Saturday, April 29, 2006

New Addition to Native American Indian Salmon Carvings

A new addition was added to the section for Native American Indian Salmon Carvings today. It is another splendid piece by master carver Cody Mathias. There's already a similar piece in the gallery that looks to the right. This new piece looks to the left. If one examines both of them, one can tell that there are slight differences in the details so each piece is indeed original and unique. This is similar to the salmons by Gary Baker. From a distance, they might look alike but if one examines them closely, he does vary them a bit. The new salmon carving by Cody is shown below. To see this one in more detail with other images as well as other salmons, go to Native American Indian Salmon Carvings.

native american indian salmon carvings

Friday, April 28, 2006

New Free eBook on Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art Available


New Free eBook on Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art Available

Montreal, Quebec, Canada - April 28, 2006 -- Free Spirit Gallery, a Montreal based online art gallery specializing in Northwest Native American Indian art, has announced the availability of a new 35 page eBook titled ‘An Overview of Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art’ written by Clint Leung. This information packed eBook or electronic book can be read on the computer screen or printed out in hard copy. One of the best features of this particular eBook is that it is available for download at the Free Spirit Gallery website absolutely free.

In addition to the many color images of wonderful authentic Pacific Northwest Native Indian art found throughout the eBook, there are chapters on the following areas;

- Distinctive elements such as colors, shapes, form and design
- Geographic locations of major Northwest Native Indian groups
- Background of totem poles and tribal masks
- Background on animals such as the Thunderbird, Bear, Eagle, Raven and more
- Telling the difference between real authentic artwork and imitations or fakes
- Tips on buying Pacific Northwest Native Indian art
- Interior decorating with Pacific Northwest Native Indian art
- Profiles on four different Northwest Native master carvers from BC, Canada

Clint Leung, the eBook’s author who created Free Spirit Gallery in 2004 says, “This eBook will hopefully bring more exposure to Pacific Northwest Native Indian art which is one of the most striking forms of aboriginal art I’ve ever seen.” Unfortunately, many artists from the Northwest Native communities have difficult times financially so Leung is doing his part in helping them out with both his eBook and his Free Spirit Gallery website. He hopes to bring some much needed awareness of the aboriginal artwork from the Northwest region to new markets both in North America and internationally. He continues to say, “It would be a real shame for these talented artists to stop doing their art in order to work at other jobs just to make ends meet.”

For additional information, see

About Free Spirit Gallery:

Free Spirit Gallery is an online gallery specializing in Northwest Native American art and Eskimo Inuit art including carvings, sculptures as well as prints. Free Spirit Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of authentic Native Indian art and Eskimo Inuit art as well as free eCards.

Contact Information:

Clint Leung
Free Spirit Gallery


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Are Killer Whales Moving Up Into Arctic Waters?

CBC News:

Are killer whales becoming more common in the icy waters of Hudson Bay? Researchers hope to find out in the summer.

Scientists with Fisheries and Oceans Canada are going to team up with fishermen in Repulse Bay, Nunavut, and Churchill, Man.

They want to confirm observations by local people that there are more of the black-and-white marine mammals, also known as orcas.

"Oh yes, yes, they are," says Michel Akkuardjuk, the chair of the hunters and trappers organization in Repulse Bay.

"We know that they eat narwhals in Repulse Bay when they come up. Some people, they spotted muqtaq [whale skin blubber] floating on the water."

Microphones to track hunting orcas

While killer whales are found in every ocean, there haven't been a lot of studies on the creatures in Hudson Bay.

At the request of the fishermen, scientists will place underwater microphones close to each of the two communities in order to catch the sound of the animals after a hunt.

"We're assuming here that the killer whales are probably trying to catch and eat beluga, narwhal and maybe bowhead whales," said Steven Ferguson, a marine mammal biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"So the evidence from past attacks shows that it's after they've killed another whale that they celebrate and make a lot of noise and things."

In July and August, the fishermen will show the researchers the best spot to place the recording equipment.

The sounds will be analyzed in the fall to get a picture of the number of killer whales and their behaviour.

Global warming may have boosted orca population

Ferguson said climate change may be behind the whale's increasing presence in the bay.

"We've looked at the ice data and we think this may be linked to climate warming," he said. "We're getting less sea ice and longer open ice periods in the summer, and so the killer whales are able to move further into Hudson Bay and areas like that than they have in the past."

