A family in Rankin Inlet issued public pleas for excavation work to stop at the sand pit across First Landing Lake in early June, and after an online petition and meeting with council, the issue with the hamlet was resolved.

Meagan Angidlik had raised an alarm that excavation work was getting “dangerously close” to her grandfather Joachim Angidlik’s gravesite.

“This is a campsite for my family and has been for generations,” she wrote in the petition.

In previous communication with the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet, Angidlik said the hamlet committed to a 50-metre buffer zone between the work and the gravesite. However, Angidlik believed that buffer was not being respected, and she was asking for a 200-metre buffer to avoid any further disturbance to the gravesite.

“The terrain where the gravesite is located is unstable and eroding,” wrote Angidlik at the time. “By continuing with this excavating project, it could cause damage to the gravesite, and our family’s access to our cabins. My grandfather’s intentions were to rest in this place, and when the time comes my grandmother Adele Kumaruag will also rest beside him.”

She had urged the issue to be addressed immediately, saying the urgency of it seemed not to be a concern to the hamlet of Rankin Inlet.

Following the online petition, Rankin Inlet council members met with members of the family to discuss concerns around the quarry and visited the site together.

Mayor Harry Towtongie, in a news release June 9, stated that the Department of Culture and Heritage recommends a buffer zone of 50 metres around gravesites, but the hamlet established a boundary of 191 metres in July 2022.

“Contractors operating in the quarry are not permitted to exceed that boundary,” wrote Towtongie.

Council established that the 191-metre boundary will remain in place into the future to protect the gravesite and allow the family to enjoy their cabin area.

“Permanent boundary markers and signage will be put in place to make the boundary identifiable to all users,” wrote Towtongie.

“Council is extremely pleased to have been able to reassure the Angidlik family and thanks them for discussing the issue and reaching this agreement.”

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