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Synopsis

In a country this diverse, 'culture' has different meanings. Vance tells a story from the wind-swept Arctic where a stranded Innu woman, fighting to survive, took the time to decorate her clothing with rich designs. A British explorer was amazed at her efforts, but Vance reminds us of the inseparable connection between life and art in Inuit culture (the Innu word for 'breathe' also means 'to make poetry,' and both derive from the word for 'the soul'). No surprise that Aboriginal culture began to change irrevocably with the arrival of more Europeans (who brought their own ideas about culture). But that is another tale in Vance's fascinating History.

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