[EPUB] ✺ The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic ✿ Melanie McGrath – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic In 1922 An Irish American Adventurer Named Robert Flaherty Made A Film About Inuit Life In The Arctic Nanook Of The North Featured A Mythical Eskimo Hunter Who Lived In An Igloo With His Family In A Frozen Eden Nanook S Story Captured The World S Imagination Thirty Years Later, The Canadian Government Forcibly Relocated Three Dozen Inuit From The East Coast Of Hudson Bay To A Region Of The High Arctic That Was 1,200 Miles Farther North Hailing From A Land Rich In Caribou And Arctic Foxes, Whales And Seals, Pink Saxifrage And Heather, The Inuit S Destination Was Ellesmere Island, An Arid And Desolate Landscape Of Shale And Ice Virtually Devoid Of Life The Most Northerly Landmass On The Planet, Ellesmere Is Blanketed In Darkness For Four Months Of The Year There The Exiles Were Left To Live On Their Own With Little Government Support And Few Provisions.Among This Group Was Josephie Flaherty, The Unrecognized, Half Inuit Son Of Robert Flaherty, Who Never Met His Father In A Narrative Rich With Human Drama And Heartbreak, Melanie McGrath Uses The Story Of Three Generations Of The Flaherty Family The Filmmaker His Illegitimate Son, Josephie And Josephie S Daughters, Mary And Martha To Bring This Extraordinary Tale Of Mistreatment And Deprivation To Life.


10 thoughts on “The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic

  1. says:

    For anyone who imagines, as I did before reading this book, that the forced relocation of indigenous people in North America was something that happened historically but not now, not in our lifetimes The Long Exile is an important wake up call The Inuit whose story McGrath tells here were finally allowed the option to leave their involuntary imprisonment on their reservation my term, not hers or theirs in the most inhospitable lands on Planet Earth other than Antarctica, in wait for i For anyone who imagines, as I did before reading this book, that the forced relocation of indigenous people in North America was something that happened historically but not now, not in our lifetimes The Long Exile is an important wake up call The Inuit whose story McGrath tells here were finally allowed the option to leave their involuntary imprisonment on their reservation my term, not hers or theirs in the most inhospitable lands on Planet Earth other than Antarctica, in wait for it 1993 Yes, 1993.Beautifully and simply written, this essential chapter of North American history wasn t in any history book I d ever read McGrath reveals this history primarily through tracing a single family s experiences That family, tellingly, includes the all but forgotten son of a famous white documentary maker, left behind in the Arctic before his birth to an equally forgotten Inuit mother The family, along with six others, was forcibly moved from their native homeland to a location so near the North Pole as to be almost uninhabitable but the white Canadians who wanted to strengthen their country s claim to their northernmost shores naively and wrongly insisted that the Inuit could thrive anywhere.That action, taken in the early 1950 s, wasn t even partially remedied until the 1993 hearings in which the voices of the Inuit involved were finally heard And, although Canada has set up a fund to provide for the people it harmed through this ill conceived action, the nation has yet to issue a formal apology for the misery and death they caused.The story is heart wrenching, but I m very glad to have read it It seems an important story to know, somehow, despite my certainty that it s not going to be included in any forthcoming history books, either Since her writing s excellent, the descriptions vivid, the characters well drawn, and the action continuous, McGrath s telling makes for good reading, too Visit your library and pick it up You won t regret the time spent in the far North, learning a thing or two from the Inuit there.OST NON FICTION ADULT STK 305.897 MCG


  2. says:

    Absolutely absorbing and beautifully written, this book relates the experiences of a group of Inuit who were relocated by the Canadian government from their community on the Eastern shore of Hudson Bay, to the remotest and most uninhabitable islands in the Arctic Circle in order to bolster Canada s claim on those lands.


  3. says:

