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Arctic Defenders

  • 8 10
  • 2014
  • Nonemin
Arctic Defenders
  • English

In 1968, a sixteen year old John Walker, 35mm camera in hand, boards a ship in Montreal on its way to Resolute Bay, in the High Arctic. It has been his childhood dream to visit the north - his imagination inspired by films and “Eskimo” art. What he doesn’t realize is that the global radicalism of 1960’s was also the beginning of a re-imagining of the Arctic by a group of visionary “Eskimos”. They began their political movement by challenging the use of the word Eskimo. They were Inuit and they had a dream - the governance of their territory, the creation of Nunavut within Canada.
We join Oo Aqpik, a modern Inuk, and John Walker, a filmmaker, on a ship heading to Resolute Bay where Inuit were shipped by the Canadian government in the 1950’s to act as human flagpoles for Canadian sovereignty. We are introduced to some of the visionary “Defenders” of Inuit culture who opposed the Canadian government’s imperialist plans. The film documents the monumental achievements of determined people to have a say in their future. It is a story of a culture that defines a nation.

John Walker
John Walker Director