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Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

Qitsualik-TinsleyOf Inuit ancestry, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley was born into the traditional 1950’s culture of iglu-building and dog-sledding, later becoming a translator, writer, and activist. She is a scholar of world religions, and considered an authority on Inuit language, mythology, and pre-colonial religion. She has published several hundred articles, as well as many mythic retellings and works of original fiction. Her current projects focus on utilizing fiction to discuss unique Inuit mystical and philosophical concepts stemming from Inuit cosmology of the pre-contact period. Her goal is to reveal, for all readers, the secret thought and sophistication behind Inuit cosmology. She has published for a wide range of ages, her work having been accessed as university course content. In 2012, she received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her written contributions to Canadian culture.

Of mixed heritage, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley enjoyed a multicultural background steeped in naturalism, before training as a writer in Toronto. He is a literatist of world religions, comparative esoterism, and mythology, having come to focus on Inuit pre-colonial cosmology. After receiving an international award for a speculative fiction short (Green Angel, 2005), he undertook the task of showcasing the unique flavour of pre-colonial Inuit imagery, combining speculative fiction elements with the world-setting of ancient Inuit thought. He is fascinated by the deep structure and “magical histories” borne in mythical allegory. His fiction and non-fiction, some of which has been accessed as university content, addresses a general range of ages.


Ajjiit: Dark Dreams of the Ancient Arctic

Ajjiit: Dark Dreams of the Ancient Arctic by Sean Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik

Ajjiit: Dark Dreams of the Ancient Arctic, by Sean Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik, is a collection of fantasy short stories based on Inuit myth and culture. It isn’t often I come across wholly unfamiliar fantasy backgrounds, creatures, or images and it really was a pleasure to wander through the utter strangeness of these stories. They took me places I didn’t expect to go: not to the snowy arctic landscape I imagined, but instead deep underground or even, in one story, to the moon for one of the weirder competitions I’ve seen.

And Tinsley and Qitsualik introduced characters I hadn’t expected to meet: not the polar bears and seals and fishermen I anticipated, but rather half-wolves, crystalline-like cavern dwellers and sword-carrying bee creatures. Though indeed, form is something many of the characters and creatur... Read More

Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic: Has a winning charm

Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic
, by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, is a Middle Grade book that despite some problems has a winning charm to it.

Set in, well, the old Arctic, at a time when the Inuit were just entering a land, the story is both a coming-of-age tale and a clash of cultures narrative. The coming-of-age belongs to a young Inuit hunter named Kannujaq. The culture clash involves the new-to-this-land Inuit, represented solely by Kannujaq; those who already lived in the land, the Tuniit — represented here by a single village; and the Norse; in this case a single ship of raiders.

Those raiders have just attacked the Tuniit village just as Kannujaq had the misfortune of mistaking the village for one of his people’s roving encampments. Before he can leave, the young shama... Read More