This study will coincide with another one that is looking at narwhal numbers in the Repulse area.

To see some excellent carvings of killer whales by Northwest Native Indian art carvers like Gary Baker, see Killer Whale Carvings

More Details in the Record Setting Inuit Sculpture at Waddington's

Here's more details from a CBC report on that record setting Inuit sculpture sold at the recent Waddington's Inuit Art auction.

CBC News:

A piece by famed artist Joe Talirunili sold at auction in Toronto on Monday night for what is believed to be the highest price recorded for an Inuit sculpture.

The Migration, a 30-centimetre wide work in grey soapstone, went for $278,500, more than four times the pre-sale price set by Waddington's auction house.

It was bought by an unidentified Canadian telephone bidder.

"A number of people were involved up to $80,000, and after that [just] the two phone bidders stayed in," said Waddington's president Duncan McLean.

"My understanding is it's the highest price ever paid for an Inuit sculpture," added McLean, an expert on Inuit art.

"We sold a set of Inuit prints a few years ago for about the same price, but that was for a complete set of 34 items from 1959."

The subject of The Migration was a popular one for Talirunili, a Quebec Inuk who died in 1976.

"It is his depiction of an event that happened when he was an infant, when the community he was part of got into trouble and were starving," McLean said.

"To save themselves they jerry-rigged an umiak, a boat, and got back to shore and saved themselves, and this is the story of that adventure."

McLean said Talirunili created as many as 25 or 30 works depicting the incident, but almost all of them showed people in the boat.

"This one is unique because the crew were rabbits, and the two people in the front, I guess it was the captain or whatever, were an owl and a wolf," he said.

"It was very whimsical, and very well done."

The Migration sat on the vendor's coffee table for 40 years, McLean said. The vendor's brother was a Canadian artist who employed Talirunili in his print shop during the 1960s.

McLean had no idea what the piece would have been worth back then, but noted that "it would obviously be a small fraction of what it brought last night."

Of course, there's much more affordable but beautiful Inuit art as well at Free Spirit Gallery.

Totem Pole Finally Returned to Canada

A large totem pole carved in northern BC, Canada during the late 1800s was finally returned to Canada after being in a Swedish museum for about 90 years. This mortuary totem pole was carved by a chief after he lost his children to disease brought on by white settlers. It was chopped down and mysteriously taken without permission by a visiting Swedish consulate who then shipped it back by steamboat back to Sweden. It was put on display at one of the museums there ever since. The Northwest Native groups only found out about this totem pole about 15 years ago and started the long process of negotiations to repatriate it back to British Columbia.

The totem pole finally arrived back to BC this past week and will be displayed in a local museum in Vancouver. As a gesture of appreciation, local Northwest Native carvers from BC carved a replica of the returned totem pole and gave it to the Swedish museum as a gift.

For background information on totem poles, see West Coast Native Totem Poles.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Waddington's Inuit Art Auction a Huge Success

The Spring Inuit art auction held by Waddington's in Toronto recently was another huge success. The highlight of the event was an animal migration piece by Inuit carver Joe Talirunili. This piece featured a boat rowed by eight rabbits, a wolf/dog and an owl. The final selling price was a staggering $240,000 Canadian which is the highest price an Inuit art piece was ever sold at Waddington's and perhaps anywhere in Canada. Waddington's holds Inuit art auctions twice per year in Toronto and deals mainly with older pieces with collector value.

For Inuit art that is more contemporary (and more reasonably priced), see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Polar Bears Feared Heading For Extinction

The news last night reported that due to the effects of global warming, the polar bears living in the Arctic regions may be heading for extinction. Global warming affects the ice flows that the polar bears rely on for hunting seals. Scientists have noticed that polar bears have generally been observed to be smaller than before and instead of usually having 3 or more cubs, the mothers would have only 1 to 2. There have even been polar bears that drowned because of the longer distances they have to swim (as far as 100 kilometres have been reported).

This is really sad news indeed as the polar bears are considered by many to be the rulers and ultimate symbols of the Canadian Arctic. Losing them would be like losing an entire identity not only for Canada but the rest of the world as well. Two activists have planned to trek up to the North Pole as a way to bring attention to this possible disaster as a result of global warming. It is hoped that governments internationally will step up the action in controlling global warming.

