A new foodbank champion emerges

As a young mother in Calgary, Sally Cormier-Ittinuar needed her local food bank.

“I was in dire straits,” remembers the Rankin Inlet woman, who moved to the Kivalliq from New Brunswick almost two decades ago.

She took over the role as “champion” of the Ikurraq Food Bank Society, a role Mary Fredlund filled for 25 years.

The society had warned that the charitable organization could close if a new leader couldn’t be found.

“I saw that they were having a hard time getting somebody, so I thought well, I guess it’s my time to step up and try to make a difference, try to do what (Fredlund) does,” said Cormier-Ittinuar.

Liquor outlet’s opening day rakes in $32k and 444 customers

The first day of Rankin Inlet’s new beer and wine store saw 444 customers spend just under $32,000 on alcoholic beverages.

“The opening went quite well,” said Daniel Young, director of the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission, referring to Dec. 4.

“It was not overly busy like we had worried for opening day.”

He commended the well-trained staff for their customer service.

The opening faced some questions and criticism on social media about the value of having alcohol so readily available in the community, but Rankin Inlet had voted for the store in a 2017 plebiscite.

Rankin vaccine passport forces man out of hockey

The Hamlet of Rankin Inlet’s decision to bar unvaccinated people from municipal buildings meant one resident’s time on the ice was over and he would no longer be able to watch his children play either.

“Not able to go see my kids play (and) practise is pretty hard, for both me and my kids,” said Savik Ford, who was unvaccinated.

Since Nov. 30, only people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 were allowed to enter municipal buildings such as the hockey arena.

“It’s pretty hard not to help them dress up or just give them tips for the ice,” said Ford.

Arviat brings in vaccine passport

On the heels of Rankin Inlet, the Hamlet of Arviat implemented a vaccine passport system for municipal buildings in the community in December.

“We went through what no other community in Nunavut went through,” said Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr., referring to the Covid-19 outbreak in Arviat that stretched from fall 2020 to spring 2021.

“We had the highest numbers in the whole territory, and it was six months of very hard lockdown measures that we followed. The community abided by everything that was asked of them.”

With that experience in mind, the hamlet decided to introduce a municipal vaccine passport system to further protect the safety of the community, the mayor said.

Celebrated principal leaves legacy

Sarah Inukpaujaq Ayaruak, who retired in December from a lengthy teaching career, was only 18 when the late Simon Ford asked her to help a deaf student at Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik in 1987.

She had no training, but she carried an American Sign Language book.

“It came out of nowhere,” said Ayaruak of Ford’s request.

She went on to become a teacher Leo Ussak Elementary School, then co-principal, and finally as the school’s sole principal for the last decade.

Search for missing hunter in Naujaat called off

After leaving to hunt seals at the floe edge with a skidoo and boat, George Putulik was reported overdue Dec. 2.

Community members and staff from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton searched for Putulik over the coming weeks, but the efforts were finally called off in mid-December.

It is now a missing persons case with the RCMP.

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