Distributor:  Global Environmental Justice
Length:  90 minutes
Date:  2011
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; Inuktitut / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
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People of a Feather

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Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, People of a Feather takes us through time into the world of the Inuit in the northern reaches of Canada.

People of a Feather

People of a Feather is presentd by the Arctic Eider Society and film director Joel Heath. 

Teacher's guide
Please see the extensive teaching guide for background and suggested activites for students age 12 to adult prepared by the Arctic Eider Society.

Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, People of a Feather takes us through time into the world of the Inuit in the northern reaches of Canada. Connecting past, present and future is the Inuit's unique relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters.

Changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering eastern North America bring modern challenges to these Arctic residents. Inspired by Inuit ingenuity and the amazing properties of the eider feather, the film is a call to action to implement energy solutions that work with nature.


Download the teacher's guide for People of a Feather (PDF)

People of a Feather

People of a Feather 
Transcript with Timing
Langauge: English
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Prepared: July 18, 2012
Contact: Joel Heath
01:00:15:04 01:00:17:06 
On my first hunting trip... 
 01:00:17:09 01:00:20:20 
...I went with an elder, who is long gone now. 
 01:00:25:06 01:00:30:19 
After building an igloo, he told me to 
listen for the sound of thunder.
 01:00:34:20 01:00:41:15 
I was puzzled because the sky was blue,
 real blue, not like it is these  days.
 01:00:48:08 01:00:52:18
 I walked a short ways on the cold crisp snow.
  01:00:55:05 01:00:58:06 
It  used to make such a big noise. 
 01:01:03:17 01:01:07:01 
The thunder began as a low rumble.
  01:01:07:06 01:01:12:09 
But it got louder and louder, so I
 ran back to tell the old man. 
 01:01:19:05 01:01:23:20 
He calmly replied that soon 
the sky would  darken.
  01:01:27:06 01:01:34:07 
I raised my eyes and just as he had foretold,
 the horizon began to turn black.  
01:01:40:23 01:01:44:15 
Then he opened his box of ammunition and said: 
 01:01:50:03 01:01:52:05 
"The eiders are coming."  01:02:07:05 01:02:12:13 
 01:02:18:14 01:02:24:05 
  01:02:30:07 01:02:36:16 
 01:03:41:22 01:03:47:07 
100 Years Ago 
 01:03:50:17 01:03:55:08 
The Arctic Edier Society
Sanikiluaq Running Pictures
 01:03:56:08 01:04:00:02 
International Polar Year Canada 
 01:04:09:15 01:04:13:14 
In collaboration with
The Canadian Wildlife Service 
 01:04:18:02 01:04:22:14 
with appearances by Simeonie Kavik
  01:04:23:20 01:04:28:08 
Mary Kavik 
 01:04:29:14 01:04:34:02 
Daniel Kavik 
 01:04:37:02 01:04:43:08 
Kevin Kavik
Rebecca Kavik
Dora Kavik
  01:04:46:11 01:04:50:23 
Johnassie Ippak 
 01:04:52:08 01:04:56:19 
Puasi Ippak 
 01:04:58:02 01:05:02:14 
and Elijah Oqaituq 
 01:05:07:15 01:05:09:06 
We're here. 
 01:05:27:20 01:05:34:02 
Created With 
The Community of Sanikiluaq 
 01:06:21:22 01:06:28:04 
Edited By
Evan Warner 
Jocelyne Chaput 
 01:06:44:08 01:06:48:22 
Developed with
Johnny Kudluarok
Dinah Kavik
  01:07:12:22 01:07:19:04 
People of a Feather 
 01:07:20:11 01:07:26:09 
A film by Joel Heath 
 01:07:45:20 01:07:50:14 
Present Day
  01:08:19:19 01:08:21:13 
Which island are we going to? 
 01:08:22:20 01:08:24:20 
Over there where the mosquitoes are?
  01:08:25:07 01:08:26:21 
The ones we brought with us? 
 01:08:27:11 01:08:29:19 
Are you scared of mosquitoes?
  01:08:31:10 01:08:32:17 
They are bothersome! 
 01:09:16:11 01:09:18:11 
There are eiders over there! 
 01:09:27:21 01:09:29:20 
Leave some now. 
 01:09:31:11 01:09:33:14 
Not too much grass on those eh? 
 01:09:44:03 01:09:45:12 
It's floating. 
 01:09:47:02 01:09:49:18 
Sim, there's a baby inside. 
 01:09:49:23 01:09:51:10 
Ok, put it back here. 
 01:09:54:15 01:09:56:02 
Give me some. 
 01:09:57:22 01:10:01:06 
