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Kivalliq July 2019 in review: Book launch; helping hands; tragic times; camp visits

Successful program

Baker Lake

A program teaching youth how to prepare meat and sew sealskin mitts met with early success, while helping to improve and nurture the cultural and traditional skills of its participants in Baker Lake.

The program is funded through the Baker Lake Health and Wellness Committee, instructed by elder Patsy Kaayak and focused on youth 12 to 17 years of age.

Book launch

Baker Lake

The culmination of two decades of pride, determination, wonder, discovery, talent, respect, and effort took place in Baker Lake when pencil artist Gerald Kuehl held the Kivalliq’s premier book launch for Portraits of the Far North in the community on July 8.

Elder Irene Avaalaaqiaq accepts a a book fron pencil artist Gerald Kuehl in Baker Lake on Nunavut Day, July 9, 2019. photo courtesy of Karen Yip

Portraits of the Far North was released in June and features 106 drawings and written profiles of Kivalliq elders.

Of those 106 Kivalliq elders, 39 are from Baker Lake and their families all received a free copy of Keuhl’s book.

Helping hands

Baker Lake

The Abluqta Society distributed food to 94 hungry people in Baker Lake, moving the society closer to its goal of opening a regular food bank.

The society is a non-profit social enterprise that strives to provide work experience opportunities for Inuit with barriers to employment.

It recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Thrift Shop, which sells recycled clothing, toys, and household goods at reasonable prices.

Tragic times

Chesterfield Inlet/Rankin Inlet

Officers of the Chesterfield Inlet detachment of the RCMP responded to a request for assistance in locating a person who fell into the water while rafting to an egg-picking location on First Lake on July 3.

The body of an adult male was recovered from First Lake, located about three kilometers from the community, with the assistance of members of the community.

Meanwhile, a nine-month-old baby was medevaced to Winnipeg after being injured when a gun was discharged in a home in Rankin Inlet on July 2.

The baby was in an adjacent room when the weapon was discharged.

Realizing a dream

Rankin Inlet

A group of young gymnasts  from the Aqsarniit Ujauttaq (Northern Lights Gymnastics) club made their dream come true by raising thousands of dollars to fly to Rankweil, (Dornbirn) Austria, as part of the Team Canada contingent performing at the 16th World Gymnaestrada from July 7 to 13.

A total of 22,000 participants from 69 countries were represented, making it the largest single sporting event in the world.

Working for life


Outreach worker Brittany Holm teamed with Tuugaalik High School community counsellor Jennifer Kadjuk to deliver the Makimautiksat Youth Wellness and Empowerment program to a senior class shortly before the end of the school year in Naujaat.

Holm said the Makimautiksat program is an evidence-based, community- and land-based program designed to expand on the known protective factors for youth in the prevention of suicide, and the promotion of wellness.

Targeting dogs

Rankin Inlet

The hamlet dog pound was vandalized sometime during the early-morning hours of July 11 in Rankin Inlet.

The pound’s fence was broken, holes were cut in the wire fencing, and three dogs were let off their chains and released by the culprits.

Fun day

Rankin Inlet

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. hosted its annual Family Fun Day in Rankin Inlet on July 27.

The event featured a free barbecue, live music, an ice cream bar, cupcakes, a kid’s carnival, duck tank and Bouncy Castle, face painting, a square dance and lots of draw prizes.

Camp visits


Acura brought its week-long science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) camp to Baker Lake from July 1 to 5, Chesterfield Inlet from July 8 to 12, Coral Harbour from July 15 to 19 and Rankin Inlet from July 22 to 26.

Actua is Canada’s leading STEM youth outreach network, representing 39 university- and college-based members.