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Story Publication logo November 1, 2009

Igloolik, Home of Artcirq, the Inuit Circus


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In the remote northern reaches of one of the wealthiest countries of the world is an aboriginal...

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The tiny Inuit community of Igloolik sits 200 miles above the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, Canada's newest territory formed in 1999 as the result of a land claims settlement. Igloolik is home to only 2,000 people, many of whom still live in a traditional way, hunting seal and caribou and hand-stitching animal skin clothing. It is stark, tight-knit, and beautiful, but also very poor and deeply troubled, struggling to adjust to the transition from nomadic life just 50 years ago to a modern digital world. With few opportunities for jobs, and a high rate of drinking and drug abuse, young people kill themselves at 12 times the national average. Igloolik is also home to the world's only Arctic circus -- Artcirq, a collective of young jugglers and acrobats who incorporate Inuit traditions in their performances as a way to celebrate their Inuit heritage and bring hope to the community.

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