From the Editor: The Statistics of Sharing
Contaminated Water! Yet Another
Long-standing Debacle in Iqaluit
Searching for the Shelters of Stone
How to Loose a Husky Team
A New Home for the BAS Husky Memorial Bronze Statue
Historical and Climatic Prerequisites of the
Appearance of the Population of Sled Dogs of the
Shoreline of the Chukotka Peninsula
The Sledge Patrol documentary update
Major Virus Issues in Canada’s North and
Canine Parvovirus Infects Inuit Dogs in
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, 1978
A Decade of Service: The Chinook Project’s
2015 Labrador Animal Wellness Clinic
Inuk’s release in North America!
Book Review: Games of Survival: Traditional
Inuit Games for Elementary Students
IMHO: The Presumption of Good Faith
Index: Volume 17, The Fan Hitch
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Games of Survival: Traditional Inuit Games for Elementary Students
by Johnny Issaluk
reviewed by Sue Hamilton
Although prepared for elementary school students, this book is not limited to grade schoolers. Folks of all ages not familiar with traditional Inuit games have something to learn here.
As author Johnny Issaluk explains,
"They came from hundreds of years ago, when Inuit lived in iglus and tents. They played the games so they would be physically strong and mentally healthy enough to survive in the -50 degree weather in which they had to go hunting, catch caribou, and so on."
Games of Survival is well organized. Issaluk begins by categorizing the games into the three "disciplines": agility, strength and endurance. He describes the practical purposes of each and how the every day activities of living and enduring on the land were the inspirations for them. In each section, the games are simply described and accompanied by photographs to demonstrate the techniques.
Games of Survival can be read cover to cover in less than twenty minutes if you linger to savor the text and photos. But the minimal time invested is inversely proportional to the value the book offers – a better understanding and appreciation of the extraordinarily difficult life on the land, as part of the natural world, in a challenging environment. While there is no mention of dogs or dog team travel, even folks who have experienced no more than being a first time passenger behind a team of dogs, whether in a basket sled or a traditional qamutiq, can appreciate the need for agility, strength and endurance required to keep and use a team!
Games of Survival may not be the equivalent of the National Football League's (in the United States) "Play 60" youth exercise program, but for parents of elementary school children (and physically able kids of all ages) everywhere this book will serve to inspire physical activity as well as to teach them about another culture…a double benefit. For the rest of us years beyond the ability to do the head pull, musk ox push or Inuit high kick, this book is exercise for the mind, an opportunity for serious appreciation of the physical effort Inuit exerted in order to persevere.
Games of Survival: Traditional Inuit Games for Elementary Students by Johnny Issaluk, ISBN 978-1-927095-21-8, is another fine offering from Inhabit Media. It is a sixty page, 8" x 10", soft cover, available from online booksellers. List price is $12.95 Canadian.
To see actor, writer, champion arctic games athlete Johnny Issaluk in action performing the Inuit high kick, visit the 2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition.