Interview with Frank Analok on Imnguyaaluk by Dorothy Eber [Interpretation by James Pamioyok] (1999)

Our ancestors have told us that an expedition ship wintered on this island. One of the first ships that came around wintered here. The Inuit who have long passed on before us knew about the white men being there, but our generation has only heard the stories.

I heard from Patsy where the place was where they actually wintered. According to Patsy they were iced in and had no choice. During their time at Imnguyaaluk, they made use of seal oil and blubber – there are large traces of seal oil on the ground. They must have heated things right on the surface of the land. When there`s a concentration of oil, it leaves a slick.

One time, many years later, some Inuit were there on this island – next to the bigger one – waiting for the ice to melt. And when the ice melted, they found the seal-oil slick.

According to our ancestors there had been quite a few white men. I don't know how many but there was a man called Meetick – duck – and a person who was talked about a lot, who was superior. Inuit called him in Inuktitut "Qoitoyok" – "the one who goes to the bathroom a lot," an older man called Qoitoyok – "he who goes to the bathroom a lot." Even though this person was an adult, he was known to pee in his bed at night. That`s just the way he was.


It has been said that once summer came the ship – with sails, like flags – that wintered left for where we do not know, but perhaps for wherever they had come from, and it is believed all the men left with the ship. Whether they made it, I do not know.

As a young man I went seal hunting before freeze-up in this place. But we didn't see the oil slick because the ground was covered over. We didn't find relics of the ship that wintered, but perhaps our ancestors did. These people stayed on the island: that is proved by the fact that the ground is soiled by the rendered seal oil blubber. These people who stayed on the island used the seal oil for heat.

Sunken ship