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HomeFashionInuit lawyer Aaju Peter talks about her new documentary 'Colonization Twice' and...

Inuit lawyer Aaju Peter talks about her new documentary 'Colonization Twice' and the ongoing fight for Indigenous rights

For better or worse, on the day we met, Peter was looking fabulous in a green floral jacquard top of her own design – looking radiant in the more typical Park City monochrome skiwear uniform glow. What started as a necessity, as she adjusted clothes to fit her children as they grew, has evolved into an art form; today, she is known for her traditional sealskin designs.

Peter has written extensively about how seals have become an integral part of Inuit life, not only as a source of food, electricity and clothing but also as a form of cultural identity. In 2009 she wears amauti(sealskin coat), delivered at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France An impassioned speech against the impending ban on imports of Inuit seal products. Although the ban was updated on 2015 to exempt “Inuit or other indigenous communities,” it has reportedly failed to have a positive impact on socioeconomic development to date. She argues that it is natural for the Inuit to practice a blue economy, which the World Bank defines as “the sustainable use of marine resources to promote economic growth, improve livelihoods and employment, while maintaining the health of marine ecosystems.”

Peter sees the international NGO Inuit Arctic Circle Council as central to rebuilding the future of the Inuit. “Native communities working with Greenland and Alaska need to regain control of their economies and develop their own tourism industries,” she said. “Climate change is doing so much harm because everything is being airlifted. We need to reintroduce sustainable hunting practices and dedicate more resources to helping our communities adapt to rising temperatures that are making our hunters and fishermen Falling from the melting ice”

Disintegration of economic, cultural and political structures, historical trauma, and rapid social change due to colonization are all factors affecting the mental health of Inuit, especially young people The main cause of the crisis is males, which has resulted in one of the highest suicide rates in the world. During the filming of Twice Colonized, Peter’s youngest son, Kaalinnguaq, jumped to his death from the tenth floor of a building in Ottawa. However, what could have destroyed her ended up bolstering her career. “I had to take my little heart and try to fix it again and get my soul back,” Peter told the camera six months after his death. “But what it did, the process, it made me focus… Now I want to put [these experiences] on paper, not out of pity, not out of shame, but to help other people who have gone through Like difficult people and transform it into something amazing and beautiful.”




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