Winter House for an Inuvialuit Family: Dwelling, Collective Memory, and the Qallunaat Designer in the Western Arctic
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Contemporary housing in the western Arctic is frequently based on Euro-Canadian (qallunaat) concepts of the home, which are ill-suited to Inuvialuit (Inuit) ways of life. Additionally, the forced settlement of Inuit peoples and detachment from Inuit cultural practices has resulted in what has been called a “spiritual homelesness.” Through the design of a winter house for an Inuvialuit family, this thesis considers Inuit perspectives of domestic life and the role of the dwelling in the transmission of culture between generations. The house is understood as one building in a continuum of places and small structures that make up an extended Inuvialuit home. Evidence from Inuit art, anthropology, and the author’s own travels in the North inform the articulation of house-form to support cultural practices, communal family gathering, and the needs of daily life out on the land and embedded in the wage economy.