There's not too much grass
in it after all. 
 01:10:17:05 01:10:23:06 
Maybe we can pick more down near 
Quatjuit on our way camping.
  01:10:23:11 01:10:26:18 
That down has seaweed in it. 
 01:10:27:14 01:10:30:16 
Eider down in seaweed is
 the best kind to pick. 
 01:10:31:15 01:10:33:23 
My goodness look at all the mosquitos. 
 01:14:17:11 01:14:21:14 
Sanikiluaq, Nunavut
  01:17:53:18 01:17:58:00 
Fall is the most important time of year
 for hunting eider ducks. 
 01:18:00:03 01:18:02:21 
Eiders on our islands don't migrate.
  01:18:03:21 01:18:05:23 
They stay here all year. 
 01:18:16:18 01:18:20:01 
In the winter, the eiders move with the sea ice... 
 01:18:20:12 01:18:25:14 
... looking for good feeding areas
 amongst the open water habitats.
  01:18:39:01 01:18:45:19 
One winter in the early 90's, there was
 a large die off of thousands of eiders.
  01:18:58:23 01:19:03:23 
We were concerned so we contacted
 the Canadian Wildlife Service. 
 01:19:05:02 01:19:11:19 
One of the biologists  that came up was studying
 eiders by filming them diving under the ice. 
 01:19:25:21 01:19:30:05 
Research Site - 2010 
 01:19:44:14 01:19:45:18 
Ohh, lots of food, ehh? 
 01:19:45:21 01:19:46:11 
 01:19:46:15 01:19:47:12 
Sea urchins? 
 01:19:47:16 01:19:48:20 
Right here anyway. 
 01:19:49:03 01:19:50:11 
Are they diving right now?
  01:19:51:06 01:19:53:02 
Ehh, they’re diving right there. 
 01:20:01:19 01:20:03:04 
Nice and clear on the bottom ehh?
  01:20:03:14 01:20:04:21 
Yeah, it is.
  01:20:13:20 01:20:15:20 
Lotta eider ducks you got in there! 
 01:20:16:01 01:20:17:06 
Yeah, there's a good few.
  01:20:17:15 01:20:18:07 
 01:20:18:17 01:20:20:15 
Yeah this polynya is working out really good.
  01:20:20:23 01:20:21:12 
It's the perfect size so we can have the
 time lapse monitoring the birds... 
01:20:24:04 01:20:26:21
...as well as underwater video at the same time.
  01:20:27:12 01:20:28:11 
Yes b’y...
  01:20:28:11 01:20:29:17 
Yes b’y...
  01:20:30:04 01:20:31:18 
How's the current? Very strong? 
 01:20:32:03 01:20:35:21 
Ahh, just switched over so it's just
 starting to pick up going this way. 
 01:20:36:18 01:20:41:03 
Yup, yeah this polynya wouldn't be
 here back in 80's and 90's.  
 01:20:41:18 01:20:44:00 
Yeah, the weather has been changing and all that. 
 01:20:44:17 01:20:48:23 
That's why the polynya is still here. 
The ice isn't getting any thicker.   
 01:20:49:15 01:20:51:08 
It just aren't, some parts... 
 01:20:55:12 01:20:56:12 
You’re going home?
  01:20:56:16 01:20:58:21 
Yup, can't wait to see my granddaughter. 
 01:20:59:20 01:21:03:21 
Yup, she hugs me very hard.
 Hard as she can. 
 01:21:04:00 01:21:04:12 
  01:21:04:16 01:21:05:08 
  01:21:06:03 01:21:07:18 
Grampa Simionie!
  01:21:09:03 01:21:11:09 
What do you call grampa, adda is father, right?
  01:21:11:12 01:21:13:11 
Ataatasiaq, grand-papa. 
 01:21:15:05 01:21:16:14 
Addaddchuck, grampa. 
 01:21:30:23 01:21:32:22 
For me, this is how it all got started: 
 01:21:33:05 01:21:36:03 
...sitting in a box, watching some ducks. 
 01:21:41:21 01:21:45:12 
Research Site - 2002
  01:21:50:02 01:21:53:07 
I came up here in response to
 concerns from the community... 
 01:21:53:10 01:21:56:11 
...about large die offs of eider ducks
 that had happened in the wintertime.
01:21:56:20 01:21:59:20
So part of my job was to figure out how changing sea ice... 
  01:21:59:23 01:22:03:08 
...was affecting the ability of eider 
ducks to get through the winter. 
 01:22:09:18 01:22:12:09 
When I first showed up here, one of
 the first things I'd saw... 
 01:22:12:12 01:22:15:15 
...was a die off event of a whole bunch of
 eider ducks getting trapped in the ice.
01:22:15:18 01:22:17:11
The ice was shrinking around them.
  01:22:17:19 01:22:21:08 
There wasn't much open water, 
and it was pretty deep so...
  01:22:21:10 01:22:24:22 
... it cost  a lot of energy for them to dive,
 to get not much food.
  01:22:26:00 01:22:29:12 
And it was only for Simionie and Elijah chopping it open... 
 01:22:29:15 01:22:32:07 
...that kept it from closing up around those birds and...
  01:22:32:15 01:22:35:22 
...at the end of the season, only about 6 birds
 made it through the winter there.
