Hey everyone, this is NESTED, Victor's newsletter. Here's a (pretty long, this time) list of things that made me laugh and think this month.
“Kaksakar designates a small island on the North-West coast of Kangiryuaq. I remembered this name very well, because it is funny. Kaksakar is indeed an Inuinnait corruption of the English swearword “cock sucker”. It is the nickname bestowed upon a white trapper whose main camp was installed on that island in the 1930-40s, because he swore a lot when inspecting his traps. His favourite swearword became his moniker. Following a fairly common practice by the Inuinnait, at least during the 20th century, since the isle did not have a name it took the one of its primary inhabitant. He was not forgotten, and during our reunion his memory was still brought up with a lot of joy.”
However, you will still not find this name on most maps of the area. The author notes that although this island's name was reported as early as 1992, it was not included on purpose, because the federal politics in terms of toponymy is to erase obscene or insulting place names. Official recognition of Native toponyms “is carried by a political will to make other discourses about territories more visible and heard, but it is framed under rules and norms that exist outside those discourses. This attitude is paradoxical in that, in the name of some ‘Other’ that must not be offended, we impose to these Others a reading of their toponymies that aren't theirs, and this reading is what takes over when it comes to deciding which recognition will be acceptable. […] We are hitting the limits of a ‘politically correct’ posture; whatever we say of it, these Others remain subservient to the moral values of the dominant society (here, Euro-Canadian).”
That's all for this month. I'm about to take a week off work, go see some nature, and disconnect a bit. If you like this newsletter, please forward it to someone who might like it, or reply — I love to hear back from you.
With affection not infection,
You just read issue #18 of Nested!. You can also browse the full archives of this newsletter.