Nunavut is Canada's arctic territory. For thousands of years, this region was home only to arctic wildlife and the Inuit people, who were able to navigate the icy tundra, live off the land and flourish in harsh conditions. But over the past few decades, Nunavut has been overflowing with...WHITE PEOPLE?!?! Yup, even in the coldest part of the globe, where there are no malls or indie cafes, you can still find us...
White, in this context, broadly refers to those who recently moved to Nunavut from the southern places, who were flown up for work purposes, and who are not Inuit
Stuff White People in Nunavut like:
#1- TOONIK TYME!!!
This is the ultimate time for White People to flock together and share their love of appropriate cultural activities in their community.
#2- The Legion on a Saturday night
This is the ultimate place for White People to be seen by other White People and to meet new White People. But make sure you are wearing fancy new clothes that you bought online or at the Rideau Centre.
#3- Spending quality time on The Land
Hiking to Sylvia Grinnell Park, or spending a few hours out on the Bay with a big bag of trail mix and a thermos is something every white person here enjoys.
During the summer months you will see White People flocking in droves to the river with rods. Nothing is more satisfying than catching your own dinner after a long, productive day at the office. (Expect to see lots of homemade-sushi photos on Facebook!)
#5- Talking about all their successes
The White people in Nunavut are incredibly talented...or so they say. From bloggers with acting experience who brag about their thousands of followers, to Red Seal chefs with tap dancing levels, to cross-country ski mavens and almost-Olympic-level-ultra-marathoners- yup, White people here are not shy to talk a lot about their impressive resumes. (Though, you have to wonder, if you are really as accomplished as you say...why are you here?)
#6- Being an advocate for Others
The White People of Nunavut seem to know what's best for everyone, especially non-White, indigenous people, who they actively take a stand for. Bless our hearts, we are just trying to ease our White Privilege...if only we really knew what we were talking about!
White People love to be involved in and making a difference for the community. When they are not in their offices or at the gym, you can often find White People at the soup kitchen, waiting to answer calls at the helpline...AND THEN
#8- Doing Yoga!
Yes, of course there is a Yoga Studio here! Duh, White People cannot live without their matching yoga mats and designer, PBA-free water bottles.
#9- Being a board member
If you have lived here for a few months, you are most likely on the board of a non-profit organization that you believe is contributing positively to the community (another bullet point to add on your impressive resume!).
#10- Checking Environment Canada for blizzard warnings
From December-April, you can be sure that every White Person is in their office refreshing that Environment Canada page to see if the visibility has dropped to 0.4km. White People love BLIZZARD WARNINGS!
#11- Talking about who they know
"Oh, dont you know so-and-so?! They have lived here for ___ years and always throw the best parties and is Director of Policy Development! I guess you haven't lived here long enough yet..." -Typical White Person
#12- Picking up lots of packages at the post office
White People don't mind lining up at the post office, especially if it means they will be seen carrying boxes and boxes from Amazon, MEC, Simons, etc. A package slip in the PO Box is symbol of love and success to White People.
Every activity performed by a White Person in Nunavut can and will be documented on Instagram, otherwise it's like it never existed and then what is the point of living here?!?!?!?!
#14- Taking time off
White People love taking long periods of time off from their high-paying jobs to go travelling the world..and talking about Nunavut and sharing the wonders of their arctic "home" while abroad.
#15- Craft Fairs and Country Food markets
The more decked out White People's homes are with traditional artifacts, art works, furs and frozen meats in the freezer, the more they feel like they have integrated into the community and are supporting the local people.
#16- Beginning and ending emails/sentences with Inuktituk salutations but then continuing on in English
Qanuippit, I am hosting a free workshop at the community centre this weekend! -Nakurmiik!
Unnusakkut, there is coffee and donuts in the snack room! -Qujannamiik
I think White People believe that by beginning and ending sentences with Inuktitut words means they are excused from actually learning the language...because let's face it, learning any language but English and French is really hard, takes time, and is won't be useful at an all-inclusive resort.
#17- Nunavut Day!!!*
White People love celebrating this day because it is a Stat Holiday that no other white people in the rest of Canada get off.
*Nunavut Day, celebrated annually on July 9, marks the day that the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act came into legal force. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) is the largest comprehensive claim settlement in Canada. It provides Inuit with financial benefits, along with extensive land ownership, resource royalties, guaranteed wildlife harvesting rights, and participation in wildlife, land-use and environmental decision-making bodies. As required by the NLCA, the Nunavut Act created the territory of Nunavut.
