The First Nations Garden
The Keepers of the North
The Inuit, Cree, Innu and Naskapi have always chosen the North for its unequalled white expanses in winter and its myriad of colour in summer. These peoples are known as the Inuit, Iyiyuu, Innuat or “Aboriginals, human beings”, and Naskapi, or “The people of the place beyond the horizon”, as though the vast country they inhabit could not exist without the presence of human beings or their inscription of the land.
The Inuit belong to the Eskimo-Aleut cultural family that extends from Greenland to Siberia, via Alaska. They live beyond the forests, in the tundra, with its short, sparse vegetation growing on base rock. The Cree, Inuit and Naskapi, the most northerly representatives of the Algonquian family, live below the tree line, in the taiga, with its open black spruce forest and its spongy soil covered by lichen and moss.
Ivajivik, Salluitm Kangiqaujuaq, Akulivik, , Quarqtaq, Puvirnitaq, Kangirsuk, Auqaluk, Inuiquak…
The Inuit, in scattered villages along the cost, still hunt seal and caribou, fish salmon and trout and pick blueberries and crowberries. In the taiga and forest tundra, in the hinterlands and along the coast, the Algonquian harvest the caribou, beaver, black bear, pike and salmonidae, and gather small fruit under the forest canopy.
Nitassinan. Akua tahttutatihan uash eukuan tshin ka ashamiat. Akua tshitutatinan uash eukuan tshin ka natukuiat. Nitassinan, ekute ka tshitimauenitakuak inniun. Our Earth. We take care of you because you feed us. We watch over you because you heal us. Nitassinan, our Eath, the sacred place of life. Photo : © ProvinceQuebec.com