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Baker Lake woman paying back past kindness

Faith Mautaritnaaq is still thankful to community that helped her in the past
Faith Mautaritnaaq, along with Nancy and Fiona Angatajuak, carved an open water hole just in front of the silhouetted boat in this picture. Photo courtesy of Faith Mautaritnaaq

The community has helped her in the past, and that’s why she opens water holes today.

Faith Mautaritnaaq, along with Nancy and Fiona Angatajuak, opened a couple of new water holes in Baker Lake for community members to get fresh water early in the new year.

It wasn’t a random act of kindness: Mautaritnaaq is trying to give back in any way she can to a community that has been by her family’s side before.

When she lost family in the past, Lucy and Savannah Niego stepped up to start a fundraiser to help her relatives come to Baker Lake for the funeral.

“Those fundraisers were a success, and family members did come at a time of need,” said Mautaritnaaq.

“I am just so very grateful. Even though it was a few years ago, it’s still really close to my heart.”

She was also thankful for the assistance of Fiona and Nancy with opening the holes.

“Most of us living in Baker, we fetch water,” said Mautaritnaaq. “I’m hoping that when I post (on Facebook), that there’s a number of people that do get water.”

In addition to the fundraiser help in the past, the lifelong Baker Lake resident is grateful for her community’s ongoing generosity in a number of ways.

“There’s people out there that are very generous in getting us caribou meat, maktaq, traditional food,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that people help us with, so it’s in my heart at least to try and give back to the community when I can.”

Two water holes were opened last week, with one closer to town so residents without transportation would have an easier time accessing it.

“I would just like to say thank you to those that helped me when I go and make open water holes, and thank you to the community of Baker Lake,” said Mautaritnaaq.

Faith Mautaritnaaq and Fiona Angatajuak carve an open water hole as a way to give back to the generous community of Baker Lake. Photo courtesy of Nancy Angatajuak