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Meaningful places

The first question that was asked at the Coop Store meetings was : What are your favorite spots in the village? The question did not specify any area or geographical limits. The respondents were encouraged to show these spots on the printed map and to explain why these were meaningful for them.

This exercise allowed the team to compile the most common answers onto a map (Figure 4). The Akilasakallak Bay, the riverbank and the uplands were the predominant designated places, but some areas located within the village were also mentioned.


Fig. 1. Parnasimautik Meeting

(Trottier, 2020)


Fig. 2. Informal meeting at COOP Store

(Trottier, 2020)


Fig. 3. Informal meeting at Qarmaapik Family House

(Trottier, 2020)



Once village assets are well defined through on-site investigations or consultations, as well as appropriate documentation, the findings have to be put to the test by validating them with the community. Some characters thought to be assets might end up leaving residents indifferent, and vice versa.

Fig. 4. Meaningful places expressed by the Kangiqsualujjuamiut

Desired places of residence

The second question asked during these meetings was : If you could decide, without any restriction, where to build your house anywhere on this map of the village and its surroundings, what place would you choose? This question ignited some very interesting exchanges about the qualities or the paucity of sites in and around the village. The easternmost area of the village was repeatedly pointed out as a dream house location due to its tranquility and to the view it offers on the bay (see Figure 5). Some residents preferred locations within the village, close to community services. In any case, all contributions from the residents were very valuable to orient the remaining steps of the process.

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Fig. 5. Desired places of residence expressed by the Kangiqsualujjuamiut

Taking the pulse of the community can be done in many different ways. Based from fieldwork experience in Kangiqsualujjuaq and other activities involving members of the community, different approaches are proposed.

First, the team was acquainted with members of Kangiqsualujjuaq community during                                               partner's meeting in October 2019. This discussion led to establishing the main focus (housing) and expected outcome (tool) of the project. The possibility to held a consultation in Kangiqsualujjuaq, to build interest in the community while making their voices heard, was introduced, which eventually led to our week-long trip in February 2020. 

This meeting followed the Inuit Studies Conference 2019, where Living in Northern Quebec held a day-long thematic           on some activities and achievements of the research partnership. Partners of the project discussed a wide range of themes, such as contextually appropriate urban design scenarios for villages and adapted decision-making tools to support citizen, and this helped the team to better understand the challenges of the North. 

Then, the team had the chance to participate in the February 2020 Parnasimautik (Figure 1). This opportunity allowed the team to explain the goals and objectives of the Doing Things Differently project to local deciders and residents. A period of questions and comments followed, which yielded a lot of hints and clues about perspectives of the community and aspirations for the future.

Informal meetings also took place at the Coop Store (Figure 2) and at the Qarmaapik Family House (Figure 3). Maps, plans and ideas were laid down on a table to start a discussion with the Kangiqsualujjuamiut stopping by. These discussions revealed residents’ preferred places in the village and its surrounding. Shared revelations are represented on the two maps below.  

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