Greenpeace and Inuit… strange bedfellows?

Check out this FB post from Clyde River mayor’s page. Recently, Greenpeace recently apologized for the damage they’ve done to Inuit communities through their anti-sealing campaigns. Jerry Natanine is the mayor who said he wanted to tell Greenpeace to “fuck off”, but that he decided against it because we need their help to fight underwater seismic testing (which could harm animals and lead to offshore oil drilling). Clyde River is one of communities that was hardest hit by Greenpeace’s anti-sealing activities over the decades. It says a lot that Jerry and others in Clyde are ready to try and work with organizations like Greenpeace. Forgive and move on for the greater good! Now let’s just hope Greenpeace doesn’t screw us again somehow.

I hope they will actually work toward repairing the unspeakable damage they’ve done. Let’s see if they end up trying to dictate arctic affairs, or if they will keep their word and work to empower Inuit to protect our lands and water and animals. On this seismic testing issue, Clyde River and Greenpeace are on the same page. I’m very curious to see what will happen when an issue comes up that they disagree on.

Whatever happens, I am intensely proud of how Jerry Natanine and Niore Iqalukjuak have handled this seismic testing crisis. They made very difficult decisions with strength and wisdom.

Come be in my little movie! Or help out with set items…

I am shooting a new short film (for national broadcast, and premiere at the ImagineNATIVE festival) which is an Inuit love story set in the 1950’s in an outpost camp near town. I have all my main actors, but am still looking to fill a few small parts. The shoot is coming up really soon (August 1-4) and so I’m kind of getting nervous about finding all my actors and set decoration in time!

Please contact me if you can help with any of the following things!:

– Two actors to play parents to Mary Buscemi.

I need a man and woman to play the mom and dad of my lead actor. Mary Buscemi is the woman playing the part, and her character is a mid-twenties woman, so I need people that could theoretically be her parents in the film. We are pretending this is the 1950’s, so I need a woman who probably has longer hair (I don’t think there were many short-haired women back then, but please let me know if I’m wrong – I’m not an expert on the 1950’s!). You don’t have to really look like Miali a whole lot, but of course if you do, it helps! The man can have short or long hair, doesn’t matter.

– Two actors around age 10, young girls to play younger versions of our two main female actors. If you know Mary Buscemi and Malaya Chapman and what they look like, please let me know if you know of two young girls that can play the child version of them. I really prefer if they have long black hair, but it’s OK if they don’t look a lot like them.

– I’m also looking for an actor to play an Anglican minister for a very small part (it’s a wedding ceremony in the film). Ideally this would be a qallunaaq who speaks Inuktitut! Preferably not too young.

– I am also looking for 2 or 3 boats that we can use in the film. 2 of them would just be on the beach in the background, we wouldn’t actually take them out on the water. But one of them we would be actually riding out in on camera. They should be sort of smaller boats with no cabins, and preferably smaller engines, although we could also just borrow a smaller engine to put on one of them if we have to. This is a very small local production with a small budget so I can afford to pay a small rental fee for the boats if necessary, but it would also be really cool if someone was just willing to lend us their boat for a few hours. We have insurance, so if anything happened to damage the equipment, costs would be covered.

– We will also need a bit of help to decorate the set, so I”ll be looking to borrow a few qulliqs, if anyone has a really old school oil lamp or gas stove that would be amazing, a few tartan (plaid) blankets, 1950’s style flowery house dresses, a couple pairs of kamiks (iqaqtiit – no hair), a pair of hip waders, captain style hat, etc) and any other cool costume items or decorations for the inside of a tent. If you want to help out setting this up and to give advice, please let us know.

If you can help with any of the above items, please please don’t be shy to contact us at alethea (at) alethea (dot) ca and someone will be in touch with you ASAP.


#sealfie vs. #selfie

Ellen DeGeneres, don’t just be the next beautiful, blonde celebrity to crush an aboriginal people & run.

Sealskin coat, caribou fur pants, wolf fur boots, borrowed from Aaju Peter.

Sealskin coat, caribou fur pants, wolf fur boots, borrowed from Aaju Peter.

