Icelandic visitors

Yesterday when David Audlakiak was here, he asked Ari about his home Iceland but he was really asking about Greenland. David feels that since Greenland has had homerule for twenty years it has made progress to resolving problems that could help Inuit here. Ari agreed. He said that for problems like alcoholism, the Greenlanders do not focus on the older people. They focus on the young. In the earliest years children are taught about the social and physical harm alcohol causes. David was very interested. He thought that the municipal representatives here should be travelling to Greenland to learn from them. Ari suggested that he write to his MLA’s and encourage them to go.

As David Audlakiak came into the dining room and looked around at the brightly lit rooms and the tastefully decorated furnishings, he commented on how much the place had changed.  He had been in the House many years ago.

I invited him to sit in the living room. As he sat down and looked around he commented with humour, “No wonder we have problems! We have seven churches and a Road to Nowhere!”

Ari and I listened as he spoke from his heart about his concerns for his people. He felt that these churches, the social workers, those from the south, all brought solutions for the south. Their solutions didn’t work here. They would try but after about a year, they realized it wouldn’t work. He longed for solutions that started from here. He recognised that the elders have been intimidated into silence. He feels they have been the object of elder abuse, beaten by family members too drunk to know what they are doing. The elders have been told too often that their knowledge is of no use today. David Audlakiak doesn’t believe that. David Audlakiak  was there at the NAC Interviewing the Elders week. He remembered going out camping with his father. His father had enough legends to last a two week hunting trip.

At one point he looked around the room again as if he were seeing something in it for the first time. “This place is good for our young people. They should be coming here. Our young people should know about this place. This place is free of violence.”

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