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Some Nunavummiut lament changed attitudes and things left behind as Nunavut ages

There is plenty to celebrate on Nunavut’s 21st birthday today, July 8, but not all the change has been good, according to some, and there are still plenty of challenges to be met in the years ahead.

While many folks point out how the internet and the cellphone have been game changers in how we communicate during the past two decades, others lament what they view as the loss of simpler times when people were more relaxed around each other.

And some things have fallen by the wayside during that time that some folks still miss.

David Tulugak and his wife, Marlene, enjoy some nice weather in Rankin Inlet in 2014. David has a few concerns over the path being taken by Nunavut in its first 21 years.
Photo courtesy David Tulugak

David Tulugak of Rankin Inlet misses the days when people weren’t afraid to speak their mind and traded their opinions freely.

He said that’s all changed today in Nunavut.

“I’m not really sure what would be the biggest change of all, but you sure have to watch what you say and do now,” said Tulugak.

“It’s all become too political.”

Tulugak also frowns on what he sees as an uneven distribution of opportunity and infrastructure, with Iqaluit reminding him a lot of the Yellowknife these days.

He said people got it wrong when they voted for the Baffin over the Kivalliq to house the territory’s capital.

“It looks like the Baffin region tries to take the big projects and leave the little ones for the other two regions. That’s my opinion anyway.

“They do it a little too much. If Rankin was the capital, our region would spread the jobs and opportunities more equally.”

Heather Kolit-Carter concentrates while preparing for her kneel-jump at the 1991 Kivalliq Summer Games. Kolit-Carter is sad to see the Games fade away in the modern era.
Photo courtesy Heather Kolit-Carter

Heather Kolit-Carter said the continued housing shortage is troubling in Nunavut and communities definitely need more mental health support.

She said it also bothers her to see examples of the younger generation not having as much respect for their Elders these days.

And, while video may have killed the radio star in many places around the world, here at home, recreation wise, she sees the Kivalliq region’s love for the game of hockey as being the reason interest died and her beloved Kivalliq Summer Games have not been held in more than a decade.

“I miss the Games and seeing old teammates,” said Kolit-Carter.

“I miss the travelling in the region every year and, no matter what community you were in, everyone was always trying to help each other perform better like coaching and stuff.

“I also miss watching the Elders drum dance, the whipping contest, and bannock and tea boiling.

“For a long time the communities would look forward to the Kivalliq Inuit Summer Games and many people in every community would come out to watch.”