01:22:39:21 01:22:41:01
Tea Time! 
 01:22:41:06 01:22:44:02 
It's tea time already, just for you and me! 
 01:22:50:05 01:22:54:07 
I never would have made it, without my new
 best buddies Elijah and Sim.
  01:23:05:15 01:23:12:21 
Elijah Oqaituk
Simeonie Kavik
 01:23:16:04 01:23:21:20 
I definitely learned a lot, just by sitting in a box
 and by watching the people and listening to them. 
 01:23:44:07 01:23:49:13 
When I first showed up, within like 3 days of being here
 I got really really bad frostbite. 
 01:23:49:23 01:23:51:22 
Almost my whole face was covered. 
 01:23:53:11 01:23:56:21 
And the guys were freaking out, and I didn't know
 what the heck I was doing up here!
01:24:01:07 01:24:03:01
But then I got used to it... 
 01:24:04:09 01:24:06:00 
...and now I love it up here...  
 01:24:10:14 01:24:13:06 
...but some people still call me frosty!
  01:26:17:13 01:26:29:20
 Polynya  ?pä-l?n-'yä
An area of open water surrounded by sea ice that
 remains open throughout the winter due to strong
 currents. An arctic 'oasis'.
  01:26:33:08 01:26:38:12 
100 Years Ago 
 01:27:30:09 01:27:35:02 
The wind is coming from the southwest.
The eiders will leave the floe edge...
01:27:35:06 01:27:38:01
... to come to the polynyas at Agiaraaluit. 
 01:27:38:15 01:27:41:09 
We'll go hunting tomorrow morning.
  01:27:54:18 01:28:01:00 
In the winter, freshwater on our lakes
 and ponds is the first to freeze. 
 01:28:01:09 01:28:04:04 
Sea ice takes much longer. 
 01:28:04:13 01:28:09:04 
In the spring, fresh melting water from the
 mainland would flood our seas...
01:28:09:08 01:28:11:14
...and drive our currents. 
 01:28:12:23 01:28:17:08 
But in the 1970’s, things started to change. 
 01:28:22:08 01:28:24:10 
Many rivers were dammed... 
 01:28:24:19 01:28:27:20 
...trapping our freshwater in reservoirs. 
 01:28:28:15 01:28:31:15 
Now our spring water sits there
 all summer getting warm... 
 01:28:31:20 01:28:33:21 
...until in the winter time... 
 01:28:34:02 01:28:38:20 
...people down south get cold
 and turn up their thermostats... 
 01:28:39:02 01:28:40:20 
...using more power. 
 01:28:41:07 01:28:43:13 
For almost 40 years now...
  01:28:43:17 01:28:48:14 
...reservoirs have dumped their water onto
 the sea ice habitats of Hudson Bay...
01:28:48:18 01:28:51:09
...at the opposite time of year. 
01:28:53:20 01:29:00:02 
Our people on the Belcher Islands were some
 of the first to notice the consequences.
01:30:59:15 01:31:01:09
It's hot on the inside. 
01:31:01:17 01:31:02:12 
 01:31:04:04 01:31:06:18 
Ok granddaughter, do you want 
seal meat from here? 
 01:31:09:06 01:31:10:08 
Seal meat.
  01:31:10:12 01:31:12:07 
I want this part.  01:31:17:08 01:31:18:12 
Can you cut this up smaller? 
 01:31:18:19 01:31:19:21 
Just pull it apart. 
 01:31:38:06 01:31:40:12 
Turn up the volume!
  01:31:40:23 01:31:42:20 
Turn up the volume!
  01:31:56:02 01:31:59:10 
Those are my pepsi! 
 01:35:09:13 01:35:11:07 
Almost like brand new again eh? 
 01:35:13:06 01:35:19:06 
They said they don't have any speakers 
that fit to an MP3 player... 
 01:35:20:07 01:35:22:20 
...so we tried that funnel first.
  01:38:12:10 01:38:15:16 
If you eat the meat you'll get warmer.
  01:38:27:06 01:38:28:22 
She sure likes seal meat.
  01:38:36:00 01:38:39:17 
The long ones sound lower. 
 01:38:41:16 01:38:43:23 
I'll use a short one. 
 01:38:55:13 01:38:56:21 
Now you try. 
 01:38:57:01 01:38:57:19 
  01:38:58:11 01:39:00:15 
You hold the feather like this. 
 01:40:42:11 01:40:45:10 
I remember being at Agiarraluit...
  01:40:45:18 01:40:48:03 
... it was my first time seeing 
so many eiders. 
 01:40:48:19 01:40:51:07 
There were so many flying overhead!
  01:40:51:23 01:40:57:08 
I couldn't stop watching,
I just fell over backwards.
  01:41:00:12 01:41:04:01 
I was just watching the eiders fly by. 
 01:41:04:17 01:41:07:04 
I forgot to hunt them...
  01:41:09:17 01:41:11:20 
... just lying there on my back.
  01:41:18:00 01:41:19:06 
Needs to be dried?
  01:41:21:13 01:41:22:15 
That should be good.
  01:41:38:01 01:41:42:02 
One night I dreamed I followed 
a rabbit into it's burrow.
  01:41:46:20 01:41:50:07 
As I went further, the hole got bigger and bigger... 
