________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 7 . . . . December 1, 2000

cover Welcome to Nunavut.

George Hargrave and Joe Moulins (Directors). Mark Zannis (NFB Producer) and George Hargrave (Producer, Nutaaq Media Inc.).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1999.
43 minutes, VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9199 221.

Subject Headings:
Nunavut (N.W.T.)-History.
Nunavut (N.W.T.)-Social life and customs.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Joanne Peters.

** /4

The territory of Nunavut came into official existence on April 1, 1999. Although the territory has been the traditional land of Inuit peoples, it is just coming into being as a Canadian political entity. Yes, there will be self-government, but in a very different form than that desired by Quebec. How will the territory's citizens respond to its new identity? How will things be different, after April 1, 1999? Will the economy take a new direction? How will traditional culture, continually under siege from North American pop culture, be affected? Six different people - some from indigenous families, and some, "immigrants" from the south, who came for a visit and never left - give their perspective on the event. In one way or another, they are all involved in the celebrations of this melding of politics and culture. Not everyone is optimistic, and it is obvious that more than most places, there are conflicts and old hurts which remain unresolved, at least for the present. But, on April 1, 1999, this all takes a back seat to the official investiture ceremony and the cultural spectacles, of which the preparations are the context of this video.
    Welcome to Nunavut provides an insider's view of a modern historical event; it also reminds us of the ways in which the media shapes our perspectives of current historical events and often skillfully masks underlying conflicts. As a classroom or supplementary resource, Welcome to Nunavut has rather limited use; other NFB videos, such as Journey to Nunavut, provide a much better sense of Nunavut's history, as well as the clash and compromise of northern and southern cultures. Although a quality production, I would recommend previewing before purchase to determine whether it would be useful in a senior high school collection.

Recommended with reservations.

Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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