Uqattiartuq: Inuit and Qallunaat interpretations of religion and law in early 20th century Canada 

Uqattiartuq: Inuit and Qallunaat interpretations of religion and law in early 20th century Canada. In 1917 two Inuit men, Hinnihiaq and Ulukhaq, became the first Inuit tried under British Law for the murders of Roman Catholic Oblate Missionaries Jean-Baptiste Rouviere and Guillaume Leroux. Canada used the trials to affirm its sovereignty over the Arctic, shown through the exercise of its judicial system over the Inuit men. Uqattiartuq, which means “he/she speaks well,” is employed as a concept in this dissertation to emphasize Inuktut, the language of Inuit, as integral to understand and interpret this historical event. Another case study reflects on the 1941 Belcher Island murder trials, where the government officials decided that nine murders among the Inuit were the result of "religious frenzy" caused by Inuit misinterpretations of the Christian Bible. This case became the first full trial to be held on Inuit Nunangat. More broadly, the dissertation theorizes how Canada used religious interpretations to validate their quiet invasion of the Arctic and increasing power over Inuit as a global signal of strength, shown by the application of British law unto Inuit during WWI and WWII of the twentieth century.

350image3.png
350image16.png
350image9.png