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Kivalliq March 2019 in review: Big recognition; financial boost; legend passes; weather woes

Big recognition

Chesterfield Inlet/Rankin Inlet

Victor Sammurtok School (VSS) teacher Glen Brocklebank was named to the prestigious position of laureate trustee within the Arctic Inspiration Prize in March, while Canada 150 Medal winner Rosemary Sandy of Rankin Inlet was honoured as the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council’s Wise Woman Award winner for 2019.

Sandy was honoured with the award for her efforts in keeping traditional knowledge of sewing and cooking alive.

Financial boost


A feasibility study on plans to extend renewable power from northern Manitoba into Nunavut received a major boost with the announcement that the federal government was kicking-in with a $1.6-million grant to the Kivalliq Inuit Association on Feb. 25.

The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs and Internal Trade Yvonne Jones, on behalf of Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

First pour

Rankin Inlet

The Meliadine gold mine on the land near Rankin Inlet took one large step towards starting commercial production when Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) employees at Meliadine gathered around to celebrate the mine’s first pour of gold on the morning of Feb. 21.

AEM corporate director of communications and public affairs Dale Coffin wrote in a news release to commemorate the occasion that the first pour marked the culmination of a journey that began more than 12 years ago and, today, is turning hopes for increased economic and social prosperity in Canada’s North into a reality.

Legend passes

Rankin Inlet

Nunavut mourned the loss of a musical icon with the passing of Charlie Panigoniak in Rankin Inlet on March 6.

The much-loved entertainer and singer-songwriter had been battling Parkinson’s disease for a number of years prior to his death.

Successful program


A special high school program continued its successful run of combining traditional skills with the recognition of positive academic attributes at Tuugaalik High School in Naujaat.

In its seventh year, the special jappa-making program sees the school allocate funding to recognize a small group of high school students who have good attendance, are respectful to staff and fellow students, are helpful to teachers and other students, and always complete their assigned and classroom work. Those selected to the program get to design and sew their very own personal parka.

Club begins


A new taekwon-do club was kicking-up a pile of enthusiasm in Arviat.

Don Peters instructs a young Tae Kwon Do student on her kicking technique during a get together of the new Tae Kwon Do club in Arviat on March 2, 2019. Photo courtesy Gord Billard
Don Peters instructs a young Tae Kwon Do student on her kicking technique during a get together of the new Tae Kwon Do club in Arviat on March 2, 2019. Photo courtesy of Gord Billard

The club was being led by the husband-and-wife team of John Arnalukjuak High School principal Don Peters and his spouse, Joanne.

Grand opening

Rankin Inlet

A weekend’s worth of giveaways and special prices marked the official grand opening of the Eskimo Point Lumber Supply Home Hardware store in Rankin Inlet in March.

In addition to Donna and Cyril Kriterdluk’s big win of a trip for two to Winnipeg, Tommy Gordon won a .22-250 Weatherby rifle, Sheila Schweder took home a brand-new leather sofa couch valued at more than $2,000, and Matt Wilkins won a $500 gift card which he promptly donated to the breakfast program at Leo Ussak Elementary School.

Weather woes


Bad weather prevented students from the communities of Naujaat and Coral Harbour from attending the 2019 edition of the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair on March 15 to 17 at Qitiqliq Middle School in Arviat.

The annual fair is sponsored by the Kivalliq Science Educators’ Community (KSEC) and is hosted by a different school in the region each year.

Arviat’s Jonathan Campbell took top spot at this year’s fair with his Window Parka project.