||[Aug. 6th, 2004|10:51 am]
Now things are finally beginning! We have been imagining this moment for a long time. The longing to meet all of you must be how geese are drawn to migrate together. We have gathered because we have something to do together. You can sense it in the air.
Who are we exactly? We are tauqsiijiit - the people who exchange objects and ideas. What does that mean? We are wanderers meeting together to share our experiences. Together, we are a meteorite whipping across the universe, our ancestors fueling our flight. We are indigenous youth with cameras and microphones in our hands. We have emerged from a landscape of water, rocks, skyscrapers, highways, wire, sound waves, pixels and images. We are going to use technologies of all kinds to look at our identities - what it means to be you, to be me, and if it is possible to create an "us" out of these crazy fantastic combinations of lives. What is Inuit culture? What does it mean to be a youth? What will we give our children?
When we figured out that we are using the word tauqsiijiit to describe ourselves, we were told that when old Inuit heard this word, they understood it to mean that people would share objects and ideas equally. If one person had a secret to share, then another person would share a secret in return. That means that we have come here to the Art Gallery Ontario on equal footing - we are all going to give and share just as much as the others. We need to respect one another and realize that we all have the capacity to share. Within each other you is a special spirit. You are here because you are strong means to you. Assert yourself, push yourself to learn yourself to learn and help what your culture means to you. Assert yourself, push yourself to learn and help others, but most of all have fun! It is not worth it if you are not enjoying yourself. As my mother always told me, boredom is your own fault - only you can do something about it. We are all crazy and it is so exciting to be around each other!
While you are here, you may feel that there are parts of yourself you do not want opened. This is fine. You are autonomous person and no one can force you to do things you do not feel comfortable doing. As young people, we are all involved in a search for our limits. It is healthy to experiment, test boundaries and simply explore. But be sure of yourself - only go where you want to go and do not let yourself be forced by someone else. This does not necessarily happen only in scary scenarios (the sex, drugs and alcohol situations everyone usually talks about) - it can be as mundane as a stranger asking you a question you feel is out of place. The philosophy of Tauqsiijiit is of reciprocity - of people giving and taking on an equal basis. Make sure people all around you - both within our group and outside of it - share themselves equally with you. We are all human beings together. One can only garner respect by giving it first.
I'm so happy everyone is finally here. Tungasugitsi! Tikilluaritsi! Bienvenue! Welcome! Aanii! Tansi!