The Long Exile

The Long Exile

A True Story of Deception and Survival Amongst the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic

Book - 2006
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Presents a story of deception and survival set amidst the Inuit communities of the Canadian Arctic.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1922 Robert Flaherty, the Irish-American explorer, made a film about the Canadian Arctic. Nanook of the North starred a mythical Eskimo hunter who lived in an igloo with his family in an Arctic Eden of spring flowers and polar bears. Nanook's story captured the world's imagination. The film was shown in Paris, Beijing and New York, and, for a while, Nanook's face beamed from packets of flour and ice-cream as far away as Australia and Scotland. In Malaysia, Nanook became a word meaning 'strong man'.
Two years after the release of the film, the man who played Nanook - the Inuit hunter Alakariallak - starved to death on the Arctic ice. By this time, Robert Flaherty had quit the Arctic for good, leaving behind his bastard son, Joseph Flaherty, to grow up Eskimo.
Thirty years later, in 1953, a young and inexperienced Irish-Canadian policeman, Ross Gibson, was asked by the Canadian government to draw up a list of Inuit who were to be experimentally resettled in the uninhabited polar Arctic and left to fend as best they could. Joseph Flaherty and his family were on that list. They were told they were going to an Arctic Eden of spring flowers and polar bears.
In this new book, Melanie McGrath, acclaimed author of the bestselling Silvertown, recounts Joseph Flaherty's true story, revealing the shocking reality behind the broken promises.

Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, 2006
ISBN: 9780007157969
Characteristics: 392 p. : maps ; 22 cm


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Dec 18, 2014

This book gives answers to the questions of why the Inuit never migrated South, why they stayed in the North & how they were transplanted to the far North. Their treatment is an abomination of human rights abuses & their survival is a testimonial to their industrious & unrelenting determination to survive in conditions that would quickly kill anyone on this planet. The book is focussed on a few families in particular in order to develop the character & personality of specific Inuit people, but in concluding chapters, the magnitude & devastation of the Inuit way of life is fully displayed with statistics & general facts. The decades-long revisionist history provided by the Canadian Government disseminated through the media is a perfect example of colonial hubris & willful blindness, resulting in a systemic disregard of the facts. On August 18, 2010 the Government of Canada issued an apology for the relocation of the Inuit.

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