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Photo Kayaks delta 1901


Chapter 6

Lucasie Nutaraaluk
My ataatatsiaq, grandfather on my father’s side, was Usuarjuk. He was married to my father’s mother Qimiqpikuluk. I never heard who my mother’s mother and father were. I don’t know exactly why I never found out who my mother’s parents were. I think she was adopted. I never found out who my grandfather and grandmother were on my mother’s side. My father was Alariaq and my mother was Iqaluk. I was born in Itilliarjuk, not far from Kinngait, in 1922. My mother recorded the year I was born. She had learned how to record dates from Reverend Peck by making strokes on paper. There were already qallunaat in the Kinngait area. There were traders and missionaries. After England won the First World War, the Hudson Bay Company became established up here. After they heard of Christianity, my father and mother converted because of me. Because I was pulled out of the womb, many of my muscles had been torn. Over several days my muscles healed, one after another. Because I healed completely they came to the realization that there was a Saviour and they converted. There was no minister in Kinngait. My father became one of the lay-ministers. (Pages 95-96)
Memories of the Past: Lucassie Nutaraaluk

The dialect of Nutaraaluk was not always easy for the students to understand but they became more and more familiar with it when conducting interviews on his life story. Nutaraaluk relates how his parents became Christians at his birth, "It sounds unbelievable, but I should have died after I was born because my muscles had been ripped apart. In the old days when they realized that a child was going to be severely handicapped, they would just let it die. My father said that if a child had a life ahead of it the child would live, even though it was handicapped. That is what my father said. Other people besides my mother and father would have just waited for me to die because I was handicapped. That's how it was when I was born. My mother and father saw me as a miracle. That's the reason they converted to Christianity." He also related the sad story of the murderer Miqqualaaq that became a central topic in the interviews on murder. When all attempts to rescue Miqqualaaq from himself had failed, he was finally killed. The story testifies to the efforts that were made, even in extreme cases, to counsel people and integrate them into the community again.