Part Qallunaaq
Chapter 22. A Black Bar Shattered by Forgiveness


Throughout this search, there have been noteworthy “coincidences” and happenings, which have contributed significantly to its outcome. Put together, these incidents have helped thread the process together to a successful conclusion. Some of these are too strange to be told, but I would sign an affidavit certifying their authenticity. Through them, I have been connected to a part of my heritage, which I never paid much attention to prior to searching for the man who fathered my mother.

At the fateful haggis dinner in London, England in April 1996, when the Scottish parts of my identity were first awakened, a clear, vivid thing happened in my mind’s eye. As I ate the haggis, a long black bar suddenly dropped from above me, hit an invisible horizontal barrier above my head, then shattered into tiny specks before evaporating into thin air. The color of the bar had an unusual density, and could be described as blacker than black.

In the instant it shattered, I knew what the black bar represented. These were cruel and belittling words which had been thrown at my mother all through her early life, simply because she was a half-breed. In the times of my mother’s childhood and youth, half-breeds were an oddity among Inuit, and were generally treated like outcasts. Some full-blooded Inuit took liberties to ridicule Qallunaangajuit (part Qallunaat) as being somehow inferior.

I had not yet been born when the worst of this treatment was inflicted upon my mother. I had never heard the taunts or cruel words being spoken. But, as the flesh and blood of my mother, I somehow had to be put in touch with her negative experiences, and this mental image was it. The purpose of this, however, was also made very clear to me: Do not hold these cruelties against the people who committed them! Forgive those who had been trials and tribulations to your mother!

Forgiving these people was very easy for me; I didn’t even know who they were, and most of them were long dead. A few times, I remember my mother quietly recalling the mistreatment she received for being half Qallunaaq. In those times, I would stop listening to her. I did not want to know who had done this to her, for fear that I would seek revenge on the children of those people.

The act of forgiving was mental, but produced a wonderful feeling of freedom, accompanied by an exhortation: “Be proud of who you are!”


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