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David F. Pelly Writer, Researcher, Historian, Photographer

The People’s Story
Published in 2016
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Ukkusiksalik is a living testament to the power of Inuit oral-history. During the 1990s, David Pelly interviewed a large group of elders spread across six different communities, all of whom had previously lived in Ukkusiksalik. Almost all of those elders have since passed away, but their stories and their knowledge have been preserved, first on tape, and now in the form of this landmark volume. It is a history written from the perspective of Inuit oral testimony.

A coastal region of rolling tundra just west of Hudson Bay and just south of the Arctic Circle, Ukkusiksalik was established as a national park in 2003. In earlier times, this historic region was the principal hunting ground for several Inuit families. The area was crisscrossed by traders, Mounties, explorers, and missionaries. This is the story of that land.

The book is divided into three sections: “A Prehistoric Glimpse,” The People’s Story,” and “A Landscape of Stories.”
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Elders gathered around the map during field research at Ukkusiksalik:
Elizabeth Aglukka, Octave Sivaniqtoq, Felix Kopak, Jackie Nanordluk

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“David Pelly is one guy who has learned to talk to our elders and listen to stories and make a great contribution to the history of the Inuit. The beauty of the land came alive from the stories my mother told. Nobody could have done a better job writing down my mother’s memories of her childhood than David Pelly.”

Manitok Bruce
Former cabinet minister, Government of Nunavut
“Through engaging and unvarnished glimpses from their lives, these people invite the reader into the intimacy of life on the land in Ukkusiksalik…. “A Landscape of Stories” incorporates excerpts from the accounts – the variety of topics is appealing, and the stories are well told. “

“This book will be very useful for people traveling to Ukkusiksalik National Park (everyone planning a trip there should read it), as well as to students and teachers. It will also appeal to those who enjoy learning about the Arctic and its history. Most importantly, the book is a well-balanced source of information for young Inuit who, whether or not they have family connections to Ukkusiksalik, are hungry for better understanding of the past to help them find their bearings in a time of sustained and rapid change.”

“I hope you will enjoy this book. It is a timeless and valuable work of true Inuit history. The land tells its story, as witnessed through the eyes of those we knew who lived in Ukkusiksalik, and those who came before them.”

Theresie Tungilik
Former Chair of the Ukkusiksalik Park Management Committee
“… a damned fine writer with important things to say about the North, and its people. … reading [Pelly’s] stuff is like travelling on a well-built sled skimming across the deep blue sea-ice on a bright spring day.”

Norman Hallendy, author 
Inuksuit – Silent Messengers of the Arctic
“David Pelly is one who came back—again and again—and so earned the trust and the friendship of the people he sojourned among. And these qualities are vital to the project of Ukkusiksalik. – As an act of simple historical preservation, it is certainly praiseworthy.”

Russell Potter, author
Finding Franklin

Bibliographic data
Ukkusiksalik: The People’s Story
Dundurn Press, 2016
Cloth • 284 pages • 6"x 9"
Colour and B&W Photos, Maps
Index, Bibliography
Hardcover: ISBN 978-1-4597-2989-6
EBook: ISBN 978-1-4597-2991-9