My name is Miak (also spelled Miaq). I am 11 years old. I live in Nunavut, in northernmost Canada, with my younger brother, Suhe, who is nine, and our parents. It's just the four of us ... oh, yeah, and our dogs, too. We have at least twenty of them.
Where we live it is almost always cold or snowy: in fact, it is cold for at least nine months out of the year: we do get warm weather, but it is only for a few short months (usually from May to August; then it starts getting cold again and the first flakes of snow start flying by September sometime).
We are Inuit. Native Canadians. In our language, the word "Inuit" means "The People", and that is what we want others to call us. We hate the word "Eskimo": it's an insult and we just might go after you with our spears, harpoons, and whatnot if you dare call that ugly word to our faces.
We speak Inutpiat, which is our language, as well as English and French. In town or at school we speak English; any other time, we speak Inutpiat, which is our mother tongue.
When not in school, I like to help Father with the hunting and setting the traps or helping with the dogs, harnassing them to our sled, which is our main mode of transportation (we also walk or use the snowmobile). We go hunting for seal, narwhal, or beluga (or any other type of whale) during the winter; it's how we feed our family and our village. On a good day we can have food to last us throughout the entire season; if not, then we go to the store in town to get our food, but it's very expensive; we would much rather hunt.
Mother does the chores: cooking, cleaning, sewing, taking care of my niece, Taniq, who is only two and is always underfoot. She lives with us because her mother has been sick and is in hospital with tuberculosis or something; she has something wrong with her lungs. Eventually Taniq may go back with her mother, but for now she stays with us.
I play with my brother and help Father and Grandfather or go hunting. That is my life, day in and day out, although, sometimes, I like to sneak a look at the northern lights which dance in our skies, especially during this time of year or in the spring, before the warmer weather settles in.
I get along with Suhe very well. He and I are so close we are almsot like best friends. Sometimes we fight, but it is a rare thing, which pleases Mother and Father to no end. If anything were to happen to him, I don't know what I would do. I would probably cry for the rest of my days.
Well, I am at school as I write this and it's nearly time for English to be over. My next class is Inutpiat and then Math. Then it's lunch, and after that, it's French, Gym, Science, History, and Art. Then I go home.
I will write in here again soon; there is more of my story to tell. Until then, may the Great Spirits bless you and have a good day!
~Miak Y. Ugliamakaqiak.