30 January 2007-Fairbanks
Some of the school classes have already gotten their maps and flags. We forgot to explain about the symbols on the flags. The flag for Nunavut is particularly interesting. The red symbol in the center is an inuksuk, truly an icon for the Barrenlands. Here is some information about Inuksuk (written by Dave Anersen):
Inuksuk (pronounced IN-OOK-SHOOK)
Kids who live in Nunavut, Canada will know what an inuksuk is. Kids who live in other parts of Canada or the United States have probably never heard this word.
An inuksuk is a landmark made out of stones. The Inuit people who live and travel in the barrenland country of Arctic Canada have built these stone markers for thousands of years to show travel routes, indicate direction and distance, or to identify important hunting or gathering places. The word inuksuk is an Inuit language word that means “to look like a person” and many innuksuit (plural: IN-OOK-SOO-EET) are built to look like human figures. For families and hunters traveling in this barren Arctic landscape long ago, an inuksuk was a comforting sign that said “people have passed here before” or “you are on the right trail.” Even today, people traveling out on the land will see a familiar inuksuk on a hilltop and know exactly where they are and which way to go. As the expedition goes farther and farther east they may see Inuksuit out on the land. In some remote corners of the barrenlands these markers may be hundreds of years old. The inuksuk is deeply rooted in Inuit culture and has become a symbol of safety, hope, and friendship. When the people of Nunavut were designing their new flag they chose the symbol of an inuksuk to “guide them into the future”.