Did you know the qajaq (kayak) is an Inuit invention?

Listen to Maligiaq Padilla from Greenland and Robert Comeau from Nunavut discuss the art of qajaq building and paddling, its origins, unique design, and cultural significance across the North.

Maligiaq Padilla

Maligiaq is a Greenlandic sea qajaqer. Maligiaq learned to qajaq (kayak) from his Grandfather who was a skilled qajaqer and taught him the traditional skills of building qajaqs, hunting using a harpoon or rifle, and navigating the open ocean. There are qajaqs built by Maligiaq currently on display at the Greenland Sisimiut Museum, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC and the Kativik Cultural Centre in Nome, Alaska. Maligiaq currently resides in Alaska where he is working to revive traditional qajaqing culture.

Robert Comeau

Robert Comeau is an Inuk law student studying in his hometown of Iqaluit as a student of the Nunavut Law Program. He graduated from Carleton University in 2017 obtaining a Bachelor of Arts with a major in History and a minor in Political Science. A staunch advocate for Inuit rights, Robert immerses himself in the dialogue by publishing, attending conferences, and facilitating workshops. Robert enjoys any activity that gets him out on the water such as hunting, fishing or paddling. Robert also provides relevant cultural, social, historical interpretation with Adventure Canada on their expedition cruises through Inuit Nunangat. Robert is a founding board member and the current Vice-President of the Qajakkut Society based in Iqaluit. In this work, Robert supports the delivery of qajaq building programs as well as Paddle Canada certifications.