Arviat threw down for round two

There was no fear or panic to be found in the community of Arviat when Covid-19 made its second appearance in the community in January. Instead, people reverted back to their previous safe behaviour and began following all the health guidelines to rid themselves of the viral invader one more time, said Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr.

As of press time in early February, there were 18 active Covid cases in Arviat.

Savikataaq said the tone in the community when it was announced Covid had made its way back to Arviat was 100 per cent ‘we know what to do, so let’s do it again.’

Savikataaq said he can’t help but feel bad over how this pandemic has affected the youth of the community.

He said he’s proud of how Arviat youth have persevered through everything, considering how much they’ve lost during the pandemic.

Kativik store closes its doors

The owner of one of Rankin Inlet’s most popular stores turned off its lights for the final time.

Ron Roach was part of the ownership group to launch Kativik – a general store on one side and a hardware store on the other – in December 1999.

Roach said candidly that he knew it was time to retire when, after almost 40 years in the industry, he found he had no patience remaining to deal properly with customers or little else for that matter.

He said he was really taken aback about how many people were saddened by the news of Kativik’s closure.

“The other big thing in my decision was all this Covid and having to wear masks in the store. I just grew so sick of it all and knew it’s time for me to go,” said Roach.

“I was surprised by how many positive comments were made about the store. I honestly didn’t think the store was as well liked as it was and would be missed a lot more than I ever thought it would be.”

Rankin and Arviat strong

Spirits remained as high as can be expected as the second round of the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 made its way across the Kivalliq region.

Rankin Inlet Mayor Harry Towtongie was proud of his community using its entire initial allotment of the vaccine and expected nothing different as the vaccine’s second shot was delivered to the community in early February.

Towtongie said once was enough for the community when Covid made its first appearance in Rankin and everyone is doing their best to keep the virus on the outside looking in.

He said being in total lockdown is no fun and the number of people being vaccinated in Rankin shows how dedicated to the fight against Covid the community truly is.

Getting vaccinations into arms

The community of Rankin Inlet hosted its second mass vaccination clinic in February, which saw 1,242 people receive their first or second shot of the Moderna vaccine.

Hamlet senior administration officer Darren Flynn said the hamlet was more than happy with the second great turnout of people to receive the vaccine.

“People just want to get back to a normal life here in Rankin, that’s really all there is to it,” said Flynn.

Baker Lake mourns loss of multisport athlete

The community of Baker Lake was mourning the loss of one of its brightest lights, whose life candle was softly extinguished long before its time in the community in February.

John Ray Mariq, 33, passed away on Feb. 1 due to heart complications.

Mariq was a talented and decorated multisport athlete in his youth, having competed in two Arctic Winter Games, the Canada Winter Games, two National U19 Field Lacrosse championships with Team Nunavut, as well as numerous regional and territorial events.

He also represented Nunavut at a number of national events as a respected youth delegate.

Mariq’s mom, Jenny Mariq, said her son always loved sports.

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