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Holiday cheer for elders in January

Moving the traditional elders' breakfast from the middle of the holiday season to early January proved to be a big hit for the Kivalliq Inuit Associaion (KIA) in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.

Kivalliq Inuit Association president David Ningeongan second from right spends a few minutes with, from left, Sarah Tattuinee (sitting), Makpataaq Alikshuak, Tom Sammurtok, Tagak Curley, Quluaq Pilakapsi, Cecilia MacCallum, Pierretta Inukshuk, Levinia Brown and Louie Inukshuk during a special elders' breakfast at the KIA office in Rankin Inlet on Jan. 4. photo courtesy of Kivalliq Inuit Association

Executive director Gabe Karlik said the KIA did originally plan to hold the breakfast in early December as usual, but due to sickness among a number of staff members and a death in the community, it was decided to postpone the event for awhile.

He said after double-checking schedules for the various holiday activities during December's Christmas Games, it was noted a number of organizations were holding an elders' breakfast, so the event was rescheduled to the new year on Jan. 4.

We had about 25 staff members help out with the elders' breakfast, which we held right here at our office building, which we've been doing for the past three years,” said Karlik.

It was a little cramped, but we made it made it work – we set-up six tables totalling about 60 chairs and they were all full with more elders waiting for people to finish eating so they could get to sit down.

So, we had at least 100 people come through our office during the morning of the breakfast.”

The breakfast featured a delicious menu of bacon, sausages, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, juice, coffee and tea.

Karlik said the elders always make sure they thank everyone for hosting the special breakfast.

He said during the meal, the KIA also sets-up a TV and plays some old videos of days gone past.

They see old scenes from Rankin, including the days of the nickel mine, and we also play some old traditional movies and the elders really enjoy it,” he said.

Sakku Investments and M&T really helped us a lot with the breakfast, including volunteering with the bus service this year, which was a big help to us in picking-up the elders for free.

This turned out to be a big success and the KIA plans to hold it every year in January from now on. The elders, themselves, told us they just get overwhelmed with all the breakfast stuff that they get during the holidays, so this looks like it's going to be a popular alternative to that.”

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