Guest Post: Even the Waves Understand

by Jordan Konek

A lot of us believe that animals cannot understand what we’re saying and what we’re doing, but Phillip Kigusiutnak said “They don’t understand what we’re saying and doing, but they understand our emotional feelings”. I like talking to Phillip, he is very welcoming and have a lot to say, I went to go interview him with a friend who is not in the project.

The reason why I like interview Phillip is because he looks at you in the face and tells you what he wants you to understand. He get’s very serious but in a good way. Tonight when I was interviewing him for EcoTourism people Neil Christopher and his tourism team. When Neil asked us if we’re interested in doing interview for them, so they can help us with the funding, I immediately felt happy, not only because of the funding but because of doing interviews of Elders. Elders gives us these welcoming feelings that are so much more different from younger people and they’re really good at welcoming people.

Reason why I think they are very welcoming is because they spent a lot more time with Mother Nature, where they learned how to communicate with animals and the weather. Elders say that even the waves know what we’re doing by the emotions we’re giving towards each other. One of the Elders went on the radio and said “Don’t go out boating thinking that you can overcome the waves, that you can compete with the strong waves, because the waves knows what you’re up for and who you’re going against”. The plants are alive, the waves are alive, the sky is alive, and the things you see around you that is natural are alive. That is why we are told to give respect to the surroundings and especially the animals that are keeping us alive.

Some people misunderstand that Inuit are killing and mistreating animals. I think that some people should know that when we’re going hunting, my grandparents tells us to look around our surroundings and always be sure where we are and most importantly give respect to the land for it provides us the food and shelter. That being said, when we kill, we limit ourselves so that our future generation will have food, not because of the numbers of animals, but for the respect of mother nature and our future.

Now to get back with the emotions, I was really impressed by Phillip. He said when he’s out dog sledding and wants the dogs to go faster he says “uhh uhh” with a feeling of feeling sorry and left out. “uh uhh” means “ouch” or the feeling of getting hurt. He wanted to get in detail and said “think about how you would react if you touched a burning stove with your fingers. He also said that the leader of the dog team can feel how Phillip is feeling, so the leader goes faster towards their destination. He mentioned that dogs are very smart, if he was to faint or got out of control in anyway, the leader knows where to go and when and the leaders learn this by treating the leader with great respect. Another thing that Phillip said was that a future hunting dog will always look big, like a bully towards other puppies and always wanting to get in fight with other puppies. It was very interesting because I have a puppy and my cousin’s sibling puppy is a big one compared to mine and the pup is just the way Phillip said. That is what I like about him, his great knowledge and respect.


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