Getting to Know Greenland: Meet Jens-Erik Kirkegaard, Minister of Industry & Minerals, Government of Greenland
By: Jodi Westrick
Contributed by David Casey
1. Tell us about your life growing up in Greenland.
Life growing up in Ilulissat, Greenland was a joy, and I had a wonderful childhood.
I was born and raised in Ilulissat and have two brothers and one sister. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins made childhood a time of learning love for others, respect and hard work.
I grew up among dogsleds in Ilulissat, which is said to have more dogs than humans. I used my granddad’s dogs to go dogsledding with one of my brothers. Of course there was school as well as sporting activities where I played soccer as a child.
In the summertime we used to go fishing and hunting in the bays around Ilulissat. My Dad had a 30-foot slow-going boat that sailed approx. 6 knots. I used to love boating in my father’s old boat, which was build in 1939 I am told. I remember some of the fishermen used to tease us about the boat being so slow. But it was fun and I liked the journeys as much as the destinations.