 01:41:50:13 01:41:54:17 
...until it swallowed all our rivers and freshwaters. 
 01:41:56:19 01:42:03:01 
Somewhere deep underground, the energy is being
 taken out of our spring currents...
01:42:03:06 01:42:07:14
...so people down south can stay warm in the winter. 
 01:42:33:14 01:42:37:12 
This is the spillway of just one phase one reservoir. 
 01:42:37:18 01:42:44:17 
This single reservoir covers almost 3000 square
 hectares of drowned  forest and river valley. 
  01:42:47:11 01:42:50:19 
That's the fresh water they put into 
the salt water in James Bay.
  01:42:50:23 01:42:54:12 
Phase one flooding extends 600km inland...
 01:42:54:14 01:43:00:15 
...in a chain of huge reservoirs that would
 more than bury Prince Edward Island.
01:42:51:22 01:42:54:21
That's the rivers that 
have been dammed. 
 01:43:01:22 01:43:05:08 
When they finish building the dams, 
we won't have any salt water left. 
01:43:05:14 01:43:11:10 
When the main powerhouse starts spewing 350 times
 the natural amount of fresh water... 
01:43:11:18 01:43:17:12 
... into this closed system, it will be converted
 from a salt to a fresh water habitat... 
 01:43:17:20 01:43:21:04 
...with profound effects on current and ice formation...
  01:43:21:20 01:43:24:23 
...and an entirely different food chain will develop.
  01:43:30:03 01:43:31:19 
An eider duck!
  01:43:32:01 01:43:34:01 
You can see an urchin in his throat.
  01:43:38:07 01:43:41:12 
Ice formed but water from
the dam is breaking it up. 
 01:43:42:16 01:43:45:20 
Normal spring flow is held back behind dikes...
  01:43:46:00 01:43:49:20 
...as electricity demands lessen,
 to be released in the winter... 
 01:43:50:00 01:43:51:12 
...for the high use period
  01:43:52:03 01:43:58:04 
No-one knows what reversing this normal seasonal
 input from rivers will do to the bays.
  01:43:59:00 01:44:01:00 
Timing is critical. 
 01:44:04:11 01:44:06:12 
With David Suzuki, Suzuki. 
 01:44:13:04 01:44:16:09 
The ice is harder to understand now. 
 01:44:16:19 01:44:18:19 
Hunting is more dangerous.
  01:44:18:23 01:44:21:10 
Maybe we won't be able 
to hunt anymore.
  01:44:22:02 01:44:24:03 
Maybe only by boat. 
 01:44:35:12 01:44:46:03 
Floe Edge
The intersection of shoreline ice and open water that
 moves with wind and currents.
   01:45:15:16 01:45:20:10 
When I first came up here I was starting to think
 about the effect of climate change... 
 01:45:20:14 01:45:23:21 
...environmental change on sea ice ecosystems,
 and eider ducks and people. 
 01:45:26:09 01:45:30:17 
Then when I started making this film I began by interviewing...
  01:45:30:22 01:45:35:12 
...elders in the community, and everyone started
 talking about Hydro Quebec, hydro.
01:45:43:19 01:45:48:03
I've been aware that the currents 
around the islands...
  01:45:48:20 01:45:53:18 
...are not as strong now due to 
hydro projects on the mainland. 
 01:45:55:07 01:46:01:04 
Currents give us the food for all 
living things in the sea...
  01:46:01:10 01:46:02:20 
...and us too.
  01:46:03:06 01:46:08:12 
When the tides turn and the 
currents change direction...
  01:46:08:18 01:46:10:20 
 ... the floe edges clamp shut... 
 01:46:11:04 01:46:13:18 
... so the eiders have to 
find open water... 
 01:46:14:19 01:46:21:12 
...and that's when they 
fly to the polynyas. 
 01:46:22:00 01:46:24:14 
They don't stay there all winter. 
 01:46:25:02 01:46:30:11 
When the polynya starts to 
get small, they move. 
 01:46:31:06 01:46:36:07 
Some polynyas close over 
but others stay open... 
 01:46:36:13 01:46:38:22 
...where the currents are strong.
  01:46:40:05 01:46:49:07 
Since the damming began our currents 
have not been as strong.
  01:46:50:12 01:46:54:14 
With weaker currents the polynyas 
may not stay open all winter. 
 01:46:57:15 01:47:00:17 
The first question we asked is what's 
going to happen with the eider ducks?
  01:48:08:06 01:48:09:13 
Since first talking to the elders... 
 01:48:09:18 01:48:12:02 
...and working with the hunters for many years now...
  01:48:12:07 01:48:14:20 
... I’ve learned a lot about sea ice ecosystems... 
 01:48:15:01 01:48:19:17 
...and how changing the hydrological cycle can influence the marine environment. 
 01:48:20:15 01:48:25:01 
