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November 18, 1990|Charles Solomon

LIVING ARCTIC: Hunters of the Canadian North by Hugh Brody (University of Washington Press: $14.95, illustrated). Brody's thoughtful essays on the history, culture and languages of the Arctic and sub-Arctic peoples of Canada contrast the let's-rub-noses stereotypes with the true nature of these caring, anti-authoritarian cultures. The respectful relationship that the Inuit maintained with their seemingly hostile environment ensured the survival of the people and the animals that supplied their food. (Recent studies have shown that their exclusive diet of meat and fat supplied all the nutrients necessary for human health: Diabetes and other metabolic diseases were unknown among the Inuit until "Southerners" introduced them to flour, sugar and alcohol.) The concluding discussion of politics documents the growing movement among the Native Peoples to preserve their traditional values, despite the increasing commercial exploitation of the Arctic and its mineral resources.

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