wow"
  • Ata "listen"
  • Ilaanilu "see you sometime; good bye"
  • Ilaanniptauq "see you too"
  • Imaniittuaq "its like this"
  • Imanna "like this"
  • Kia "whose?"
  • Kia una "whose is this?"
  • Kiilu "again, some more"
  • Kina "who?"
  • Kina una "who is this?"
  • Nakinngaqpit "where from?"
  • Nani "Where?"
  • Nutim "in fact, actually"
  • Naung "where?"
  • Pipsaarung "do it again!"
  • Piung "go ahead and do it"
  • Qakugulu "see you soon, good-bye"
  • Quanuq "when?"
  • Qanuq "how?"
  • Qanuq akitutigivaa "How much does it cost?"
  • Qanuq ukiuqtutigiva "how old is he?"
  • Qanuq taivakpiung "What do you call it?"
  • Qanurviituq "It can't be helped! Too bad"
  • Qilamik "Hurry up!"
  • Qiqauniqtuaq "It's cold out!"
  • Quyanainni "thank you"
  • Suksaq "What for?"
  • Sulimava "What is he doing?"
  • Suliuqpa "What is he making?"
  • Sumi "Where?"
  • Sumiitpa "Where is he?"
  • Sumiutauvit "Where are you from?"
  • Sumukpaung "what time is it?"
  • Suna "What?"
  • Suna Una "What is this?"
  • Sunngituq "It doesn't matter: its Okay"
  • Suniaqpa "What shall he do?"
  • Suukiaq "I wonder why!"
  • Suuq "Why? Of How come?"
  • Suva "What?"
  • Suvit "What are you doing?"
  • Suvit uvva "What's the matter with you?"
  • Taima "That's all! Don't enough!"
  • Taimaniittuaq "it's like that"
  • Taimanna "like that"
  • Ubla akunlu "see you tomorrow!"
  • Ublaami "Good morning"
  • Uvva "here it is!"

SIGLITUN words that can be used around Christmas season:

  • Qitchirvik "Christmas"
  • Patquyaq "candle"
  • Uqummiaqataaq "candy"
  • Iqidjraq "angle"
  • Naguk "antler"
  • Mukpaq "ball"
  • Aviluraun "bell"
  • Kimmingnaq "cranberry"
  • Angaatdjuvik "church"
  • Qilaun " Drum Dance"
  • Kasaktuaq " Beats a drum"
  • Qilausiyaqtuaq " is drumdancing"
  • Akutuq " Eskimo ice cream"
  • Savaqutit "Jewels"
  • Atuqtuuyaqtuaq " plays music"
  • Qun'ngiq "Reindeer"
  • Quamutik "sled"
  • Atuun "song"
  • Ubluriaq "star"

The above is a working sample dictionary by Provenance's Arctic Correspondent for Inuvialuit words.


Useful Arctic Aboriginal-Native Cultural & Language Resources

  • "Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), Inuvik N.W.T. Languages in the Community | Goals and Objectives | Funding | Impacts and Effects
    The Inuvialuit Settlement Region consists of six communities: Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Holman Island, Sachs Harbour, and Paulatuk. The approximately 3500 Inuvialuit are Inuit who speak three dialects of Inuvialuktun." [quote fr. website 041215]

  • Gwich'in Social & Cultural Centre
    Site in 3 official languages: English | Gwich'in | Français / French
    [download the Dene font for your computer-web browser here!]

  • Environmental changes influence Inuit health in the Canadian Arctic
    "Through a 1.475 million dollar grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Aboriginal Peoples´ Health (CIHRIAPH), a Centre is being established for education, training and research on Inuit Health and Changing Environments based at the Public Health Research Unit, CHUL-CHUQ, Laval University (Quebec). This Centre is one of many being established in a network across the country by IAPH (ACADRE Program: Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental Research Environments) to address Aboriginal health training and research needs." [website 2004/12/15]

    "Inuvialuit Ethnobotany:  Exploring the Relationship between People and Plants in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), Northwest Territories

    Principal Researcher: Michael Salomons, (M.Sc., Conservation Biology) Manager of Research Programmes, Aurora Research Institute, Box 1450, 191 Mackenzie Road, Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0; Tel. (867) 777-4628; "[quote website 041215]

  • Aulavik National Park of Canada
    Table of Contents

  • North West Territories, NWT Literary Council
    includes "status of aboriginal languages in the NWT" and "statements of aboriginal language activists"

  • Aboriginal Arts and Culture
    A major collection of website links for aboriginal information from around the world, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia etc.

The two websites below are important sites as they are the main pages for both the Gwich'in and the Inuvialuit in their hard work to preserve their languages:


see also

North West Territories Information

Yukon Territory Information

University of Alberta Law Students' Web Magazine

Canadian Historical Association

  • "...Founded in 1922 and fully bilingual, the Canadian Historical Association is a national organization dedicated to historical research and scholarship in all fields of history." [quote fr. website 2004-12-14]

Canadian Council on Social Development Statistics & Information Reports Etc.