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
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.
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?
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.
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!
family photographs from Scotland connected the dots of many of our