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Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Olympics are finally here in Vancouver and we can see and truly feel the spirit everywhere. The Canadian flags and the official ‘Vanoc 2010’ logo are illustrated all over the country.
But what does the 'Inukshuk' within the official symbol actually mean and how did it become one of the most displayed figure over the last few weeks?
As supporters of the aboriginal people in Canada we would like to take the opportunity and enlighten the story behind this significant symbol.
Traditionally the Inukshuk (pronounced: ih-nook-suuk) were used by the Inuit in North America as directional markers. These astonishing stone sculptures were important for navigation, as a point of reference or as a marker for hunting grounds. Due to their visibility and endurance in snowy conditions they were able to assist people survive by directing them to the nearest shelter. The extraordinary skill of building an Inukshuk was passed down from one generation to the next, with each Inukshuk having a particular purpose and meaning. An Inukshuk in the shape of a person signifies safety, hope and friendship.
It later evolved to have symbolic spiritual functions like marking places of decision-making, worship and celebration. This is where the correlation to the Canadian mentality, values and principles can be made.
Today it mirrors the Canadian spirit of Community and friendship. It conveys the basic human warmth and friendliness with which Canadians are perceived around the world. If anyone asks you what the Inukshuk is, tell them it represents the proud Canadian friendship and the heart of this country.
Canadian Indian Art Inc. wishes the best to all the athletes, operators, visitors, residences and volunteers of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Come and visit our gallery in North Vancouver when you are in the area for the Games.
Canadian Indian Art Inc.
829 West 3rd Street
North Vancouver, V7P 3K7
British Columbia, Canada