Polar bears have generally been the most popular subject in Inuit art sculptures (see Polar Bear Inuit Sculptures). It would be a real shame if someday the Inuit artists had to carve polar bears only as distant memories of a magnificent creature long gone. Let’s hope that they will always be around.

More general information these bears at Arctic Polar Bears.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Canadian Native Indian Group Blocks Toronto Train Service

To show support for their Canadian Native Indian counterparts who are presently occupying a construction site in Caledonia, Ontario, a group of First Nations protesters near Belleville blocked the train tracks this week disrupting Via Rail service between Toronto and Montreal. Six scheduled trains were cancelled and passengers who paid for tickets had to take replacement buses instead. Passengers who usually bought first class service on the Via Rail trains were especially unhappy with the occupation. The Canadian Native Indian group only left the train tracks when they were presented with a court order to leave the premises.

Unfortunately, these issues going back to land claims still exist. Hopefully, a peaceful resolution can be found soon so everyone can go back to what they were doing before including making great Canadian Native Indian artwork.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Inuit Carving and Eskimo Art Featured in Native Peoples Magazine

The May/June 2006 issue of Native Peoples magazine has a section on Inuit carving and Eskimo art. The article is called 'Carving Out a Place in the World: Inuit Art of Canada' and was written by Norman Vorano who is the curator of contemporary INuit art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Canada. The article shows some nice examples of Inuit carvings in full color.

This article will give some nice exposure to Inuit art and is a nice change to see since most coverage of Native art in publications such as Native Peoples tend to be concentrated on Native American Southwest art.

For other great examples of Inuit art, see Inuit Carvings at Free Spirit Gallery.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tensions Over Disputed Canadian First Nations Land Heating Up

Looks like tensions are heating up near Caledonia in Ontario Canada over a piece of land. Developers claim that the land, which is north of Toronto,is owned by them and they plan to build a new development there. The Six Nations reserve however, claimed that the land is theirs and is blocking any development. Canadian First Nations groups from across the country as well as some of their American Native counterparts are converging to Caledonia to show their support and solidarity. Even the Mohawk Nation in Quebec staged a protest to show support as they tied up traffic on the Mercier bridge near Montreal for 30 minutes.

On a brighter note, see beautiful Canadian First Nations Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Video Clip of Inuit Pipe from the Canadian Arctic

Here's a short video on an Inuit pipe from the Canadian Arctic. Give it a few minutes to load. It's a piece that is in the National Museum in Ottawa, Canada as part of the many Inuit artifacts displayed there. The video of the Inuit pipe was shot in 1979 and was recently digitalized with current technology to make it available for online viewing. Enjoy.

See Inuit Pipe Video

To see current artwork from the Canadian Arctic north, see Inuit Art.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rare Igloo Inuit Carving - Eskimo Sculpture with Detachable Top

The Inuit carving to be highlighted today is a very rare Eskimo sculpture of an igloo that features a detachable top. It was carved by Gordon Riffi of Kugluktuk, Nunavut. Once the top is removed, the inside of the igloo is revealed showing an Inuit hunter with a seal he caught along with some bowls. Inuit carvings like this are extremely hard to come by as only a select group of carvers tend to do this type of carving. Kugluktuk is quite remote, even by Nunavut standards. For more details and images on this wonderful piece, see Igloo Inuit Carving. For other Inuit carvings (Eskimo sculptures) see Free Spirit Gallery.

igloo inuit carving eskimo sculpture

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wild Man and Wild Woman of Canadian First Nations Art

Two of the more interesting characters from the Northwest coast Canadian First Nations art world include the Wild Man and the Wild Woman of the woods. These two are often portrayed in very dramatic looking masks carved by Northwest coast Canadian First Nations artists.

The Wild Man of the woods from Canadian First Nations art is called Bak’was and is a small human-like creature who lives in the forest. He has deep round eyes that are sunken into his sockets and brows that jut out forward. His cheeks are hollow, his mouth is often grimacing and his nose appears like a hooked beak. It is said that the Wild Man can sometimes be seen early in the morning on the beach collecting cockles which are a type of mollusk as his food. The Wild Man is also considered the chief of ghosts and spirits of people who drowned are often hovering near him. Humans must beware of the Wild Man tempting others to join him for a meal. If one eats some of the Wild Man’s food, one will turn into a being just like him.

