Rankin Inlet is the setting for Aullaarumannarmaat. The words, in Inuktitut, tell about the longing for spring when one can be on the land hunting. The slow introduction with harmonica and an ay ya ya song drummer is a perfect setting to show the Arctic landscape and the traditional lifeways. The present townsite was not inhabited because of lack of game, but the mouth of the nearby Meliadine River shows intensive use by the Inuit. Here they built stone weits to channel fish, mainly Arctic char, into shallow water where they could be speared. They hunted seals in the area and trapped waterfowl, but caribou was the mainstay of life for the majority of the Inuit in the area.
With a sudden change of tempo, the video thrusts us into Rankin Inlet of the 1990s. Now we see a bustling business and service community of over 2,000Inuit and non-native persons. The business roots of Rankin Inlet were laid in the 1950s when the North Rankin Nickel Mine began operation. Many Inuit, such as our lead singers father, John Tiktak, came to work in the mine, which was eventually closed in 1962. In the 1950s other inland Inuit, hard pressed by the unstable caribou numbers, moved to Rankin Inlet, and other coastal communities such as Arviat and Chesterfield Inlet, to take jobs and be closer to government services.
Now the music changes to vocals, where the singers express their longing for spring when they feel the sun on their faces and prepare their tea outside. Their desire to be on the land hunting and fishing is an overwhelming felling and eloquently expressed in this video as you will hear.