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AROUND NUNAVUT: Iqaluit's mayor not pursuing reelection, Sammurtok pens new picture book, and Arctic Inspiration Prize seeks letters of intent

Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern will not be seeking reelection in the fall. She urges the best and brightest Inuit and women to get involved in capital politics.
NNSL file photo

Iqaluit mayor won't be running in fall elections, urges Inuit and women to run


In an Aug. 27 statement, Mayor Madeleine Redfern announced she will not seek reelection this fall.

In her statement, Redfern talks about the challenges and opportunities faced by the growing capital, citing more than $1 billion of actual and projected development during her term.

"A new airport, a deep-sea port, a small craft harbour, a new fibre optic link to Greenland, the new and renovated Arctic College buildings, the new and renovated jails, two new hotels, an upgraded wastewater treatment plant, a new solid waste management facility, a new brewery, a new bar, a new federal daycare, as well as newly paved and repaired roads," she cited.

"Furthermore, there will be 1000 housing units coming online in the next three to five years."

Noting the situation with independent MP Hunter Tootoo, Redfern said she's had to learn how to lobby the federal government directly, which has led to more productive relationships.

Redfern called on the "best and brightest Inuit" to get involved by running for city council.

"I remain convinced, if Inuit lose the capital, we will lose control of the territory and the vision and objectives of the Nunavut Agreement," she said.

Redfern also urged women to get involved in city politics.

"There remains a glaring gender imbalance. As mayor I do not get to vote on council, I only get to break ties. The mayor's job is one of influence, not power. With no women around the table, Iqaluit's women effectively have had no vote for most of this past term," she said.


Sammurtok's latest picture book one to watch for this fall


Nadia Sammurtok's fourth picture book will hit the shelves in September, but In My Anaana's Amautik has already made it onto a list of 30 Canadian picture books to watch out for.

Nadia Sammurtok's fourth picture book, In My Anaana's Amautik, will hit bookstores in September. photo courtesy Inhabit Media

"Nadia Sammurtok lovingly invites the reader into the amautik – the pouch in the back of a mother's parka used to carry a child – to experience everything through the eyes of the baby nestled inside, from the cloudlike softness of the pouch to the glistening sound of Anaana’s laughter," writes publisher Inhabit Media.

"Sweet and soothing, this book offers a unique perspective that will charm readers of all ages."

The book is illustrated by Toronto-based Lenny Lishchenko.

Sammurtok, who is originally from Rankin Inlet and now resides in Iqaluit, has previously written The Caterpillar Woman, Siuluk: The Last Tuniq, and The Owl and the Two Rabbits.

Sammurtok's author's biography states she is passionate about preserving the traditional Inuit lifestyle and Inuktitut language so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.


Polish up projects – Arctic Inspiration Prize wants to hear all about them


The folks at the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) are reminding people who have community-based projects or ideas that the deadline to receive feedback on whether or not they might be eligible is Sept. 9.

All that's required is a letter of intent.

The deadline for the full nominations package is Oct. 15.

Up to $3 million will be awarded across three prize categories – with one team ultimately winning $1 million, up to four teams wining $500,000, and up to seven youth teams winning up to $100,000.

"The AIP is for the North and by the North, with generous support from the south. It encourages, enables and celebrates achievements of the peoples of the North," states the organization.

"The AIP inspires team-building and encourages these teams to develop innovative projects that provide a near-term benefit to Arctic communities. It enables teams to carry out projects, celebrates their achievements and, in so doing, inspires others to follow suit."

Last year's big million-dollar winner is based in Pond Inlet – the Pirurvik Preschool trainers immediately set off on a three-and-a-half-year journey across Nunavut’s three regions to introduce their made-in-Nunavut early childhood education program.