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Part Qallunaaq
Chapter 21. Connecting some Physical Inheritance Dots


During our conversation, Jess told me their house was open to us if we ever went to Scotland. I thanked her for this welcoming gesture, but told her that planning a trip to Scotland would take some time. We’d have to seek resources, considering our numbers, and make adequate arrangements to have the event documented. The story went beyond our family, and we’d have to share ourselves, and our experience, with other families who had similar ancestries.

The story of our search, with its successful conclusion, would serve as an inspiration for Inuit who have not yet found, or even sought, their Qallunaaq ancestor. As with us in the beginning, the reasons for not searching are often due to not having any idea about where to start. The telling of our story had to be considered in the light of possibly serving a useful purpose to others. In the meantime, we would be happy to see any other photographs of the family they could send.

An envelope from Scotland soon came in the mail, and I wanted to tear it open. But I had to open it carefully; it contained photographic treasures from our Scottish family. Sure enough, there was a packet of a dozen pictures. Each picture was examined without any hurry, turning it over for anything written, as we used to do long ago. There were more recent pictures of Uncle Bill, and I sensed that there was something familiar here, but what was it?

After the third go-around of the photos, “it” became clear: the Nose! When we were boys, my older brother Joanasie and I sometimes had brotherly spats. When I was angry with him, I would tell him to go and chop a hole in the ice with his sharp nose. In those days, my child’s mind had no clue as to from where he might have inherited his chisel-sharp nose. Looking at these pictures from Scotland, the source of the inheritance finally made itself obvious.

Among the photo was the original print of the “Hallelujah” photograph of my grandfather and his family, taken in 1966. I saw my mother’s elongated facial outline that she inherited from her father. I saw the origin of my youngest sister Alacie’s jaw and cheeks, as well as what her oldest son, my nephew Harry Surusilaaq, Junior, will look like when he matures in his years!. All from William Mackenzie Peter!

The family photographs from Scotland connected the dots of many of our physical inheritances!


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