Author, village mayor, and language analyst born in Ivujivik (Nunavik) in 1951.
Adamie Kalingo was born in 1951 in the village of Ivujivik. At his birth, his baptismal name was Adamie Irnikajak, but as a small child he was known by his Inuit name Irnikajak Qalingu, a first name he received from his grandfather and a surname he received from his father. Adamie Kalingo’s family moved to Salluit, in northern Nunavik, in 1958 and the local federal government official renamed his family “Kalingo”, the Inuit surname of his father. In 1964, he was sent to school in Ottawa (Ontario) where he learned English and gradually forgot Inuktitut. Returning to Ivujivik, ten years later, when his father died, he made his village his home and rediscovered his heritage and Inuit identity.
Between 1991 and 2006, Adamie Kalingo served three terms as mayor of Ivujivik. He then became a community leader working in youth protection in his community. In 2008, he joined the Avataq Cultural Institute as a language analyst, working on Project Nunatop. Within this project, the team visited eleven Nunavik communities to discuss the traditional names of the land, islands and water, and using this information created topographic maps of Nunavik with place names in Inuktitut. In 2015, Adamie Kalingo became the President of Nuvummi LHC Ivujivik, the community’s land holding corporation. Adamie Kalingo reflects on his work and says, “My current job involves a major challenge which consists in rediscovering our culture as the people of Nunavik. I hope this project will allow me to make a valuable contribution to society”.
Adamie Kalingo is also an accomplished author and his writing projects have focused on the promotion of Inuit culture and language. Since the 1970s, he has written many Inuktitut and English articles in magazine such as Taqralik, Igalaaq, North, Makivik Magazine and Inuit Today. For instance, his article entitled « Into Space Age from Primitive Age no Age in Between » was first published in Igalaaq in 1981 and then republished in Taqralik in 1985. In this article, he wrote about how being educated in a white system creates challenges and complexity for Inuit youth, who end up being excluded by both worlds. Adamie Kalingo shared this key subject with Zebedee Nungak. He also wrote about Inuit traditional way of life: “Discovering the macro world of Ivujivik’s plants” (published in Makivik Magazine in 2008-2009), “Seal hunting in winter” (published in Makivik Magazine in 2009). In 2007, Adamie Kalingo created three web blogs: Beluga containing linguistic posts, Ivujivik and Isuurq, providing commentary on life and culture in contemporary Nunavik. Since 2012, his commentaries have moved to Facebook and with thirteen other Inuit authors, he is a member of a private group, Inuusirmik Unikkaatuarvik (meaning literally : “The place where you tell stories about your life”), which shares detailed life stories, including hunting trips. Adamie Kalingo is also the author of the play Kaujjajuk (or Kautjajuq) (2011). Kaujjajuk has been performed by young players from secondary and post-secondary level: the first radio drama show ever created by Nunavik Inuit Theatre Company of Avataq Cultural Institute, it was broadcast on Taqramiut Nipingat, Nunavik’s community radio station. The play’s story deals with the fate of a mistreated orphan : as such, it is a continuation of an unikkaaptuat (Inuit myth) known from Alaska to Greenland. This play’s performance aimed to promote the Inuktitut language and youth communication. In 2012 Adamie Kalingo co-authored with Zebedee Nungak, Sarah Tuckatuck Bennett, Ida Saunders and Moses Novalinga a collective essay entitled Illirijavut. ᐃᓪᓕᕆᔭᕗᑦ. That which we treasure. La langue que nous chérissons. This book published by the Avataq Cultural Institute documents the state of the Inuktitut language in Nunavik and argues for its revitalization.
Adamie Kalingo, also a former teacher, is a radio commentator for Appalimmiut Tusautingat FM, the local radio station of Ivujivik.
He currently lives in Ivujivik and is considered the village’s local historian.