September 11, 2012
That's one big Inukshuk!
At the highest point in Rankin Inlet, overlooking Hudson's Bay, is a towering Innukshuk. Built by the Inuit in communities across Canada, these towering monuments were probably traditionally used as cairns in a country that otherwise has few distinguishing landmarks.
One of the things that surprised me most while flying into Rankin, was how vast and repetitive the landscape was: just tundra, rock and lakes. Millions of little lakes. Rankin is above the tree line, so there are no trees anywhere. When I first stepped foot on the ground, I felt as if I hadn't gotten my "sea legs" yet. The landscape at the airport was just so vast and flat that I could see the curve of the horizon line in every direction, and the bowing effect made me a little unsteady on my feet.
It's quite the opposite for the natives here. In speaking with one of the local midwives yesterday, she commented how much she dislikes the landscape down south. The trees make her feel "boxed in," she said, and she longs for the open skies of the tundra.