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Ownership and Sharing

Emile Imaruittuq
Let’s say there were several hunters that caught a walrus. The person that first hit it with a bullet or harpoon had the first pick. Then the second person, and anyone after that took meat back to their home depending on when they hit it. The first to harpoon or shoot it would take home the forearms. And the other people that hit it would take the middle section, the stomach and the chest. If there were a lot of people they would have to split this. The last part to be given away was around the flipper area.
Ownership and Sharing

In addition to meaning person, the word Inuk also conveys the meaning owner, inhabitant, and for inanimate objects, spirit. Inuit are the inhabitants of the land they live on. But the notion of ownership of the land differs from a Western perspective. Other people have access to the land to hunt even though they may be strangers. In this chapter, notions of naminiqarniq/piqarniq, "ownership", katujjiqatigiirni, "sharing" and, minararniq/ningiqtarniq, "distribution," are explained by the elders. The moral issues that arose around these concepts evoked other topics such as stealing, tiglingniq, lying, sagluniq, stingy people minnitujuq/tukkuittuq, and finally adoption, tiguarniq, and arranged marriages, piksariiktitausimallutik. The elders discussed these themes with great openness, a point that was very much appreciated by the students. Bernice Kootoo, Myna Ishulutaq and Vera Arnatsiaq conclude in their essay, "We are happy that we had the chance to meet the elders and were able to ask questions. We feel good about the knowledge they were able to pass down to us. We also feel that the elders made us feel comfortable asking questions without belittling us and scolding us for not knowing the answer."