Saami, Finnish, Inuktitut: ancient cousins, once removed

A date with Siku girl

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the circumpolar region could understand each other without translators or interpreters? At least one linguist thinks that may have been the case about 20,000 years ago.

Michael Fortescue, a linguist and expert in Eskimo–Aleut and Chukotko-Kamchatkan, believes that a group of people, all speaking a common language that he’s dubbed “Uralo-Siberian,” then lived by hunting, fishing and gathering in south-central Siberia (an area located roughly between the upper Yenisei river and Lake Baikal in today’s Russia, as shown in the map).

The area between the Yenisei River and Lake Baikal in central Siberia where early residents are thought to have spoken a common language that gave rise to Saami, Finnish and Inuit languages. The area between the Yenisei River and Lake Baikal in central Siberia where early residents are thought to have spoken a common language called Uralo-Siberian that gave rise to Saami, Finnish and Inuit languages.

There, families whose migrations were ruled by the coming and going of glaciers during the Ice Age moved northward out of this area in successive waves until about…

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My top 10 photos from 2016

365 days and thousands of photos later— these are 10 photos which I took that I liked the most.

1. I woke up to this sky this past October in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. I didn’t want to go outside to photograph it, but the colour just got too bright and red. A friend calls it my Martian sky.1

2. In August, also in Cambridge Bay, when the sun had set, the sky was lit up on top with a pink colour, then became deeper blue below.  I also realized in this photo there’s a lot happening besides the sky: There’s a tanker and a friend walking home.2

3. I went driving around to try and catch the super-moon as it rose in September in Cambridge Bay: Here you can see it rising over the airport.3

4. A peregrine falcon warmed itself on this September day. That day by Mt. Pelly outside Cambridge Bay we saw many hawks and peregrines all enjoying the mid-20 C temps.5

5.But it was not always sunny. On this morning the sunrise looked a bit apocalyptic though the window, with Cambridge Bay’s fuel tank farm in the distance.4

6. I took a walk up to the dump in Cambridge Bay and found a few dozen sand hill cranes feasting on the trash. dsc05314

7. Ice grows in bubbles beside a pond in Cambridge Bay, not sure exactly how.7

8. I never get tired of watching snow buntings which hung around this year well into October in Cambridge Bay.8

9. Wow! On a visit back to Finland, the bright , bold colours of Marimekko designs impress me many years after I worked as a salesclerk in the company’s stores.DSC04023

10. And here I am with my Finnish sister Kirsti this past summer in Finland, just the best place to be.10

Let’s all have a great 2017 to come! Onnellista uuttaa vuotaa!