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Piquhiit, ikpiginirq, Inuit ilikuhitugangi nunalikni: Governance and the feelings for place in an Inuit normative system - Sean Robertson, Katherina Qirngnuq & Tom Kayaitok

Part of:
3:30 PM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Break   04:00 PM to 04:15 PM (15 minutes)
In order to denaturalize state law and promote Indigenous normative systems, it is important to reconceptualize embodiment and the role of emotions in the law. The idea of the law as autonomous from society has been interrogated by scholars. Instead, the body may be understood as a site for the materialization of law as well as its undoing. The idea of law as a wholly rational process has also been questioned. The ethical decision-making at the centre of legal thinking is sometimes seen to be supported by emotions. From a social constructionist lens, scholars further draw attention to the co-production of norms and feelings, and the latter may be understood as social and partly informed by the environment. This paper illustrates these reconceptualizations through a case study (2014-present) about piquhiit (rules) and self-determination with the Inuit community of Kugaaruk, Nunavut, Canada. After introducing select examples of piquhiit, we explore the refusal by the Arviligjuaqmiut of a government proposal for the relocation of their community in the late 1960s. We frame it as Inuit ilikuhitugangi nunalikni, or community-level Inuit governance. We also discuss the linkages between piquhiit and ikpiginirq (feeling), noting how feelings for the land and other factors led to the decision to stay put.
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