But we’re only just beginning to understand these
 effects and we still have a lot of questions.
  01:48:26:09 01:48:29:16 
What about other animals that rely on sea ice?
  01:48:29:20 01:48:33:17 
And what about the rest of the world outside of Hudson Bay? 
 01:48:35:12 01:48:39:10 
The deeper I dug, the bigger I 
realized the scale of the issue. 
 01:48:40:01 01:48:44:04 
Hudson Bay drains over 40% of Canada...
  01:48:44:07 01:48:48:08 
...and almost all that freshwater passes by the
 Belcher Islands, in the heart of Hudson Bay... 
 01:48:48:13 01:48:51:16 
...before it leaves through the Hudson Straight
 and enters the Labrador Current. 
 01:48:51:20 01:48:56:00 
And the momentum of the Labrador current is
 driven by cold salty water sinking... 
 01:48:56:05 01:48:59:01 
...which in turn brings the gulf stream to Europe.
  01:48:59:05 01:49:03:04 
This process drives our ocean currents and our global climate... 
 01:49:03:10 01:49:07:02 
...and here we are dumping warm freshwater
 into it from reservoirs... 
 01:49:07:06 01:49:08:23 
...at the opposite time of year. 
 01:49:09:04 01:49:13:06 
Globally over 50% of accessible freshwater is now behind dams. 
 01:49:13:11 01:49:17:01 
We’re working against the seasons of our hydrological cycle. 
 01:49:17:15 01:49:21:03 
We still have a lot to learn, but we can
 tell you from our perspective here... 
 01:49:21:11 01:49:25:15 
...things are getting a lot noisier, and less predictable. 
  01:50:56:19 01:51:00:07 
Daniel, maybe this harpoon head 
is going to be better. 
  01:51:03:12 01:51:07:05 
Because your harpoon has only caught
one seal, but this will catch lots! 
 01:51:10:13 01:51:12:12 
Once I drill the hole in the shaft... 
 01:51:13:13 01:51:15:01 
...it will be done. 
 01:51:20:06 01:51:21:18 
Only the tip will be sharp. 
 01:51:22:00 01:51:24:01 
If it is sharpened too far down...
  01:51:25:06 01:51:27:10 
...the gash will be too big... 
 01:51:27:23 01:51:29:10 
...and it won't stay in. 
 01:51:34:11 01:51:35:19 
There is a crack...  01:51:35:23 01:51:40:16 
...down past the shack 
at Kangiqsujuaq.
  01:51:41:21 01:51:43:13 
It's not very stable there.
  01:51:44:03 01:51:46:06 
And this area is probably not safe. 
 01:51:46:13 01:51:50:05 
These polynyas around Nanuqtukk
are probably not safe... 
 01:51:50:10 01:51:52:10 
...because of the mild weather. 
 01:51:53:08 01:51:57:09 
We almost lost Elijah's skidoo here. 
 01:51:58:12 01:52:02:13 
But it will probably be safe enough 
to go there and hunt seals. 
 01:52:06:15 01:52:07:23 
In the morning.  01:52:44:16 01:52:46:13 
It rotted while I was letting it sit.
  01:52:48:23 01:52:50:05 
Lazy person.  01:53:17:23 01:53:20:07 
A lazy person's bearded seal rope. 
 01:56:59:00 01:57:01:10 
There could be a lot of eiders here tonight. 
 01:57:01:16 01:57:04:14 
They'll be flying in when 
the floe edge closes. 
 01:57:06:04 01:57:08:17 
They will be coming from that way. 
 02:00:09:16 02:00:15:22 
Layer upon layer, these same feathers have
 kept us warm for hundreds of years. 
 02:00:19:06 02:00:24:15 
The technology of the eider stores
 our energy and keeps out the cold. 
 02:00:32:06 02:00:37:15 
With all of modern technology, surely
 there must be a way to store energy...
  02:00:37:21 02:00:42:04 
...without disrupting the currents
 and reversing the seasons.
  02:01:05:13 02:01:06:18 
Hi Peter. 
 02:01:07:17 02:01:09:08 
No seals eh? 
 02:01:10:22 02:01:13:10 
The last seal that I caught sank. 
 02:01:13:23 02:01:14:19 
 02:01:15:04 02:01:16:05 
 02:01:19:18 02:01:22:12 
They are skinny so that could be why. 
 02:01:23:09 02:01:28:20 
The fat was really thin on
the last one I caught. 
 02:01:32:20 02:01:34:16 
Was it a full grown seal? 
 02:01:37:09 02:01:39:14 
When they should be feeding... 
 02:01:39:21 02:01:42:11 
...they are just basking on the rocks. 
 02:01:42:15 02:01:44:23 
...because the spring sea ice 
doesn’t last as long. 
 02:01:46:02 02:01:48:20 
Elijah had a close call at Uivvaaluk. 
 02:01:49:09 02:01:51:06 
He almost went through the ice.
  02:01:51:17 02:01:53:08 
He was gunning his motor...
  02:01:53:23 02:01:56:02 
but still just moving slowly. 
 02:01:56:14 02:02:00:11 
His qamotik was underwater by 
