People & Culture

Passing the Mic, Part 3 — A foot in two worlds

Episode 55

Inuit Knowledge Keeper George Angohiatok shares stories from his unique childhood and his life mission of teaching the skills and traditions he learned from his family to younger generations 

  • Published Mar 15, 2023
  • Updated Mar 20
Inuit Knowledge Keeper George Angohiatok speaks about his experience growing up among the last Inuit people to live a fully traditional, nomadic life in the Canadian Arctic. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Canadian Geographic)
Expand Image
Inuit Knowledge Keeper George Angohiatok (left) and Explore Podcast host David McGuffin. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Canadian Geographic)
Expand Image

George Angohiatok grew up among the last Inuit to live a fully traditional, nomadic life in the Canadian Arctic. As a child in Nunavut in the 1950s and 60s, he lived with his parents, siblings and grandparents on the land, seal hunting on sea ice in the winters, and returning to land to hunt game and fish in the warmer months. That all came to an end when George was sent to residential school, and his family was forced by the government to settle in the community of Cambridge Bay. Those days on the land deeply shaped who George is today, and at 67, his mission in life is to teach the skills and traditions he learned from his parents and grandparents to a younger generation by taking Inuit youth hunting and teaching them survival skills in what can be a harsh environment.

In this episode, George shares some incredible tales from that unique childhood and stories his grandparents passed on to him. I hope you enjoy listening to this interview as much as I enjoyed talking with him. He is both a powerful and gentle human being, who has done as much as anyone living to keep Inuit culture vibrant. And here’s a little aside George shared with me about surviving an Arctic winter: he says, “Fifty percent of it is staying out of the wind.”

And a big thank you to everyone who took part in and donated to the RCGS Polar Plunge, in support of this podcast. With Polar Plunges in the Pacific Ocean, Lake Okanagan, Cambridge Bay, Canmore, Toronto, Gatineau Park and the St. Lawrence River, we raised an incredible $30,000 to keep Explore going for another season. Thank you! 

Advertisement

Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

People & Culture

With old traditions and new tech, young Inuit chart their changing landscape

For generations, hunting, and the deep connection to the land it creates, has been a mainstay of Inuit culture. As the coastline changes rapidly—reshaping the marine landscape and jeopardizing the hunt—Inuit youth are charting ways to preserve the hunt, and their identity. 

  • 5346 words
  • 22 minutes

People & Culture

Passing the Mic, Part 1 — The Canadian High Arctic Research Station

Episode 54

Join podcast host David McGuffin in the first of three episodes exploring Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut and the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station. In this episode: Arctic research, the blending of traditional Inuit knowledge with Western science, and more.

  • 31 minutes

People & Culture

Kahkiihtwaam ee-pee-kiiweehtataahk: Bringing it back home again

The story of how a critically endangered Indigenous language can be saved

  • 6310 words
  • 26 minutes

People & Culture

Passing the Mic, Part 1 — Nunavut’s viral TikTok Mayor Lenny Aqigiaq Panigayak

Episode 75

In the first of three episodes from Taloyoak, podcast host David McGuffin speaks with Mayor Lenny Panigayak, who shares stories about embracing traditional Inuit life, his social media platform, being out on the land and more

  • 21 minutes