Ilaten Atak Assircaarluki Pikiki

by Ina Pavila

Parents that live harmoniously with each other will in turn have children that live harmoniously with each other. Parents who show stability within the home will more likely have stable children. If we show love and respect to our children, we will have instilled the love and respect as a seed into their souls, which in turn will produce the fruit of love and respect.
“Research is clear that the best way to teach morals and ethics is through example. Just think of what our children are watching and catching. What we may be failing to recognize is that those ethical infractions are impacting our children’s character development and views about the world”. (
Growing up within the home, we were told to listen to our teachers and be respectful to our peers; (assircaarluten ata unuamek pikina: Make sure and behave today). These words were told to us right before we went out the door to go to school. Things that are spoken repetitively are most remembered and even up to adulthood, will be remembered and passed on to our own children. We often hear the term; children are like sponges and they gather information even when we think they are not paying attention or listening. Children are sponges, they can pick up things that sometimes we as adults overlook.
Qanruyutet are terms used by the elders and parents as a way of teaching; they are tools spoken that need to be applied in one’s life. There are many examples of Qanruyutet that if I were to write them down would be extensive, one of which, like the example given; make sure and behave today and listen to your teacher. If kids are picking on you, leave them alone and walk away or tell your teacher. If someone says anything hurtful, uitalluku (leave them be), this is a way in which to live harmoniously with all people and not add fuel to the fire. If we talk back it is like adding fuel to a fire that is already burning. These are just a few of the examples of Qanruyutet.
Uitarrarpet Camek Unangengaituten. (You will not get anything or anywhere by just staying put). One of the things that is spoken by our elders and I believe it to be common sense and it applies within any culture. Nobody gets anywhere in life without making an effort. This is another Qanruyun and also can be a Qaruyun because it builds one courage to accomplish what they put their mind to.
Qaruyutet are words of encouragement that “build courage”; whereas words of discouragement, “destroy courage”. We are taught to encourage (build courage) within our children and the people that live around us. With encouraging words, we empower our youth to be able to live and overcome obstacles that may come their way.
One of the avenues that build courage is Kenka; Love. Ilaten atak kenkurluki pikina: Live today with love for your peers. This can be a Qanruyun, but I chose it to be a Qaruyun because it helps to build one’s courage to have love for each other.
Tuvqakiyaraq (Being considerate and generous to others) is another value that is held dear in our culture. We are taught to take care of Elders and Widows. When a child gets his first catch or even first bucket of berries it is then given to an elder, therefore teaching tuvqakiyaraq.
This will teach them to take care of those that are not able to go hunting or gathering for themselves. This is a value that needs to be taught and carried on to our children so that they can carry it to the next generation and so forth. With this in mind, ilaten atak assircaarluki pikiki (make sure and get along with your peers).
Ina Pavila works and writes through the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council’s Methamphetamine Suicide Prevention Initiative.