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Building better men

Noel Kaludjak spearheading men’s organization
Rankin Inlet’s Noel Kaludjak is looking to start a men’s program that could eventually span the territory. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

Noel Kaludjak wants to build stronger family structures, reduce family violence and heal from the past – and to do that, he’s pursuing a new men’s organization.

“We are affected by our past,” said Kaludjak, originally born in Arviat, having lived in Whale Cove and now settled in Rankin Inlet.

“When we were moved into the communities, our lives changed. When they sent us to residential school, our lives changed. We need to get that back. It’s for my children, for my grandchildren, for my great grandchildren.”

Other men’s programs – like one he was involved with in Coral Harbour that started in 2009 – have largely fizzled out due to lack of funding or resources, he said. Kaludjak has been spending the last few years wondering how to create a strong and successful men’s group that has more longevity.

“I think possibly the only best way is to create a standalone men’s organization, a society for men, run by men, operated by men,” said Kaludjak. “No outside rules, regulations.”

He’s starting with a board of several men, including representation from different age groups and Elders. His intention would be to develop policies such as confidentiality for those meeting, plus training programs, on-the-land programs, tool-making classes and similar.

“There are so many men out there who have great ideas,” he said.

He has some men committed to the organization already, but he’s now on the hunt for someone who could work as secretary treasurer, running the finances and creating proposals for funding.

“That’s what we’re really looking for right now,” he said.

It’s not off the ground yet and it could be some time until the pieces come together. For now, Kaludjak is looking for interested men to help get plans in motion.

“We need to start somewhere,” he said. “I want to start in Rankin as a small organization first and let it grow from there.”

Anyone interested in helping can contact Kaludjak directly.