[to see the rest of this article including background on the Wild Woman of the woods, see The Wild Man and Wild Woman of Canadian First Nations Art]

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Arctic Outfitters for Fishing and Hunting Sportsmen

The Arctic region of Quebec in Canada (Nunavik) has some of the most impressive fishing and hunting for sportsmen. The area is abundant with Arctic char fish as well as caribou. These game have been hunted by the Inuit for generations and today, there are outfitters either owned by Inuit and/or employ Inuit guides for fishing as well as hunting expeditions. One informative website to find more information and Arctic region (Nunavik) outfitters is which is the Quebec Outfitters Federation.

Free Spirit Gallery occasionally has nice Inuit carvings of Arctic char fish made by the Inuit in Nunavik. Walrus Inuit carvings are usually outfitted with tusks made of caribou antler.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Native Americans and Canadian First Nations Summit

Representatives from the Native Canadian and Native American aboriginal peoples, governments and law enforcement officials recently discussed cross-border security and management issues. "The Canada-U.S. border is not the creation of the First Peoples of this land," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine. "Historically, our people moved freely throughout our territory and across what is now the border. We recognize that border security is a key concern for all North Americans, and this summit is an opportunity to find ways to address those concerns while ensuring that the rights of First Nations on both sides of the border are respected and protected." The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe hosted the gathering. Akwesasne straddles the Canadian-US border in Ontario, Quebec, and the state of New York.

For artwork from the Native American and Canadian First Nations people, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Free Inuit Art and Native American Art eCards Images Pictures

There's always free eCards with beautiful images and pictures of Inuit art as well as Northwest Native American art available at Free Spirit Gallery to share with your friends online. Use these Inuit art and Northwest Native American art eCards to send special messages to anybody in the world. There's a choice of 19 different eCards to choose from. Use any one or all of them to send unlimited number of messages.

inuit art ecard images pictures inuit art ecard images pictures

native american art ecard images pictures

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Canadian Native First Nations Hockey Player Scored 50

The Canadian First Nations youth now have a new reason to be proud as one of their own people have made a pro sports milestone. Jonathan Cheechoo of the NHL San Jose Sharks scored over 50 goals this season. Cheechoo is a Canadian Nations from a very small isolated Cree village just south of James Bay in Ontario. His village Moose Factory was actually on an island and he had to take a snowmobile across the frozen waters to get to hockey sessions when he was younger. He was recently awarded with a five year multi-million dollar contract with the Sharks. When the Sharks were in Vancouver recently, a group of Canadian First Nations kids from BC attended the team's practice session and presented Cheechoo with a flag of their tribe.

For a glimpse at Canadian First Nations art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Another Canadian Aboriginal Language Threatened

Another Canadian aboriginal language is being threatened with extinction as fewer than 1,000 speakers in the world speak Michif. Métis people have struggled for years to protect their language. To make matters worse, Canada's multi-million dollar Aboriginal Languages Initiative, which provide funds to save Canada's dying languages, may end. “We all expected (the program) to continue, and now it’s uncertain,” said Bruce Dumont, the Métis Nation minister of culture and heritage. “We ... are at a crossroads with a new government that is far from clear in their stance (on Aboriginal language preservation).”

Michif is a complicated blend of French and Cree, with many regional dialects that are different from one another. “Most people speaking it didn’t even realize it was its own language,” said Michif language coordinator Carey Calder. “They assumed many of the words were very old French, when in fact they were very old Cree.” Canada is home to many Metis, with a large population around Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Metis became their own culture as 18th-19th century French fur traders married local Canadian Aboriginal women. Today, CD-ROMs and interactive websites teach Michif to youngsters and a web radio station plays Métis music and language all over the world.

For more on culture, see Canadian Aboriginal Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hunters in Yukon Fail to Reach Bison Quota

CBC News

Yukon hunters gunning for the territory's wily wood bison have failed to meet their quotas again for the eighth year in a row, raising concerns the herd is getting too big.

Only 68 bison were taken during last winter's hunting season, out of more than 200 permits issued.

