Inukshuk … Our Canadian Calling Card


Inukshuk at Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran

Travelling can afford many opportunities for play. One of the things we like to do when we visit coastal regions or lakes is build inukshuks.

Inukshuks are monuments that originated with the Inuit people as a way to communicate and traditionally mean “Someone Was Here.”

Because they are built of materials that occur naturally, most commonly stone, it’s an environmentally-friendly way for us to leave a Canadian calling card.

We are under no illusions about any of the inukshuks we’ve built surviving for any length of time. High tides, strong winds or miscreant teenagers will quite likely demolish them over time. But it’s fun to wonder if they’ll still be there should we ever return.

Inukshuk at Lough Corrib, Co. Mayo, Ireland (bottom right hand corner ... see how it blends in with the environment?)

There’s almost something reverential about the act of communing with nature in this way. When I see one I wonder who put it there. When I build one I wonder who will see it.

Often, if the inukshuk is large enough, people will add their own small stone to feel they have been part of something almost spiritual.

The best example I’ve seen of this is an inukshuk someone constructed, who knows when, on the shore of Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park, Alberta. Along its many ledges you’ll find pebbles that have been placed by others feeling the reverence of the moment and wanting to show they were there. I added one of my own in 2010.

Inukshuk at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta

Thanks for visiting, and feel free to let me know you were here . 😉

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

4 thoughts on “Inukshuk … Our Canadian Calling Card

  1. I keep meaning to go back to Lake Minnewanka to make sure he’s still there. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t be, but it’s a pretty harsh climate in there and he might have decided to go somewhere warmer!

  2. Inukshuks are truly intriguing. I saw one on the grounds at the rear of the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg a few years ago and must go back and check to see if he’s still there. I’d love to go out to Banff and Jasper to see if your own remains intact. My brown-eyed boy keeps me busy, though, and I always worry when I go away. But what a wonderful earth-friendly memento to leave behind. Something similar is Douglas Cardinal’s architecture. I love to look at the York Region Administrative Building on a sunny, blue-sky day after a ten centimeter plus snowfall: awesome in the true meaning of the word. All the best.

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