    This book made me question some of my most fundamental assumptions about history writing It s powerful and compelling and conveys a lot of important information about the Inuit and their treatment by the Canadian government, which basically tricked forced several families to move from the Ungava peninsula in northern Quebec to Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic, a far less hospitable region where they were lucky to survive the first winter To the decision makers in the south, anything above t This book made me question some of my most fundamental assumptions about history writing It s powerful and compelling and conveys a lot of important information about the Inuit and their treatment by the Canadian government, which basically tricked forced several families to move from the Ungava peninsula in northern Quebec to Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic, a far less hospitable region where they were lucky to survive the first winter To the decision makers in the south, anything above the tree line was basically equivalent it didn t matter that the High Arctic didn t get enough snow to build igloos before the onset of winter, or that the southern Inuit had no experience of the endless night, or that fresh water and even the most basic plant life was scarce It would be convenient to have people living in the farthest reaches of the Arctic to establish Canadian sovereignty there, and the Inuit already lived in the Arctic, and so it was decided Officials told the Inuit that they didn t need to bring much in the way of supplies because they would receive all the help they needed, and also that they could go home after a year if they didn t like it, but of course both of those things turned out to be lies All this in the 1950s.I could go on and on with the horrors a two year old girl is diagnosed with tuberculosis, so she s immediately taken away from her family and sent to a southern sanatorium The parents have no option to accompany her and over the ensuing years they receive zero communication about whether she s still alive At the sanatorium, there s no one who speaks Inuktitut, so the child is just strapped to the bed and left to cry.This was an eye opening book that taught me a huge amount about life in the Arctic Even beyond the political issues, I learned about the terrain and the people and the various techniques and tools of survival.This is also a book that provides almost zero documentation for its claims There are no footnotes or endnotes, not even the hidden endnotes by page number that you often see in popular works There s no real discussion of sources, though the acknowledgements do thank some of the protagonists and their descendants for participating in interviews The bibliography has only sixteen entries.And yet I was surprisingly unbothered by that I appreciated the readability of this work, and I m confident that the core elements are true The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a report on the topic in 1994 there was a ten million dollar settlement in 1996, and an official government apology in 2010 I m sure I could use the report as a starting point if I wantedserious history on the topic, but I don t know that I neededserious history This book opened my eyes to an important topic that was unfamiliar to me, and did so in a way that was enjoyable to read I don t know what it says about me as a historian that I found a lot of value in that


  4. says:

    Heartbreaking and well written My main complaint with this wonderful book is that it lacked endnotes It seems strange for a work of history written in 2006 to only have a partial bibliography, yeah But an important and great read nonetheless definitely worth your while.


  5. says:

    For a people isolated not only by geography, social custom and economic development but also by language, the Inuit have had a remarkable amount of patience with the world changing around them Unlike the other groups of Native Americans, who lashed out in retaliation at the invasive Europeans, the Inuit have always shrugged off the presence of the white men who visit their icelocked worlds After all, they usually left.But over time, that had to change at the hands of abuse Melanie McGrath has For a people isolated not only by geography, social custom and economic development but also by language, the Inuit have had a remarkable amount of patience with the world changing around them Unlike the other groups of Native Americans, who lashed out in retaliation at the invasive Europeans, the Inuit have always shrugged off the presence of the white men who visit their icelocked worlds After all, they usually left.But over time, that had to change at the hands of abuse Melanie McGrath has documented one of the straws that broke the camel s back With meticulous research and loving detail on each of the characters, she has composed a human struggle from court documents and vague letters, throwing a littlelight on the long road these people have walked to be recognized by the government that grew up beneath them.The story follows a group of Inuit from the Ungava peninsula on the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay from the early 19th century through their relocation to barren Ellesmere Island in 1954 up through the struggle for official state recognition at the end of the century At the time, few people knew the Inuit from anything except a box office hit called Nanook of the North, filmed on Ungava by an American named Robert Flaherty, in the years after World War I Even the Canadian government had few rules and regulations that worked with Inuit customs it merely worked around them if it needed to involve them at all.By the 1950s, the outside world had found the furs in the wilds around Inuit settlements useful and had set up trading camps on the coasts of the Hudson Bay Inuit began using guns to hunt instead of the traditional spears and traps, which drastically reduced the animal population to the point of endangerment Inuit men and women partook in excessive amounts of alcohol and had illegitimate children, breaking families and impoverishing individuals to the point of destroying what was left of the traditional culture And still there was no social uprising against the presence of the traders.But when the Canadian government decided to move a group of ten families to remote Ellesmere Island to allow them to live atraditional lifestyle, the outside approach and destruction of ingrained Inuit values became apparent Families were broken, siblings were separated for hunting convenience and communication was sparse For a culture whose very roots depended on family bonds and close village community, moving families without any tie to their former lives was completely against nature.McGrath begins strongly but fades into historical blur as she cities incident after incident, date after date, name after name in a rolling list of wrongs done to this people group In truth, they have been gravely wronged and she has uncovered an incredible story that ended in the formation of the semi autonomous territory of Nunavut, but she changes tone halfway through from literary fiction to nonfiction journalism It s a shame to lose that, because the opening is so human and powerful that it echoes through the rest of the book.McGrath shows a keen eye for detail, but the book could have used an editor Some tracks are tangential and we get away from the main thrust of the story Paring down to just the essentials with the beautiful writing added to the most poignant moments would have slimmed the book to its most important, lasting elements.However, with its faults, the book is still thought provoking For the Inuit, healthcare, social welfare, economics and education were all systematic failures, breaking family units into pieces A culture knitted together by family bonds in an inhospitable frozen desert does not last when it must forget them to be accepted by a government that barely applies to it Perhaps the most important takeaway from the story of the Ungava Inuit, who were unwittingly famous worldwide for Nanook and carvings brought back to major museums, is that we must forsake the most systematic efficiencies when human suffering is at stake Governments should not do the most efficient thing when it damages the people it was originally meant to serve


  6. says:

    This is an excellent book about a terrible topic McGrath takes the first half of the book to set the scene in Inukjuak in the early 20th century, how the Inuit traditionally lived and how they had adapted to the incursion of the whites The second section deals with the forced relocation of Inujuak families to the inhospitable and nearly uninhabitable Ellesmere Island in the 1950s, the lies told to the Inuit by the RCMP and the Arctic government, the near starvation conditions they lived in, an This is an excellent book about a terrible topic McGrath takes the first half of the book to set the scene in Inukjuak in the early 20th century, how the Inuit traditionally lived and how they had adapted to the incursion of the whites The second section deals with the forced relocation of Inujuak families to the inhospitable and nearly uninhabitable Ellesmere Island in the 1950s, the lies told to the Inuit by the RCMP and the Arctic government, the near starvation conditions they lived in, and the eventual human rights hearing they received in the 1990s The descriptions of how they were forced to live on Ellesmere Island were terrifying, but McGrath clearly held back, allowing the chapter about the hearing to express the full horror of the abuses Also throughout the book were moments of terrible irony, such as when Nanook of the North was playing to packed houses and the star was starving to death in a blizzard, or when there was a European exhibit of Inuit art and the most esteemed carver was starving to death on Ellesmere This book was beautifully, and the sections on living in the Arctic were very informative, but it was too painful to call it a truly enjoyable read


  7. says:

    Oh dear Another book which gets me riled Well researched non fiction about the despicable forced movement of Inuit peoples from their homes on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay to the inhospitable northern Ellesmere Island resulting in starvation Political decisions made to ensure that Greenland, USA and any Scandinavian country could not go in and claim the land Justified because the Inuit it was thought, could survive without support, and the government did not want them to become dependent Oh dear Another book which gets me riled Well researched non fiction about the despicable forced movement of Inuit peoples from their homes on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay to the inhospitable northern Ellesmere Island resulting in starvation Political decisions made to ensure that Greenland, USA and any Scandinavian country could not go in and claim the land Justified because the Inuit it was thought, could survive without support, and the government did not want them to become dependent on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police camps and trading posts Unscrupulous traders at the camps swapped alchohol with fox pelts leading to problems with drunkeness But the perpetrators got their just desserts eventually Reparation made and a self governing area, Inuvik, created for Inuits


  8. says:

    Beginning in 1953, and continuing throughout the remainder of that decade, the Government of Canada forcibly removed scores of Inuit some 1,200 miles away from their families and ancestral lands to the harsh, desolate High Arctic McGrath s excellent research, including interviews with survivors and government officials as well as a thorough document review, combines with her strong storytelling skills to tell a grim tale of wanton, unnecessary cruelty conducted in the name of Canadian sovereign Beginning in 1953, and continuing throughout the remainder of that decade, the Government of Canada forcibly removed scores of Inuit some 1,200 miles away from their families and ancestral lands to the harsh, desolate High Arctic McGrath s excellent research, including interviews with survivors and government officials as well as a thorough document review, combines with her strong storytelling skills to tell a grim tale of wanton, unnecessary cruelty conducted in the name of Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic This informative, heartbreaking, and devastating indictment of the Government of Canada, should be required reading for all Canadians, as well as anyone interested in the struggle of indigenous peoples in their dealings with European settlers and or the history of the Arctic


  9. says:

    I loved this book Before reading this book I had just learned that the Inuit people are the same as the Eskimo I felt pretty clueless about these people and also intrigued by them This book is about the relocation of Inuit families by Canadian law enforcement to the high Artic where the environment is essentially uninhabitable Four months out of the year, there is complete and utter darkness This was done to supposedly allow the Inuit to live their traditional lifestyle of living off then l I loved this book Before reading this book I had just learned that the Inuit people are the same as the Eskimo I felt pretty clueless about these people and also intrigued by them This book is about the relocation of Inuit families by Canadian law enforcement to the high Artic where the environment is essentially uninhabitable Four months out of the year, there is complete and utter darkness This was done to supposedly allow the Inuit to live their traditional lifestyle of living off then land, when fur trading was not providing them with enough income This a heartbreaking true story that is simply unforgettable


  10. says:

    This is a compelling book about the Inuit in Canada and their cruel treatment by the government, who relocated them to the northernmost reaches of the land with promises of abundant game, when in reality there was nothing but ice Few survived, and few officials cared or would own up to any responsibility It is a shocking history For me it highlights the arrogance of governments The Inuits were used as political pawns, to inhabit the vast reaches of the arctic in order to claim the land Th This is a compelling book about the Inuit in Canada and their cruel treatment by the government, who relocated them to the northernmost reaches of the land with promises of abundant game, when in reality there was nothing but ice Few survived, and few officials cared or would own up to any responsibility It is a shocking history For me it highlights the arrogance of governments The Inuits were used as political pawns, to inhabit the vast reaches of the arctic in order to claim the land The descriptions of the harsh life the Inuits endured are horrifying Recommended


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