Today I wrote and sent a letter to Ellen DeGeneres. Please see it in the facebook post at the bottom of this entry. The subject is very relevant to the documentary film I am working on at the moment, called Angry Inuk. It’s called “Angry” to be ironic, because of how Inuit have a tendency to be calm and respectful even when we’re really mad or upset about something.

Ellen recently broke the record for the most retweeted picture of all time with her Oscar Awards ceremony #selfie. The huge company Samsung agreed to donate $1 to a charity of her choice for every retweet she got. She chose to donate to HSUS, which acts against seal hunting, and she shared some very drastic and strong words against seal hunting herself. My heart broke.

I am a fan of Ellen’s, and I had a moment where I thought “Oh no! Not you too! But I want to keep liking you!”. However, Ellen cannot know how she is hurting us if we don’t let her know. We can’t blame her for only having the animal rights groups’ point of view if we don’t reach out to let her know how we’re affected! So if you agree, please write to her to let her know how you feel. If you are not sure how to say it, or don’t have a lot of time, please feel free to cut and paste what I wrote as a basis for your letter. I am trying to have faith in Ellen as a human being, and I will not assume she won’t listen or understand, given the chance.

Another idea that my hilarious friend Laakkuluk Williamson came up with: post a picture of yourself wearing sealskin and send it to her by twitter with the hashtag #sealfie in reference to her famous and heavily retweeted #selfie.

Please take a minute to watch the video in the FB post, and most importantly, take a second to “like” Killaq’s sweet and eloquent video. If we get enough views (they are piling up fast already!), maybe she will manage to get Ellen’s attention.

Best of luck to my fellow Inuit and other seal-loving friends. This is an opportunity for our voice to be heard, let’s not let it slip by without trying.

Crazy hurricane blizzard in Iqaluit

From about noon yesterday (January 7, 2014) to noon today, Iqaluit had the biggest craziest blizzard I’ve witnessed in many years, maybe ever. I’m pretty sure we had a nastier one when I was an infant, but of course I don’t remember that. It was 9 days long or something crazy, and houses were literally buried. People were standing on their roofs afterward, which were now at ground-level.

Anyway, yesterday was scary. Other than some dents in my car from my flying garbage box, we came out unscathed, despite 18 hours without power, much of which was without cell or internet. Glad to hear everyone was OK, despite all the property damage.

Here’s a short video of the view out my door. This was definitely before the worst of it. It was too dark out to shoot when the winds were at their highest, which was sustained winds of 111 km/hr, with gusts up to 141 km/hr. Nuts!!!

Our beloved weather guy on local CBC radio (Kootoo) often uses the phrase “darrrrrn windy!” and rolls his R’s. It turned into a mini hashtag trend in Iqaluit during the storm.

Alethea on DNTO!

I was interviewed by CBC for Sook Yin Lee’s show “Definitely Not the Opera” (a.k.a. DNTO) for an episode about body image. Click this link to find info about the episode. On that page you will find a “Listen” button to hear the episode.

You can also see DNTO’s tweet about it here:

Tunniit screening at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

My film Tunniit is screening at the Winnipeg Art Gallary as part of Inuit Film Night held in conjunction with the exhibition Creation & Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art, a fascinating look at the history of Inuit art over the past six decades—artistic developments, influential artists, new media. Click the link to see more:,event/529/tunniit-retracing-the-lines-of-inuit-tattoos

LUMAAJUUQ wins Golden Sheaf Award

Well, this is now the second time I’ve won an award for my Lumaajuuq animation and missed the event! First was at the ImagineNATIVE festival in October, and now again at the Yorkton Film Festival in Saskatchewan. Lumaajuuq just won a Golden Sheaf award in the “Best Aboriginal” category at the Yorkton Film Festival.

Thanks so much to the animator I worked with on this film, Dan Gies of Thanks also to my producers Debbie Brisebois of Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and Derek Mazur formerly of the National Film Board, who has since moved on to become the CEO of Nunavut Film.

See the full list of Golden Sheaf award winners here: