Inukshuk population growing

A drive through Northwestern Ontario almost guarantees the sight of at least one Inukshuk, an Inuit tradition which is becoming one of many Canadian emblems.
The stone structures are often built with a human shape and catch the eyes of most passer-bys. Tourists often who have never seen an Inukshuk before are often impressed by the number of mysterious rock figures when they drive through the area.
“That’s one of the number one questions,” said Jane Johnstone the regional coordinator for northern Ontario’s government travel centers.
The Fort Frances travel center has put together a display and a number of brochures to explain to tourists from other countries and provinces what an inukshuk is and were in comes from.
The Inukshuks were originally built in the Arctic by the Inuit and used as landmarks to direct wayward travelers to certain areas. Others were used to remember hunting and fishing spots.
The word ‘Inukshuk’ is an Inuit word meaning the ‘image of a man’ and most Inukshuks do have a semblance of humanity with arms, legs and a head.
Here they are part of an increasing fad, appearing more and more often across an increasingly large geographic area.
“A lot of Americans build them just to see if they’re still there when they come back,” said Johnstone.
But even though they are now built for fun they do seem to be retain a certain symbolism as a travellers signature.
“A lot of them (tourists) are now doing them and I’d say more power to them. It’s better than graffiti and stuff like that. Building Inukshuks doesn’t hurt anything,” said Johnstone.