the time he got onto solid ice. 
 02:02:01:03 02:02:05:13 
These days, even when it doesn’t look
 dangerous, it's dangerous.
   02:02:07:01 02:02:09:04 
When you see broken piled up ice... 
 02:02:11:10 02:02:14:13 
...you can tell it isn't very thick.  
 02:02:20:12 02:02:24:02 
The ice used to be so smooth. 
 02:02:24:06 02:02:29:15 
There was a crack over there that 
we enjoyed hunting seals at. 
 02:02:30:10 02:02:33:22 
But it's only piled up ice there now.
  02:02:38:01 02:02:42:01 
I think we’ll have better luck at the
 breathing holes closer to shore. 
 02:02:42:18 02:02:46:23 
We can catch seals there because they 
have to breathe sooner or later.
  02:02:56:07 02:03:00:17 
The eider ducks have been coming over 
this way all winter practically. 
 02:03:02:10 02:03:05:03 
I wonder if there are lots of
eiders around Kataluk. 
 02:03:05:06 02:03:08:06 
There must be eiders keeping the ice open.
  02:03:08:15 02:03:09:14 
I agree. 
02:03:21:15 02:03:22:23 
Bye Peter. 
 02:04:02:12 02:04:04:13 
Your legs shouldn't move. 
 02:04:05:14 02:04:07:18 
Only your arms should move. 
 02:05:05:00 02:05:06:17 
What a miss! 
 02:05:36:13 02:05:38:22 
Elijah missed so let's use this hole... 
 02:05:39:10 02:05:41:04 
...for salinity monitoring. 
 02:05:44:02 02:05:46:07 
Bring over the orange case. 
 02:06:17:16 02:06:19:15 
Here it goes. 
 02:06:30:03 02:06:31:07 
We're trying to see... 
 02:06:31:15 02:06:34:16 
... how much freshwater 
there is on top.
  02:06:36:07 02:06:38:07 
Because of hydro dams. 
 02:06:40:22 02:06:43:11 
They are being built everywhere. 
 02:06:45:09 02:06:48:13 
This can help researchers 
monitor salinity. 
 02:08:02:15 02:08:04:06 
- Can you get it out?
- Almost
  02:08:04:10 02:08:05:18 
Go get the gaff hook.
 02:08:15:09 02:08:16:17 
Over there. 
 02:08:17:16 02:08:19:07 
Don't put your hand in there! 
 02:08:19:09 02:08:20:15 
Let the rope go slack first.
  02:08:28:06 02:08:29:16 
Get ready to kill it.
  02:08:29:20 02:08:30:18 
Here goes. 
 02:08:36:17 02:08:39:02 
I saw the whiskers coming up. 
 02:08:39:09 02:08:41:07 
What were you thinking? 
 02:08:41:11 02:08:42:14 
Here goes! 
 02:08:44:12 02:08:47:12 
Rinse the harpoon head in the water. 
 02:08:51:02 02:08:53:13 
First time it came, it just 
rippled the water. 
 02:09:16:06 02:09:19:17 
Your seal oil lamp will 
have fat for light now. 
 02:09:19:21 02:09:21:09 
If I had a seal fat lamp! 
 02:09:26:03 02:09:28:06 
Are you going to use the 
skin to wrap the meat? 
 02:09:51:09 02:09:52:18 
Come eat!
  02:12:25:03 02:12:29:10 
Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned from
 talking to the elders and hunters...
  02:12:29:14 02:12:33:20 
is that the problem lies in not having
 too much or too little sea ice... 
 02:12:34:22 02:12:36:08 
...but instead in its increasing variability.
 It's less predictable now.
  02:12:39:12 02:12:44:01 
Winters are getting milder, and on top of that,
 warmer water coming from the reservoirs... 
 02:12:44:05 02:12:48:01 
...can break up sea ice and keep it
 from freezing in the first place. 
 02:12:48:16 02:12:52:22 
At the same time, freshwater freezes at
 warmer temperatures than salt water... 
 02:12:53:02 02:12:56:19 
..and with currents getting slower,
 new ice can form very quickly... 
 02:12:57:08 02:13:01:05 
...but it's more brittle and less flexible than salt water ice. 
 02:13:03:11 02:13:07:20 
So this effects of how polynyas form... 
 02:13:08:00 02:13:12:07 
...and floe edges break and move 
in complex ways...
  02:13:13:21 02:13:16:13 
...and changes the dynamics of sea ice, and
 that makes the ice less safe for people... 
 02:13:16:18 02:13:19:14 
...and more difficult for the animals to make decisions... 
 02:13:20:19 02:13:23:00 
...and sometimes they run out of options. 
  02:19:15:02 02:19:16:18 
The floe edge has been closing up... 
 02:19:16:23 02:19:19:12 
...that's the only puddles they could find. 
 02:19:25:10 02:19:28:14 
If we don't help them, they're 
all just going to die off. 
 02:19:42:13 02:19:45:14 
By opening up the puddle there... 
 02:19:46:10 02:19:50:09 
...make more room and they'll start 
diving and start moving around. 
 02:20:28:05 02:20:30:11 
