By R. Quinn Duffy
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Additional resources for The Road to Nunavut: The Progress of the Eastern Arctic Inuit since the Second World War
As for sealskins, the Inuit considered them unsuitable for winter clothing. During the summer, too, the Inuit had come to prefer imported clothing, which, "although perhaps less picturesque and more expensive than native clothing," was probably more adequate. Cantley believed that oilskin clothes and rubber boots provided more protection while working in boats and along the shore in all kinds of weather. It was true too that housing conditions were rapidly deteriorating. The new homes that the Inuit chose to build for themselves were no longer confined to the settlements but began to replace traditional snow houses in the winter camps as well.
Hoey wanted to know if the Inuit were recognized as wards of the government. Stewart, with apparent reluctance, replied, "I am afraid we have to say they are. " So the Canadian government had, even if unofficially and unconstitutionally, assumed responsibility as guardian of the Inuit. As a 8 The Road to Nunavut surrogate father to the natives of the north, the government was remarkably ignorant about the people in its charge. "The territory is so remote that we know very little about it," the minister of the interior admitted in the House on 10 June 1925.
McKeand of the Bureau of Northwest Territories and Yukon Affairs described the American statements as based on gossip and rumour, and the HBC dismissed them as malicious tattle by over-zealous, uninformed humanitarians who did not appreciate the harsh reality of life in the Arctic. L. Robinson, to inquire into them. 25 The Americans had 17 Reluctant Guardian already raised most of them. 1. Controlling the contact between the native and the inevitable approaching civilization. 2. Lack of education among the Eskimo.