Analysis Of Keith Smith's Stranger Things

1039 Words 5 Pages
Documents 9.2 and 9.3 in Keith Smith’s Stranger Things are both accounts which describe the federal government’s experiment to relocate Inuit from northern Quebec to Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord in the northern Arctic in 1953. However, while both sources recount the government’s experiment the narratives have different perspectives highlighting how people remember events in different ways depending on how they were affected by the outcome. Document 9.2 is a testimony given by Markoosie Patsauq and Samwillie Elijassialuk whose story describes the heartbreak, neglect and empty promises that the Inuit endured because they were removed from their home and thrust into a completely unfamiliar territory with unreliable access to food. In contrast, …show more content…
Since the witnesses were speaking through a translator they were unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking in French or English, one could argue that since the document was translated then it is less reliable because the content relies on the accuracy of one translator. Despite the language obstacles the witnesses were determined to tell their story because they knew that the government viewed past events from a completely different perspective which omitted the devastation the Inuit endured. Markoosie and Samwillie recalled how the government went back on its word, “[t]hey told us that they would bring us back to our communities after two years, but when we told them we wanted to go back home, the police told us it is not possible any more. The transportation is not possible… once we were in the high Arctic they didn’t want to move us back home” (Smith, 259). The accounts show the desperation that the Inuit endured and how they were unable to adjust to a foreign environment because they were not knowledgeable about the area and they were led into the Arctic under false pretenses by the federal government. The purpose of the testimony is to provide the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People’s with an accurate account of the hardships the Inuit were subjected to by the federal government by those who witnessed the events. In addition, the witnesses’ story challenges the government’s interpretation of past events because it offers a contrasting account of what happened. Markoosie and Samwillie’s testimony includes detailed suffering they and their family endured, most notably how there were no food sources and as a result, during the first winter the Inuit survived mostly by digging through white peoples’ garbage for food scraps (261). This shows the horror and trauma the Inuit

Related Documents