Never ignore a dying bird. 
 02:23:17:06 02:23:17:22 
  02:23:17:07 02:23:18:17 
How's it going?
  02:23:19:07 02:23:20:02 
Good you? 
 02:23:20:08 02:23:21:05 
Pretty good. 
 02:23:21:10 02:23:23:17 
You guys have a chance to see the big polar bear? 
 02:23:23:23 02:23:24:23 
Polar Bear? No. 
 02:23:25:03 02:23:28:13 
Yeah, I chased him away.
Was coming towards your blind here.  
 02:23:29:06 02:23:32:00 
He was huge one!
How's the eider ducks going?
  02:23:32:08 02:23:33:13 
Good! They've been diving
  02:23:33:17 02:23:34:11 
Oh yeah?
  02:23:37:19 02:23:42:05 
Oh, it's very easy now, compared to your old pole? 
 02:23:42:09 02:23:43:18 
Yeah, this one's a lot better.
  02:23:44:11 02:23:45:14 
Yup, Getting professional!
  02:23:45:20 02:23:46:16 
Getting there maybe. 
 02:23:46:21 02:23:50:19 
Maybe it will ok for you to have
 students now these days. 
 02:23:51:02 02:23:55:17 
Yup, get a job at a university, 
Get a few students.
  02:23:56:09 02:23:58:22 
You'll take care of umm when they
 are up here all by themselves? 
 02:23:59:01 02:24:00:09 
So I'll get to work again! 
 02:24:01:23 02:24:06:06 
And then Daniel your son  maybe he'll
 be your student and then one day... 
 02:24:06:15 02:24:08:08 
...he'll be teaching my students. 
 02:24:10:06 02:24:12:07 
Yuuup! Yeah he love to hunt. 
 02:24:12:21 02:24:16:07 
Not like his younger brother, his younger
 brother don't like to hunt. 
 02:24:16:15 02:24:19:05 
Daniel used to hunt a lot in the summer, fall... 
 02:24:19:16 02:24:21:09 
...but mostly his first time, this year. 
 02:24:21:11 02:24:22:03 
This winter, yeah.  
 02:24:22:11 02:24:25:18 
He caught one, two, three, four seals this year. 
 02:24:27:11 02:24:29:00 
He's got lots of babies to feed now.
  02:24:29:06 02:24:29:16 
  02:24:32:01 02:24:34:21 
Yup. Lucky ehh, they eating sea urchins, and uvalu. 
 02:24:35:11 02:24:38:08 
Uvalu, muscles. 
 02:24:38:21 02:24:41:14 
Yeah these ones don't seem to want to go
 anywhere. They seem to be staying here. 
 02:24:41:18 02:24:43:17 
Maybe they a family group ehh? 
 02:24:44:06 02:24:45:01 
Could be! 
 02:24:45:13 02:24:46:12 
Yeah, ya never know. 
 02:24:46:23 02:24:49:03 
Must be very good to eat with bacon! 
 02:24:49:12 02:24:50:19 
What? Family groups? 
 02:24:54:10 02:24:57:01 
Yup, there seem to be lot of them now ehh? 
 02:24:59:08 02:25:02:01 
There's an adult male coming, eating away. 
 02:25:04:09 02:25:06:00 
Some of them look so skinny. 
 02:25:06:04 02:25:09:15 
Yup, especially the ones just sleeping there. 
 02:25:11:07 02:25:16:09 
Yeah even on other spots on polynyas, 
some of them are no good. 
 02:25:17:10 02:25:19:06 
And some of them are already open.
  02:25:19:11 02:25:22:02 
They only supposed to open on May. 
 02:25:23:20 02:25:25:20 
The world's getting crazy. 
 02:25:56:21 02:26:09:05 
In 1996, Inuit and Cree went to New York City and were able to stop
 additional hydroelectric developments.  
 02:26:10:21 02:26:21:22 
But it was just a delay. A similar project became operational in 2010,
 significantly expanding the hydroelectric complex. 
 02:26:23:12 02:26:33:11 
The new project was approved on the condition that a study of the
 cumulative effects on the marine ecosystem would be undertaken. 
  02:26:37:13 02:26:42:18 
To date, no such study has been done. 
 02:27:20:06 02:27:28:15 
The Arctic Eider Society has been formed to assist Inuit in 
community based environmental monitoring programs...
  02:27:30:05 02:27:38:10 
...to provide research and education combining Inuit and
 scientific knowledge on sea ice ecosystems....
  02:27:39:15 02:27:47:19 
...and to support development of energy solutions that 
work with the seasons, not against them. 
 02:27:52:21 02:28:03:08 
For more information visit
 02:31:42:00 02:31:55:12 
This project was produced on a not-for-profit basis. 
Proceeds support research, education and outreach
initiatives of the Arctic Eider Society including 
"The Arctic Sea Ice Educational Package"
 for high school curriculum.
  02:31:55:12 02:32:01:12 
To learn more and show your support, visit us at 
© 2013 Journeyman Pictures
Journeyman Pictures Ltd. 4-6 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
Email: info@journeyman.tv

