Michael Kusugak is a natural storyteller who has an easy rapport with audiences. He uses personal anecdotes of living in the Canadian Arctic and incorporates traditional spirit creatures into his stories to draw out lessons for modern life. His manner and stories will expand understanding of the Inuit beyond stereotypes of igloos, nose-rubbing, and whale blubber.
Michael Kusugak’s own story is equally as fascinating as those he takes pen to paper. He grew up living in igloos, sod huts, and tents. He traveled by dog team following the caribou or living on the sea ice so that his family could hunt seals, whales, walrus, and catch fish to eat. In this captivating presentation, Michael weaves traditional stories passed down from his elders with his life stories.
Michael spent many years in several residential schools. The worst of these was at the Catholic Mission in Chesterfield Inlet. It was run by nuns, priests and brothers. Michael talks about some of his experiences in these schools when requested in age/grade appropriate sessions. School had both negative and positive effects on his life, and he talks about both sides but likes to focus on the strength he gained and the learning that brought him to who he is today. Michael’s mother always told him, “No matter what you experience in life take the good and leave the bad behind.” This advice has guided him in his life.