#18- Aeroplan Tickets
Flights to/from Iqaluit from the South are expensive. Booking a coveted roundtrip Aeroplan ticket to Ottawa is an exciting feat for a White Person and they love bragging about it when they score one. (And will spend work time on the phone with an agent checking every available date!)
#19- Getting to visit a community...but only for one day!
White people are dying to see as much of the North as possible and jump at the chance to wrack up overtime by flying to one of Nunavut's more remote communities. All is well and documented on Instagram...until they get stuck there due to weather/mechanical difficulties and have to share a dingy room with a same-sex stranger and eat expensive meals at the co-op for days and days...
#20- The Jerry Cans
White People just love the traditional music of Nunavut as played by this Iqaluit-based band that's a "unique mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat singing, and reggae" and will never miss an opportunity to come out and awkwardly dance to them LIVE. (They really are an awesome band, though!)
As much as they try and go without stuff, and say they don't need stuff, the truth is White People cannot live without stuff, so naturally placing Sealift orders is a very important time in the lives of White People. Many even schedule their vacations around dropping off their purchases at the port and stuff their vehicles to the brim with toilet paper and whatever else they can cram in!
#22- Pot lucks and theme nights
Who needs cocktail bars and fancy restaurants when you can put on your best hipster sweater, make some hummus and be considered cool at this week's hottest potluck!? White People love to host and love the fact that dinner parties, murder mystery nights and gourmet potlucks are fashionable here...mainly because there is no where else to go!
#23- Homemade parkas
If you are still wearing a Canada Goose coat, you are obviously still new here or are not integrating as well as you could be. Many White People not only have traditional parkas they bought at a craft fair, they have actually learned to make their own traditional parkas! White People also take up sewing seal skin mitts and join kamik-making groups. You are a real White Person of the North if you carry your baby in an amauti you made yourself! Well done!
#24- GN Training Weeks
White People love being paid to be away from their desks to gain important insights that will make them more productive at their jobs. How to Deal with Difficult People, Intermediate French classes, and Microsoft Works for Dummies are important workshops that all government employees should take advantage of, regularly.
#25- The Utilidor
White People are not fond of, nor do well with, Waterless Wednesdays. When choosing a house-sit, selecting an apartment or buying a house, access to the Utilidor is a MUST!
#26- Being in Nunavut longer than other white people
White People take pride in how many months have gone by since they stepped, shell-shocked, off the plane. In fact, they are all a little embarrassed by their lack of knowledge of the territory when they first arrived, so they make up for it by feel smug when they meet a fresher-off-the-plane White Person.
White people very quickly realize they will see more of the land if they have a snow machine. White People love purchasing Bravos or weathered machines on Sell/Swap and then getting their trail mix, thermos and friends together to go out on an expedition to the one of the nearby islands for a picnic and to show off their sweet rides.
#28- Forming societies
White People often take their interests to the next level by finding like-minded people and attempting to form a society. Society meetings are often centered around brunch, healthy snacks, making a plan for the future, trying to fill out documentation correctly and write bylaws meaning that only their bffs can join.
#29- Being cliquey
For some reason, White People in Nunavut like to form cliques. It's a mystery sometimes how these cliques form, but if you will know right away if you are not part of one. Ironically, these White Cliques tend to do the same things, but just stand in different locations at the Legion, have wild parties at different houses, and give each other evil looks or ignore one another when ending up in the same taxi, bank machine line, drink line, grocery store aisle, GN training session, board meeting, charter flight, dance floor, movie theatre, post office queue, and Racquet Club workout session.
#30- Being vegan BUT eating country food
Lots of White People in Nunavut tend to have dietary restrictions (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free, etc) but all that will change when it comes to being seen eating traditional country foods like char, seal, caribou and bannock.
#31- Having a friend who is Inuk
Many White People say that (for some reason) it is hard to meet and form friendships withInuit people up here, so naturally they are very proud and excited when they have a friend who is Inuk. This Inuk friend serves as a White Person's community resource, and is someone whose opinion/insight they value and can be referenced to in conversations with other White People, "The Inuit Community believes that.___" or "I know many Inuit feel this waybecause of my friend____". They love it when this Inuk friend shows up at dinner parties and attends other White People events with them.
#32- Calling Nunavut home.
Many White People, even the ones who recently moved here, refer to Nunavut as their home. Maybe it's because they couldn't fit in to wherever they came from, or they couldn't achieve the success they wanted down South...or they just plain love in up here, but for whatever reason, White People are here and here to stay! So keep that Sealift, boxed wine, aquatic centre, theme nights and those cultural events coming! We will pay big money for it!!!
This post was loving written by a privileged White Girl. I apologize for being an annoying White Person.