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Tukitaaqtuq (explain to one another, receive explanation from the past) and The Eskimo Identification Canada system Open Access


Other title
Eskimo Identication Canada system
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dunning, Norma J.
Supervisor and department
Dr Nathalie Kermoal (Faculty of Native Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Dr Brendan Hokowhitu, Dean of Native Studies
Dr Sourayan Moorjeekea Sociology
Faculty of Native Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
The government of Canada initiated, implemented, and officially maintained the ‘Eskimo Identification Canada’ system from 1941-1971. With the exception of the Labrador Inuit, who formed the Labrador Treaty of 1765 in what is now called, NunatuKavat, all other Canadian Inuit peoples were issued a leather-like necklace with a numbered fibre-cloth disk. These stringed identifiers attempted to replace Inuit names, tradition, individuality, and indigenous distinctiveness. This was the Canadian governments’ attempt to exert a form of state surveillance and its official authority, over its own Inuit citizenry. The Eskimo Identification Canada system, E-number, or disk system eventually became entrenched within Inuit society, and in time it became a form of identification amongst the Inuit themselves. What has never been examined by an Inuk researcher, or student is the long-lasting affect these numbered disks had upon the Inuit, and the continued impact into present-day, of this type of state-operated system. The Inuit voice has not been heard or examined. This research focuses exclusively on the disk system itself and brings forward the voices of four disk system survivors, giving voice to those who have been silenced for far too long.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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