“A breath of fresh air!”
What is ‘aglu’?
As winter sets in and the sea ice begins to form along the vast arctic coastlines, seals create breathing holes in their respective feeding areas to help them survive the long harsh winter ahead. To a seal, an ‘aglu’ brings the breath of life. Seals therefore take great care and effort to not only create the breathing holes but also to maintain them throughout the winter as the ice thickens. And as spring nears and seals begin to exit their breathing holes to warm themselves in the returning sun , mother seals find a new purpose for their ‘aglu’. Mother seals form dens along the walls of the breathing holes so that they can have their pups in a well-concealed and safe environment, away from the reach of predators. They foster and feed their pups in the breathing hole and prepare them for life in arctic waters.
For Inuit hunters that depend on seals to get their families through the harsh arctic winters, these seal holes also represent life and hope. Inuit hunters will often spend countless hours in perfect silence… motionless… waiting… hoping for a seal to appear. And when a seal arrives and is successfully harvested, the hunter will take ice from the breathing hole… melt it in the palm of his hand and then pour it into the mouth of the harvested seal as a way of thanking it for giving its life so that the hunter and his family can have food, clothing and seal oil for traditional oil lamps called ‘qulliq’. Breathing holes represent opportunity and sustenance.
So by definition, ‘aglu’ may be an Inuktitut (Inuit language) word meaning ‘hole in the ice where seals come up to breathe’. But as you have just discovered, an ‘aglu’ represents so much more.
And for our company, we want our clients to know that we value the same principles that an ‘aglu’ represents. Through our business planning and training services, we want to foster and maintain growth and opportunity in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner. We want to help build strong communities, businesses and people.