Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Surprise Story Package

    My brother mailed a package to me this week. I was surprised to get a package from him and I was really curious as to what he was sending me. When I opened the package I found an account book my parents used from 1944 to 1947, some bills from purchases they made and a bunch of letters in envelopes.

     The letters were what really caught my attention. I was teaching Inuit kids in 1967. Apparently I was teaching letter writing and had them write a personal letter to my brother who was about 12 at the time. It was a truly awesome discovery. I'd forgotten that I had done the project so to see letters that students from 1967 had written was like seeing something from another age. I was overwhelmed as I read each letter and remembered the students from that time.

    Kullutu Piturtuut E9-2020 said that he liked school, had three brothers and three sisters,  lived in a small house, that he lived in a beautiful place and liked to play on the hill. All the people there thought it was a beautiful place and indeed it was. It was on the coast and there were cliffs that rose up out of the sea. Our settlement was built where there was a beach. The hill was about 200 m high and had some very steep and cliff like ledges. I remember one of the kids telling me not to walk in one place because I might fall. It was OK for them to walk there but not me! Every time I went out for a walk, I soon had all kinds of company. So Kullutu, Nukaya, Johanisi, Tirisi, Joseph, Maggie, Adami, Qumanquaq and Nuluki took me back to relive a time in 1967.

    Some day I will get a scanner and be able to show you pictures of my experiences.

   The government gave each person a disk number. The E9-2020 was Kullutu's disk number. They were proud of their disk numbers that were used for all business both government and private. The disk numbers were given because the govt. couldn't understand the naming system and had difficulty spelling the names. As an administrator I had a supply of disks and I gave each baby their disk and recorded their birth.This was a disgusting racial discrimination activity as it reduced a person to a number. The numbers were abandoned many years ago.

    Now I have no idea how my brother kept these letters for so many years. I can understand that my Mom would keep them as she was a pack rat. But my brother moved many times so I was really surprised that the letters had survived all the moves. I am also gratified that he thought to send them to me all these 46 years later.

   Now there were other items in the package that will generate stories and they will come out at some time.