Yukon territorial government biologists are now concerned the herd is growing so big, it could start to hurt the survival of other large mammals living in the area.

Bison were introduced to the territory about 20 years ago, and have thrived without any local predators. Officials wanted to cap the herd at about 500 animals, but now are hearing estimates there could be as many as 1,200.

"Some people think that there's a lot of them and then there are other hunters who went out there this year who think there are not a lot," says Tom Jung, a biologist with Environment Yukon.

"They are pretty hard to find. We do think there is somewhere over 500 animals out there. How many over 500 is really hard to pin down until we get a good census done."

Jung says the annual harvest does help slow the growth of the herd, but not by enough, especially when annual harvest targets have never been met.

Jung says the herd has expanded its range, from where it was introduced at Kluane Lake in southwest Yukon as far east as Carmacks in the centre of the territory. That's complicated efforts to monitor the animals, which can use habitat from the hilltops to valley bottoms, says Jung.

More worrisome, Jung says they know little about the impact bison have on moose and caribou in the central Yukon.

A proper bison census is planned for summer but Jung says they may have to expand next years' hunt to cut back herd numbers.

Another large animal that the Inuit of Canada's Arctic regions are more familiar with is the muskox. The muskox is also used as a subject in their Inuit art. For examples, see Muskox Inuit Sculptures

Canadian First Nations Schools Will Not Release Test Scores

Canadian First Nations aboriginal schools cite "cultural insensitivity" as the reason for not releasing scores from the province of Alberta's 2005 Grades 3 and 6 achievement tests. Mel Buffalo, head of the Indian Association of Alberta, said test results would enforce stereotypes about Canadian aboriginals without providing context. "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what the result is going to be." He said aboriginal curriculum must be developed based on Canadian First Nations' cultural and spiritual traditions. "The point is that we have a lot of people who maybe are not within the normal curve because of the cultural appropriateness of the test," Buffalo said. With aboriginal youth truancy and crimes rising in Canada, Canadian aboriginal leaders hope a curriculum sensitive to the Canadian aboriginal lifestyle will help them turn the tide.

For some aboriginal culture, see Canadian Aboriginal Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Set of Pacific Northwest Native American Art Prints Arriving Soon

Free Spirit Gallery has secured a new set of beautiful Pacific Northwest Native American art prints and they are on their way from Vancouver to Montreal. Some images of these prints are already on the website for those of you who wish to have some advance viewing. See the Pacific Northwest Native American Art Prints page. These prints are expected to arrive at Free Spirit Gallery by the end of April. The announcement of their arrival of course will be made here at this Inuit & Native Art Bulletin.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Canadian First Nations Women Protest Against Land Development

Recently, a group of Canadian First Nations women from the Six Nation clan in Ontario locked arms with more than 100 other Canadian Native women to protest the building of a subdivision near Caledonia. The Native women described their actions as a "land reclamation." Despite an Ontario judge's order to arrest them, the women stood their ground. Droves of supporters from Canada and the United States stood in support as the arrest deadline arrived, then passed with no one going to jail. The Canadian First Nations women later issued a statement to project developers, government authorities, and "Her Majesty the Queen." The statement said developers have no business on the disputed land. "Therefore, we the clan mothers command the agents, representatives and officers of the said British corporation to be at peace and refrain from any acts of violence to spill blood or interfere with the rights of the Onkwe'hon:we’ (the aboriginal people)," they wrote. The message was signed "Clan Mothers." Henco Industries Limited, the developers, stated they have legal title to the land, and that no one had protested during the past three years when housing development was being planned.

On a more pleasant note, see Canadian First Nations Artwork at Free Spirit Gallery for some wonderful images of Canadian Native Art.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Orders for Inuit Art and Canadian Native Indian Art can be Phoned In

Just as a reminder to all interested in ordering Inuit art or Canadian Native Indian art from Free Spirit Gallery, in addition to using the secure online shopping cart system, you can also phone in your orders with the toll-free telephone line or by fax. We recognize that some customers may not be comfortable with transmitting credit card information over the internet so we have provided the other options for you. To order through the secure online system, on any page with an Inuit art or Canadian Native Indian art item, simply click on the 'Buy Now' inside the gray box that contains the pricing information near the top of each page. For complete details on all ordering options, see How To Order Inuit Art and Canadian Native Indian Art.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

New Articles Section on Travel Destinations in Canada

Free Spirit Gallery has added to its website a new articles section on travel destinations in Canada. Recognizing that fans of Inuit art and Northwest Native Indian art will likely be interested in Canadian tourism as well, travel articles have been developed for the website.

