Accidental tourists

Meet Thomas Weetaluktuk Weetaltuk of Kuujjuarapik and Jimmy Aupaluk of Kuujjuaq.

Right now they live on the street, each for his own reason. I met them this morning at the corner of St. Catherine and Rue Chomedy in downtown Montreal, where I had gone hunting for English-language newspapers, not easy to find in the eastern end of the Plateau, where for the past two weeks I’ve enjoyed a long-delayed holiday.

In my pocket I carried my latest high-tech toy, a little Flip Ultra HD video camera that I bought just six days ago. Until this morning I used it mostly for silly stuff, but after I met these two men I felt the urge to commit an act of journalism. Please forgive the poor audio, the clumsy edits and the shaky camera — it’s the first real digital video I’ve ever put together.

As you’ll see, my presence there sparked a serious territorial dispute — yet another reminder of how an act of observation always changes the thing that is observed. But who cares? This is not about “things,” but benighted human beings who suffer far too much abuse and receive not nearly enough compassion.

And now that I know who really owns that corner, I’ll be way more careful next time.

For the moment, I’m not posting this — for the time being, anyway — to make any form of editorial statement or to make any other form of judgment. It is what it is.

This entry was posted in Arctic, circumpolar world, Inuit, News, Nunavik, Nunavut, social issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Accidental tourists

  1. Megan says:

    Did you meet Isaac?

    • James Bell says:

      I didn’t talk to Isaac yesterday, but I know who he is, because I’ve talked to him in the past on that corner, where I’ve seen him making and selling little carvings sometimes. So I should have known he still owns that corner.

      In a couple of days I’ll try to go back and talk to him, as well as Thomas and Jimmy. We were just getting started when Donna (the blonde woman) interrupted us…

      I also have some ethical issues to work through too. These people are human beings who still have pride in themselves…

Comments are closed.