I moved North in search of an adventure and instead I found a life, a beautiful, inspiring and thrilling life amongst the Inuit culture.
Being a mom (who primarily feeds her baby organic produce when we are in the South) I am faced with challenges in the attempt to prepare healthy and nutritious meals in the North. We live in a place where produce has a three day shelf life and by the time it has been shipped half way across the world, been frozen, thawed and displayed for sale, it has lost most of it nutrients anyway. We live in a place where healthy choices are difficult to make, and unhealthy choices are almost as bad, with a can of zoodles costing nearly nine dollars. I have gained an immense appreciation for the animals who will feed my son, nourish my son and clothe my son, as they are fresh, they are birthed and free to live in some of the cleanest land I have ever seen. There is no such thing as free-range in the Arctic, because all of our animals are free. When our wildlife is harvested, it is harvested humanely. Seals along with Caribou, muskox and even polar bear feed communities who live with the reality of food insecurity. And then those animals go on to clothe those communities.
The seal is abundant across the North. It is hunted ethically, sustainably and respectfully. It is appreciated and it is a gift. Can you say the same for the last meal you consumed with meat in it?
I can honestly and whole heartedly tell you that it gives me a peace of mind to send these children out into the winter with seal skin on that no store bought product could give me.
I have spent time outdoors, away from the warmth of town, in the winter and spring where it has been so cold that I learned to respect the Arctic for not only what is has to offer but for what it can take from you. I credit the furs of animals as the reason I still have my fingers and toes.
The Arctic is arguably the Worlds most extreme and dangerous climate. The furs that line the hoods of parkas serve a purpose, though beautiful - my fur is not a simple fashion statement - it has been the reason for arriving at my destination without frostbite across my face.
I dress my son in fur because it keeps him safe from the pain that the wind can cause. It keeps him sheltered from the unimaginable cold and it is a representation of Canada's true North, strong and free, and the strength that is the Inuit people. Ellen Degeneres would do the same thing if she had children to protect from these elements, she just doesn't realize it.
It is the seal that has sustained the Inuit culture thus far, and it is the seal that will continue to do so.
Fur is not fashion, fur is livelihood.