-Amy Introduces the project -issue of passport application
-Amy says: We had a message about climate change, we heard it from our Elders and witnessed it when we were out on the land. But the world had to hear it too. We had to figure out how to get to the United Nations COP17 in Durban South Africa to talk about this issue on an international stage
Amy: So we had to travel from Nunavut to Durban -But this required a passport, something that we soon found was not easy to get
April Dutheil says -Instead of the issue of how to communicate the message of climate change, we discovered a new problem- obtaining passports in Arctic Canada presents a multitude of issues -Thesis: structural inequality & cultural exclusion issues reflected in the passport application -issue of participation, inclusion, inequality of Inuit worldviews -Geographical Barriers and Western Biases in the Bureaucratic System -Purpose: passport application as a lens in which to understand inequality reflected in other documentation created and influenced by a western & urban-centric lens -explain how we’re going to talk about this issue, using quotes from Inuit youth from Durban preparation
Amy reads quote.
-Passport photo (lack of camera office, knowledgeable photographer, space for taking pictures) it’s not like walking into a camera place Amy holds photos -getting Amy to talk about these issues (size of photo, colouration, size of face)
-Amy reads the quote -talks about her experiences in Nunavut vs. NS
-define a guarantor -A guarantor is a person other than yourself who confirms your identity. Your guarantor must: be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or over; hold a five-year Canadian passport that is valid or has been expired for less than one year on the day you submit your application; have been 16 years of age or older when he or she applied for the passport; have known you personally for at least two (2) years*; -read quote
April -measurements of western’s own making, time, numerical measurement -Western legitimization of proof
April says: -Elder Martha Okotak from the Arviat History Project was not able to attend because she couldn’t get a passport -her application was sent to Ottawa but returned because her birth certificate was damaged -since the Martha’s birth certificate is now housed by NWT (not Nunavut), getting a new birth certificate was made difficult and timely after the passport had been rejected -The validity of birth certificates for Elders are questionable, considering that most government officials actually don’t know when Elders were born, but rather have given ppl the Jan. 1 st birthdate.
April says: -Nunavut being a new territory, the Canadian Passport office did not know what Nunavut specific IDs would work, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated -Culture of power & inequality (Jordan’s experience with renewing his health care card) -Reflects how privilege in the passport process influences outcomes, allowing some to access events and others blocked
April -passport used as a lens to explore institutionalized inequality - Passport applications are a continued and rarely-contested processes, making them seem automatic and ritualistic in nature. The appearance of government documents as normal, limits and further reinforces the likelihood that applications will not be contested. The relationship between the passport applications to institutions like the Canadian Government, which historically put policies in place to totalize and limit the control of Inuit demonstrate how passports and similar rigid forms of ideological legitimization exclude the consideration of cultural diversity (Paré, 2002).
Passport paper inuit studies presentation
“From E-Discs to Passports” Proving Inuit Identity without IdentificationPresenters: April Dutheil, BA (Hons.)1,2 and Amy Owingayak1,31. Nanisiniq Arviat History Project, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada2. Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada3. Nunavut Sivuniksavut, Ottawa ON, Canada18th Inuit Studies Conference, Washington DC, October 25, 2012
Geographical Barriers: Obtaininga Passport Photo“Trying to get a picture for your passport, its also hard to get in thenorth, this one time I tried to get my passport before we went toDurban, South Africa. I even had to get a different picture because itwas one centimeter too long so I had to get another photo.” -Curtis Kuunuaq Konek, September 12, 2012
Geographical Barriers: Obtaininga Passport Photo“Well it gets a little easier when you try and apply for a passport for thesecond time because you know the procedures and know you have toget a clear picture. This summer Jordan and I filled out an applicationfor Martha and trying to get a photo taken for her we had to get ourlighting kit to get the shadows off her back and it was hard, we and the[Hamlet] worker tried many different spots for the light to get a clearerpicture for Martha.” -Curtis Kuunuaq Konek, September 12, 2012
Geographical Barriers:Southern Access“Getting the picture taken was probably the most easiest in the citybecause they knew what to do.” -Amy Owingayak, September 13, 2012
Geographical Barriers:Finding a Guarantor“Filling out a passport for the first time in the north is hard. Its evenharder to find a guarantor. Its like trying to find a missing buttonwhere you drop it (that is you dont know anyone who has a passport inyour community).” -Curtis Kuunuaq Konek, September 12, 2012
Western Biases in BureaucraticSystems: Linguistic Barriers“I know we can understand English and can read English, the point wasthat Inuit dont read books. Were verbally organized, verbally as inspeaking only....” -Jordan Konek, August 5, 2011
Western Biases in BureaucraticSystems: Validation & Proof“[The passport application] was just like any other Governmentapplications ‘Read through carefully, get all requirements beforesending’ in the end theyre not always that serious.” -Jordan Konek, August 18, 2012
Western Biases in BureaucraticSystems: Validation & Proof
Western Biases in BureaucraticSystems: Ethnic DeterminantsNunavut as a new territoryThe culture of power & inequality in navigating westernbureaucraciesPrivilege reflects outcomes, allowing participation of some andblocking others
ConclusionThe use of passport applications to validate identity are continued andrarely-contested processes, making them seem automatic and ritualistic innature. The appearance of government documents as normal, limits andfurther reinforces the likelihood that applications will not be contested.The passport application and similar rigid forms of ideologicallegitimization created by government institutions exclude theconsideration of cultural diversity and full participation of Inuit (Paré,2002).
ReferencesParé, Anthony (2002). Genre and identity: Individuals,institutions, and ideology. In R. Coe, L. Lingard and T. Teslenko,The rhethoric and ideology of genre. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press,57-71.
AcknowledgementsJordan Konek, Nanisiniq Arviat History Project, Arviat NunavutCurtis Kuunuaq Konek, Nanisiniq Arviat History Project, ArviatNunavutJamie Bell, Nunavut Arctic College, Arviat NunavutDr. Frank James Tester, School of Social Work, University of BritishColumbia
QuestionsApril Dutheil, BA (Hons.) Amy OwingayakE. firstname.lastname@example.org E. email@example.com Blog: Nanisiniq@tumblr.com - Twitter: @NanisiniqArviat