So far, there are articles on Nunavut, Banff/Lake Louise, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Quebec City and Vancouver. See these very informative articles at Travel Destinations in Canada.

Of course, to see the wonderful Canadian aboriginal art from this country, see the Free Spirit Gallery website.

Change in Inuit Art Foundation - Inuit Art Quarterly

There has been a change in the Inuit Art Foundation. Long time Managing Editor Sheila Sturk-Green, who was also in charge of advertising sales for the Inuit Art Foundation's Inuit Art Quarterly magazine, has left for other interests. The Inuit Art Foundation is based in Ottawa, Canada and is a non-profit organization that promotes Inuit art and culture. The Inuit Art Quarterly is published four times per year and is available on subscription - see

For more information on Inuit art, see Free Spirit Gallery's extensive articles section - Inuit Art Information Articles.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Narwhal Tusks Sold for $30,000 US

At the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show in New York last October, Hyland Granby of Massachusetts sold an extremely rare matched pair of narwhal tusks measuring 78 ¼ inches each for about $30,000 US. The tusks are found only in male narwhal whales who live up in the Arctic Ocean where the Inuit hunt them.

The Inuit also make splendid art carvings of narwhals complete with tusks made of caribou antler. An example can be seen at Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art at their whale sculptures section.

Narwhal Tusks Sold for $30,000 US

At the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show in New York last October, Hyland Granby of Massachusetts sold an extremely rare matched pair of narwhal tusks measuring 78 ¼ inches each for about $30,000 US. The tusks are found only in male narwhal whales who live up in the Arctic Ocean where the Inuit hunt them.

The Inuit also make splendid art carvings of narwhals complete with tusks made of caribou antler. An example can be seen at Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art at their whale sculptures section.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Earthquakes in Canadian Arctic

March 31, 2006

Global warming means more earth tremors in polar regions


Puvirnituq residents were terrified by a small earthquake that struck their community last Wednesday at about 5 p.m., creating an explosive noise that sent people running outside their homes.

There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

Four or five quakes of similar intensity strike eastern Canada each year, although scientists now say earthquakes are on the rise in some areas of the Arctic, and that some of these may be associated with global warming.

The recent increase in the number of “glacial earthquakes” supports the idea that Greenland’s glaciers and its ice sheet are melting.

Glacial earthquakes occur as enormous ice-sheets melt away, so that the weight on the land is removed and the ground rises. When certain areas rise faster than others, the difference causes tearing and grinding deep in the ground, triggering earthquakes.

The annual number of glacial earthquakes recorded in Greenland is rising, says a study, published March 24 in the journal Science.

From 1993 to 2002, there were between six and 15 a year, but in 2003, earthquake scientists — or seismologists — recorded 20 glacial earthquakes. In 2004, they recorded 24; and, for the first 10 months of 2005, they recorded 32.

The seismologists also found that glacial earthquakes occurred mainly in summer months, which suggests these movements are associated with rapidly melting ice. Normal earthquakes occur at all times of the year.

Nunavut and Nunavik are already among the most earthquake-prone zones in Canada. According to data gathered by the Geological Survey of Canada, the northeast coast of Baffin Island and the High Arctic islands have a particularly high incidence of earthquakes.

Over the past 80 years, nearly 2,000 earthquakes have been recorded in Nunavut. Over the past 10 years, there have been on the average about 40 earthquakes per year in the territory.

Most are minor, and fall below magnitude 4.0 on the Richter Scale, which is used to measure the intensity of earthquakes. These light earthquakes may make a low rumbling noise, but they produce little movement of the ground.

Over the past month, there have been earthquakes recorded in Repulse Bay, Chesterfield Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Resolute Bay, Kugaaruk, Arctic Bay and Clyde River. The most powerful registered 3.3 on the Richter scale and occurred on Feb. 26 near Pond Inlet.

