Hot meal program returning

Baker Lake’s once-popular hot meal program returned after a two-year hiatus thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers led by Darlene Nukik-Amaruq.

“I’m back into it and people are excited,” Nukik-Amaruq told Kivalliq News.

The meal program, intended for those that need help putting food on the table, was originally spearheaded by Nukik-Amaruq in 2015.

Whale Cove’s first ever women’s hockey team makes it official

Whale Cove’s men’s hockey teams have won their fair share of tournaments in the Kivalliq over the years, so a newly formed team of women was hoping to make a name for themselves in regional competitions once the end of Covid-19 restrictions made such events possible again.

The community’s first ever women’s team, which had been playing together for two years, was founded by Victoria Kidlapik when she moved from her hometown of Naujaat to Whale Cove for work in 2019.

Given that “ladies hockey is big in Naujaat,” Kidlapik was surprised to find out the community of 400 didn’t have a team. So she asked local women if they’d be interested in starting one.

“It started with just three of us and it started to grow,” said Kidlapik.

Residents raising money for brain tumour research

A 27-year-old Rankin Inlet woman who had been battling the effects of a brain tumour for the previous four years was raising money for brain cancer research so that no one else has to experience what she had gone through.

Alexandra Rudd is the leader of Rankin Inlet’s Grey Wolf brain tumour walk team, which to date in April had raised more than $6,000 for the national brain tumour walk.

“I’ve always been one to help others,” Rudd told Kivalliq News. “My dad has always told me that I have a big heart and that I help people when I can.”

When she was just 18 months old she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis. The condition caused her to have optic glioma, which left her legally blind.

Hockey nights return to Arviat after six-month hiatus

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in mid-April allowed Arviat hockey players to finally hit the ice again.

“Lots of people showed up, but people showed up half-dressed so they can just put skates on and play,” said Andrew Kuksuk, the community’s recreation co-ordinator, who also played on one of the senior men’s teams.

The arena had to close for the first time in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Hockey was allowed to resume briefly in November 2020 but as cases numbers went up in Arviat, everything had to be shut down again.

Kuksuk said the senior men’s league got about five games in before the November shutdown. With the ice open again, they had been trying to squeeze in as many games as possible.

Fuel spill threatens fresh water supply

The territorial government was rushing to clean up a 10,000- litre fuel spill in Baker Lake before it could contaminate the community’s drinking water.

Details about the leak were only made public on April 21, nearly one month after it was first detected.

“With the season of warmer weather approaching, there is a risk of the spilled fuel contaminating the community’s fresh water supply,” stated a public service announcement from the department of community and government services.

The announcement goes on to say that “remedial efforts to contain and treat contaminated snow and ice will begin in the coming days.”

The public service announcement was posted to the department’s website on April 21, but was no longer accessible online on the morning of April 22.

Qaqqaq takes two-week sick leave

Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq announced she was taking a two-week sick leave on the advice of her doctor, several days after she got embroiled in a controversial conflict with a fellow MP on social media.

“I continue to struggle with some personal health problems. Recently, the doctor has suggested some time off to heal,” said a statement from Qaqqaq released on April 27. “Although it has been a hard decision to make, I feel it is important to follow this advice.”

The announcement came several days after Qaqqaq issued an apology for claiming that Liberal Labrador MP Yvonne Jones is not Inuk on social media.

Baker Lake narrowly votes to keep unrestricted alcohol

Baker Lake residents hoping to reintroduce limitations on liquor sales and importation in the community fell short by six per cent in an April plebiscite.

The vote in favour of restrictions reached 54 per cent, or 182 people. However, 60 per cent or more was needed for the changes to take effect, including the establishment of an alcohol education committee to regulate liquor use.

Voter turnout at the polls was 32.5 per cent.

The community got rid of alcohol limitations during a vote in 2018.

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