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13 Mar, 2008

Change of seasons, change of climates

They say Grise Fiord is lacking of water due to the little rain last summer. To compensate for the lack, they cut some ice blocks out of glacier and put it into the water storage tank in the center of the village every day. I have heard this work is going on until July. Meanwhile, they had an extremely great deal of rain in Iqaluit, the capital last summer. That was not seasonal misty rain, but such squelchy rain that they needed an umbrella. (Few people use an umbrella in the usual rain.)

ice cut out of the glacier

Most people answered that it is getting warmer gradually when I asked about change of climate. Frozen over as the sea starts in October every year, this year in November. In May as it is, the temperature is like that of April. They are feeling season come shifted by a month.

a hunter looking into the net to catch seals. No seal was trapped.

The Inuit people have each unique name of the 12 months.
Though this way is different from each area, the people in Nunavut call them like this.

  • March is the month when an early born seal baby is frozen to death.
  • April is when a seal comes out its head of an ice hole.
  • May is when the Inuit people start putting up tents
  • June is when a caribou starts having its baby.
  • July is when the Inuit people come to get bird eggs.
  • August is when a caribou's hair grows.
  • September is when its hair becomes thick.
  • October is when the surface of the sea starts frozen over.
  • November is when the Inuit people can see his or her family, relatives and friends.(Because they can visit his or her family, relatives, or friends in a far distant village with a dog sled over the frozen sea.)
  • December is when it is completely darker than black.
  • January is when Grise Fiord can get back sunshine gradually.
  • February is when the sun comes up.

Anyone said that the glacier could have been seen in the west of the village 20 years ago was much bigger than that now. In addition to this, they said, "It's starting melting." though Grise Fiord has another name, Ausuittuq, which means the place of permanently-frozen glacier.

a village woman who the warming looking scarf made of a wolf fur looks good on.

Noriko Miyashita