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Using the Concept of Atiit to Understand Religious Movements of the early Twentieth Century in Inuit Nunangat - Sharon Angnakak

Part of:
5:15 PM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
The Belcher Islands Murders of 1941 in Canadian Inuit history had captured the attention of North Americans who, at the time, reported the event as a “misinterpretation” of Christian scripture, an argument that predicated on the harmful colonial mindset that viewed Inuit as lacking intellect. In our current era, the Belcher Islands Murders are revisited by anthropologists who attempt to understand the event not as a matter of intellect as was once the widespread view, but as an attempt by Inuit shamans to integrate shamanism with Christianity. This paper provides an Inuit-perspective analysis through the Inuit concept of atiit, or names. Through the atiit perspective, the Belcher Islands Murders are the result of a shamanic interpretation of Christianity and not an attempted integration. This perspective contributes to our knowledge of conversion and first contact between Indigenous people and missionaries and provides an alternative view of this historical event.

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