The colourful village of Paamiut – pronounced – Pa – aye – mute – sits at the mouth of the Kuannersooq Fjörd at the Labrador Sea, and means, “people who live at the mouth”. It is a small fishing village of about 1500 residents with a strong connection to the sea and is rich in Inuit culture. It also has a long history of whaling, but today the main fish is cod and it is typically sold to Spain & Portugal. Archeological discoveries indicate this area was inhabited as far back as 1500BC.
Walking about the town, you find again the colourful houses and a particularly beautiful church inspired by the Norwegian stave churches. The old graveyard at the side of the church, shows that many people die young here.
I was intrigued by a structure I saw near the big park in this little town and wandered over to see what is was. I thought it was part of a boat with timbers. But as I got closer, it was a little house with little benches around the inside walls. The doorway was shaped like a whale’s tail and as I walked a little further around the structure, there I found – what? A slide. Someone had created a children’s play structure complete with a cement seal to ride or sit on.
Canada’s own north is brought to mind many times a day. It is in the faces of the people who live here, descended from our Inuit. It is in their art and in their history and their language, Greenlandic.