May 1, 2022
Throat singing drum dancing interview

Edition #10 – May 2022

Who are you two and when did you two start throat singing and/or drum dancing?
Janice Parsons and Sandy Emudluk from Kuujjuaq Nunavik Qc. Janice started at the age of 7 with the Kuujjuaq Youth Group organized by Mary Aitchison where she continues to join the group and became one of the instructors. Sandy started throat singing with Janice back in 2018 and started playing the traditional drums a year after where he also joined the Kuujjuaq Youth Group and became one of the instructors himself.

Are there any bands you guys had made? If so, what is the name?
No, it’s just me and Sandy.

Do you want to give any advice to youth who may want to learn how to throat
sing and drum dance?

If you can, please take the time to learn how to throat sing and/or learn how to play the traditional drums. That way we can continue to keep our culture alive and strong by passing down the knowledge of Inuit traditional performances to generations and generations to come. And just like Sandy and I, you could end up travelling to different places to perform anywhere around the world! You could get contracts to perform for visitors coming into your community. People are very interested in traditional performances especially from different cultures. It’s ok to be shy and scared. It gets easier along the way as you receive more and more appreciation for sharing your Inuit cultural performances. You got this! We got you! You can do it, if we can do it! Be proud of your Inuit culture and let’s keep our cultural performances strong and alive together!

Do you two do anything cultural besides throat singing and dancing?
Janice has her own small business called Yaya Inspirations where she makes earrings inspired by her Inuit culture using leather, sealskin and fox fur. She uses the uluk shape as her main design where she adds her personal traditional tattoo markings as her finishing touches. She currently sells her earrings on Instagram under Yaya Inspirations with over 4000 followers from many different countries and also has a website in the making. Sandy also makes earrings inspired by the traditional Inuit drum. Where he uses wood and leather shaped exactly like a little traditional Inuit drum.

Do you want to share anything else to the youth in Nunavik?
You might have already heard this many, many times in the past from many different people but I can guarantee you that it’s TRUE! Stay out of trouble! Focus on your education, explore and take on any opportunity that is handed to you and please don’t wait it out! Take it! You never know what tomorrow has to offer. Be kind to yourself. You got this!

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What is Uvikkait Ullumi?

Uvikkait Ullumi is a newspaper that highlights youth achievements, initiatives and concerns in the region. This project also passes on relevant information and promotes plenty of opportunities in order to inspire and empower the younger generations to become more active in the region. The newspaper is offered in both Inuktitut and English.