Home > North meets South > Inuit Recollections on the Military Presence in Iqaluit > Employment at the military base

The melting of the sea ice near Broughton Island.

Caribou in the Koroc River Valley, Torngat Mountains.

Employment at the military base

Pallu Nowdlak

"Anybody who wanted to work would come, since there were not a whole lot of people around. Since there were only a few people, they were looking for anybody. They didn't need special skills. Anybody who wanted to work could work."
In Chapter Ten, the Elders who worked for the Americans and the Canadians at the base share their memories. Pallu Nowdlak talks about the first Inuit who lived among the qallunat. Akisu Joamie and Lucatsie Nowdlak describe the work of the people who pumped fuel, work that went on all day and all night. Pallu Nowdlak says that the workers were paid in American food. This is confirmed by Akisu Joamie who also talks about the time when the Inuit started to receive money. Pallu Nowdlak and Martha Michael tell us that, in those days, anyone who wanted to work could, and that there was no special hiring process. Also, some Elders talk about how people communicated, and Simonie Michael says that people who spoke English were favoured. Martha Michael shares her memories of Nakasuk. Akisu Joamie and Simonie Michael talk about their work in the kitchens at the military base. Napatchie Noah says that only Nakasuk worked during the winter; the other Inuit departed for their camps in the fall. Mary Peter and Elijah Pudlu describe what types of goods were sold at the HBC store, and Simonie Michael talks about the prices of the products sold by the Americans. Iqaluk Ipeelie describes his work as a driver and how he learned to drive. He tells us what salaries were at the time. Jimmy Nooshoota talks about the various jobs he had. He also says that only one qallunaaq, who arrived after the Americans had left, was accompanied by his wife and children. But there were no qallunaaq women or children while the Americans were in Iqaluit. He also tells us about moving to Iqualit. Anugaaq Arnaqquq talks about the difference between the military personnel and the government personnel.