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" What what incredible detail ... besides the underwater footage [director Joel Heath] records seasonal changes in time-lapse photography that's far more beautiful in scale and drama than a quick description can do justice. And importantly, he puts Inuit locals in the film in a very carefully paced way, allowing the different rhythms of Northern life to dictate the flow of the film." -- Globe and Mail


"Artful and meditative...a near mystical mix of time-lapse Arctic landscapes, marine life photography, and interwoven imagery of Inuit life." -The Georgia Straight

"As the need for a political response to the crisis is self-evident, Heath opts to focus on the spiritual dimension of this threatened ecosystem, trying to capture the energy of these communities and the movements they carry out — ducks swimming and flying, Inuits traveling through breaking ice by motorboat, a child dancing to music on the radio — which suggest a kind of cosmic energy that animates all life on earth. This is rendered through Heath's stunning use of time-lapse photography of the ice and water currents changing — which, on one hand, conveys the stark immediacy of the issue, while on the other hand, suggesting a supernatural force to which all existence belongs and which transcends human's deformation of the natural order." -Cineaste

"'People of a Feather shows the Inuits fighting to adapt and survive amidst a changing Arctic, as embodied by the eider duck and their warm feathers. Like so many films made in the harsh north, it's sobering to see global warming's effect, inspiring to see how beautiful this untrammeled parts of the world can be and a lot more fun to see it on DVD than go there yourself." -Huffington Post

“For a movie that starts off talking about ducks, People of a Feather ends up negotiating nothing less than man’s place, and our role, in the entire life cycle. It’s an undeniably elegant feat, and one that could very well reframe the way you live the rest of your life.” 4/5 Stars KATHERINE MONK, POSTMEDIA

“Movie poetry at work.. Astounding.. Compelling.. Entertaining” 4.5/5 Stars THE VANCOUVER OBSERVER

“Poetic and artistic... a near mystical mix of time-lapse Arctic landscapes, marine-life photography, and interwoven imagery of present-day and historical Inuit life.” THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT

“Painterly images... highly cinematic instances in which traditional ways collide headlong with the modern world” WE VANCOUVER

“Beautifully put together with an artistic sensibility often overlooked in the environmental documentary” RED WIRE


Winner, Best film of 2011 British Columbia Winner, Environment Award, San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

Winner, Audience Choice Best Environmental Film, Top 10 Most Popular Canadian Film, 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival


Main credits

Heath, Joel (director of photography)
Heath, Joel (film director)
Heath, Joel (film producer)
Emikotailuk, Shaopik (narrator)

Other credits

Edited by Evan Warner & Jocelyne Chaput; music, Cris Derksen [and 5 others].

Distributor credits

Joel Heath

Joel Heath

Filmed, Directed and Produced by Joel Heath
Created with the Community of Sanikiluaq
Developed with Johnny Kudlurock & Dinah Kavik -- Featuring Simeonie Kavik and family
An International Polar Year Canada Production -- In collaboration with The Canadian Wildlife Service
Music by Tanya Tagaq, Cris Derksen and Curtis Andrews
Edited by Evan Warner and Jocelyne Chaput

Docuseek2 subjects

Environmental Justice
Anthropology and Archaeology
Environmental Science
Bioregions and Habitat
Americas, The
Climate Change
Communication and Media Studies
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Human Rights
Race and Racism
Global / International Studies
Film and Video Studies
Indigenous Studies
Conservation and Protection
Habitat Destruction
Environmental Geography

Distributor subjects

Environmental Geography
Environmental Justice
Gender Studies
Indigenous Studies
North American Studies
Public Health
Social Movements
Youth and Family


Inuit peoples, ecology, dams, Quebec, Canada, reservations, culture, citizen science, social impact, energy solutions ; "People of a Feather "; Global Environmental Justice

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