On Nov. 20, 1933, a monster earthquake ripped through the sea-floor of Baffin Bay, not far offshore from Pond Inlet. Seismologists believe its magnitude measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. A quake that powerful can hurl people to the ground, shake buildings apart, set off landslides and trigger giant tidal waves.

In 1989, on Nunavik’s Ungava Peninsula, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake tore open the tundra and shook up surrounding communities. The earthquake shattered stone, partially drained one lake, and created a new lake where none had previously existed.

Last week’s earthquake in Puvirnituq registered at 4.0.

For artwork from the Canadian Arctic region including Nunavut and Nunavik, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Arctic Art.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Desire to Learn their Canadian Native Culture

Erin Webkamigad, a young Canadian First Nations in Ontario can't speak fluent Ojibwa, the native language of her older relatives but it's something she wants to learn. "In order to know where you're going, you have to know where you come from," said the 20-year-old University of Guelph student. Webkamigad's father and his siblings were among thousands of young aboriginals forced to attend Canadian residential schools where native languages, traditions, and cultures were discouraged. To this day, she and her four brothers and sisters are feeling the effects. "We're just now learning our language, picking up the pieces," she said. "My dad communicates fluently with his siblings in Ojibwa ... it's the passing it on we're working on." Passing on traditional knowledge is the key to survival for Canadian aboriginal culture, said Wendy Stewart from Anishnabeg Outreach Centre. "There's a need in this community to bridge the gap between elders and youth," she said. "Our elders carry that traditional knowledge, and our youth have become urbanized. Without that communication, there's nobody to carry (the traditions) in the future." The outreach centre is offering Elders and Youth conferences, workshops, and counseling sessions. Webkamigad and other university students are sharing their experiences in panel discussions. Webkamigad says it's another opportunity to meet and learn from the community members.

Previous posts reported similar stories with young aboriginals from tribes in the Northwest and also Arctic regions. So it appears that this need to learn traditional culture among native youths all around North America is growing.

For some articles on Canadian First Nations art, see Canadian Native Art at the Free Spirit Gallery website.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Inuit Request for higher Narwhal Whale Hunt Quota Denied

CBC News

The Nunavut community of Repulse Bay has been denied a 50 per cent increase in its quota for hunting narwhal.

The community's request to increase its quota was turned down Thursday by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. The Board says it is not satisfied hunters in the community have a good enough reason for a substantial increase.

The Arviq Hunters and Trappers Organization wrote a letter in December to Fisheries and Oceans Canada asking for the increase. The hunters want the existing allowable harvest to go from 72 whales to 108.

The HTO says the community, located 880 kilometres west of Iqaluit, is growing, and the 72 they are allowed to harvest are not enough to go around.

But Fisheries and Oceans recommended the request be denied, and the Management Board agreed.

Fisheries spokesperson Stefan Romberg says the northwestern Hudson Bay stock is estimated between 3,500 and 4,000 whales, based on aerial surveys taken in 2000. Scientists predicted the narwhal population would be at risk within 10 years if a higher quota was allowed.

"Thereby the recommendation from DFO was that the increase of the quota of this much would show a decline in the population in that area and that's why the advice came through [to reject the increase]."

According to Fisheries data, last year close to 100 narwhal were actually killed in Repulse Bay. Because of the difficulty of marine hunting, many carcasses were not recovered by the hunters.

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement gives priority to the rights of Inuit to hunt. The organization that oversees its implementation, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., wants to establish a better process with the NWMB.

NTI wants the land claims agreement given more weight when determining quotas and requests for increases.

To see Inuit art carvings of narwhals, see the Inuit whale sculptures section of Free Spirit Gallery

Authenticity of Inuit Eskimo Art and Native American Indian Art Available in German

The last post was in German and basically announced that the article on Authenticity of Eskimo Inuit art and Native American art is available in German now as well as the original English. The article will help educate German speaking Europeans about the aspects of authentic Inuit art and Native American art compared to cheaper reproductions or fakes. This article has examples of both imitation Inuit art as well as Native American art reproductions. This specific article was also translated into Japanese as well. This article is one of the many informative articles at the Free Spirit Gallery website.

To view any of the article versions, click below;

Authenticity of Eskimo Inuit Art and Native American Art - English version

Authenticity of Eskimo Inuit Art and Native American Art - German version

Authenticity of Eskimo Inuit Art and Native American Art - Japanese version