here on, there is a lifetime of family connections and names to process
and absorb. Compared to sighing in un-fulfillable longing of not knowing
where part of you comes from, this is all a pleasant task. Now, our
children and grandchildren will know where our Qallunaaq genes come
from, and be proud of it. We will be able to construct a complete
ancestral chart, and we now have photographs to hang beside the pictures
of our Inuit forbears on our walls.
Inuk great-great-grandfather was Suglualualuk, whose wife was
Uiyakkialuk. Our Scottish great-great-grandfather was Stewart Peter,
born about 1835, whose wife was Jean Mackenzie. Our Inuk
great-grandfather was Patsauraaluk, whose wife was Qupiqrualuk. Our
Scottish great-grandfather was William Mackenzie Peter, (b. Sept. 8,
1864, d. Dec. 7, 1937), whose wife was Alice Thomson Cathro. The
Scottish records provide accurate approximations of the life spans of
each generation of our Inuit ancestors.
Inuk grandfather was Aisa Tulugak (1899-1971), whose wife was Eemeelie
Nujarlutuq. Our Scottish grandfather was William Mackenzie Peter
(1901-1972), who, with our grandmother, Kaajuula Nujarlutuq, bore our
mother. Our father, Tamusi Naqtai Tulugak (1931-1994), and our mother,
Winifred (Winnie) Pauyungie (1927-1995) got married in 1947, and had
seven children, in the following order: Joanasie Qinnuajuaq, Zebedee
Nungak, Aliva Tuktu, Harry Aullaluk, Poasie Patsauraaluk, Talasia Aullaq,
and Alacie Aqiaruq.
Previously, the whole Scottish side of our family picture was blank. We,
the children of our mother, never knew our Qallunaaq grandfather for
most of our years. We only knew he was Scottish. Any indifference toward
him was made normal by having never known a thing about the man. Besides
not knowing where to search, we never perceived ourselves as any
different from other Inuit, and have not been particularly motivated to
investigate our Scottish roots.
of our grandchildren’s names will be inspired from the stock of our
Scottish relatives’ names. I am happy for this. Names given from our
Scottish relatives will have familial meaning. The two branches of our
family, separated by time, culture, and an ocean, will be fused closer
together by the practice of name-saking, called “giving of sauniq”
in Inuktitut. I might name a grandson Stewart Suglualualuk Nungak, after
our two great-great-grandfathers.
finally, consider the special poetry of this bond: My granddaughter
Kaajuula, named after my maternal grandmother, was born on December 28,
2000: Ninety-nine years to the day of William Mackenzie Peter’s birth,
on December 28, 1901! The Scots would call this “coincidence” – uncanny!