The Trent Inuksuk was welcomed to its newest location at the Warren Garden by Inuk Elder Meeka Kakudlulk. Along the east bank of the Otonabee River and with full view of Bata Library, this location recognizes the inaugural meeting of what would become the Inuit Tapirisat in 1971. The Inuit Tapirisat became the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national organization that protects and advances the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.
To officially welcome the Inuksuk to its new space, Elder Kakudluk lit the qulliq, a traditional oil lamp used for warmth and light by the Inuit, Chukchi, and Yupik peoples.
“It is not often that we see Inuit representation, so I was thrilled to see the Inukshuk, and the Nunavut flag in the Gathering Space when I arrived at Trent,” said Natasha Karpik, Gzowski College and first-year Sociology student. “The Inuksuk ceremony brought Inuit students together to talk in our language, eat country food, and share laughter with an Inuk Elder. It is not often that we see Inuit specific initiatives being organized, so it was very heartwarming to feel included.”
Elder Kakudluk explained the importance of coming together and celebrating milestones, and the hope that more students and elders will be invited as a way for generations to share in community together.
“This was my very first time coming to Peterborough. It was wonderful to meet with the Inuit students and to be outdoors, standing beside the Inuksuk where I was able to share a few words in the language,” Elder Kakudluk said.
The Inuksuk was created by Angaangaq Lyberth, a Kalaallit Inuk from Greenland. Using specially-selected local stone, he built it during his time as a visiting lecturer in 1998. A new plaque in English and Inuktitut was installed at the Inuksuk, and honours Trent University’s longstanding commitment and support of all circumpolar peoples.
Learn more about Sculptures on Campus at Trent.