Traditional clothing is worn in each of our communities. Adults and kids can be seen walking around or driving their snowmobile in their amauti or dickie along with others wearing the latest trend in down filled jackets. Wearing sealskin mitts is necessary to protect your hands from the bitter cold winter temperatures.
Community gatherings are an opportunity for people to come together and participate in traditional Inuit games. Inuit traditionally used games to stay in shape and pass time. These games required little to no equipment and athletes relied on their strength and endurance. Elders and youth competed in the same category.
Throat singing is also a common practice by Inuit women. This is a friendly competition between two females to see who can outlast the other. The leader begins with a sound that the follower repeats. The sounds that they make are noises that Inuit hear every day such as animal noises. This continues until someone laughs.
Drumdancing is another popular cultural demonstration in our communities, with a wide age range of performers in Nunatsiavut. Children as young as five years old learn drum dancing. Each drum group is unique and performances vary by group. Some of our drum groups have incorporated music into their dances.
The Moravian Missionaries brought brass instruments with them when they came to Labrador. Interest in brass bands spread quickly within Nunatsiavut. Performances were often held during special events such as Easter and Christmas services, weddings, anniversaries, and 50th birthday celebrations. The practice began to fade but has been revived within the last few years. Watching the brass band perform today is a very moving experience.
Inuit life is still very much centered on harvesting, fishing, and berry picking. There is nothing like going ice fishing on the sea ice on a beautiful sunny spring day in Nunatsiavut!
These are but a few of the many activities you can expect on your visit to Nunatsiavut. We share the Labrador Inuit way of life as a way to continue to celebrate our heritage into the future.
Did you know?
In 2015, the Nain brass band attended an international Moravian music festival in Herrnhut, Germany. It was the first time a Canadian band performed in the Moravian festival.
Our lands are wild and our history is ancient. Our communities live their Inuit culture every day. The night sky is full of shining stars and the northern lights dance over the land below. A perfect stillness fills your ears.
Whether travelling to Nunatsiavut on your own or as part of a group, there are endless opportunities for adventure. What type of experience are you looking for?
What type of experience are you looking to have?
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVENTURE
Cruise the coastline through fjords; view seals, polar bears, and bird colonies with one of several cruise operators (see Cruise Information).
Learn about Inuit history and early interactions with Europeans in the many community museums. Then go and visit the historic sites, visiting tent rings dating back thousands of years and see European buildings still standing from the 18th and 19th centuries (see National Historic Sites).
Hop in a boat and go whale watching and iceberg viewing. Cast a rod into the sea and go fishing for arctic char, trout, and cod while you’re at it.
Hike through the wild lands of Nunatsiavut with an Inuit guide. Spend the day looking for caribou and other wildlife while learning about our communities’ deep respect for the wilderness around them.
Spend the night outdoors camping under the Northern Lights.
Visit in the winter and go dogsledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, and ice-fishing (see Winter).
Spend an afternoon with an elder, listening to stories and picking wild blueberries, cloudberries, or partridgeberries.
Explore the hand-made crafts on display at the craft center, and get a lesson in making sealskin moccasins and gloves, grass woven baskets, and soapstone carvings.
Take in the fun and celebration at a community festival (see Cultural Calendar).
Spend the day relaxing in the complete quiet of the community, enjoying local delicacies like smoked arctic char, and partridgeberry jam.
Take a helicopter ride to explore areas that have never received visitors.