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There were some bright spots in 2020, if you look for them

Well, valued readers, here we are finally in the brand-new calendar year of 2021, and what a crazy year 2020 was now that we get to leave it behind in the rear-view mirror.

Looking back at 2020 is not a particularly easy thing to do.

Once one finally gets to leave it behind, one does not have any pressing desire to revisit it anytime soon, if at all.

If I had a toonie for every time I've written Covid or pandemic during the past 10 months, I'd have no real reason to work again in my life and I'd need a very, very big truck to get my toonies to the nearest bank.

It wasn't all about Covid though, even if it took up a disproportional amount of our time, changed the world forever and, here at home, broke the hearts of many young athletes and their coaches by forcing the cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon.

On Feb. 5 a long-awaited project here in the Kivalliq took another small step forward after a memorandum of understanding on the Kivalliq hydro-fibre link project to Manitoba was signed by Canada Infrastructure Bank.

The project was one that was especially important for former Kivalliq Inuit Association president David Ningeongan and if and when this project does come together, it will mean better service at a cheaper cost for most folks across the Kivalliq.

A win-win situation for everyone. Here's hoping the Kivalliq hydro-fibre link project to Manitoba takes yet another major step forward during 2021.

The year 2020 also saw the Kivalliq say goodbye to one of its longest-serving and most-outstanding community leaders when Arviat Mayor Bob Leonard passed away on March 4.

One of the Kivalliq’s longest serving mayors, Leonard was highly regarded as a municipal leader and an honest, caring person across the region.

Leonard’s fifth-consecutive election win took place on Oct. 28. He will be fondly remembered as a mayor who loved the community he served and a community leader who treated everyone equally and with respect.

The month of June brought with it an end of an era in Baker Lake when the husband-and-wife team of Jim and Laurel Kreuger took off for Saskatoon, Sask., on June 11 for a new beginning after spending 27 years in Baker Lake.

Jim was as well known for his work with the Baker Lake Minor Hockey Association as he was for teaching, being awarded the First Air President's Award of Excellence by the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut for his work with minor hockey in Baker.

The couple were well liked in the community and their absence is sure to be felt in Baker Lake for a good long time.

For all the negatives surrounding education during the past six months of 2020 due to the uncertainty of Covid-19, things were just fine in Coral Harbour.

A record number of students graduated from Sakku School in Coral Harbour when a total of 17 students received their Grade 12 diplomas on Aug. 21.

The year also saw well-known Baker Lake businessman Peter (Shamou) Tapatai receive the territory’s highest honour when he was named to the Order of Nunavut for 2020 in September, and the new regional firefighter training centre would open its doors for the very first time almost at the same time in Rankin Inlet.

So, for all the attention on Covid-19 during the year, life did go on across the Kivalliq region in 2020 and it produced its fair share of memorable moments.

Here's hoping 2021 provides more of the uplifting kind.

Happy New Year to everyone in the Kivalliq. May 2021 be your best year yet.