Leafs-Habs bet amuses Rankin Inlet

The longstanding rivalry between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens fans in Rankin Inlet is powerful enough that it sometimes divides families.

But when the two teams met in the playoffs for the first time since 1979, an unusual bet between cousins had the unlikely effect of uniting the community.

At the outset of the series, diehard Leafs fan Wendel Kaludjak and Habs supporter Jonathan Pameolik decided to put a wager on the outcome.

Rather than placing money on the table, they agreed that whoever’s team lost the series would have to ice fish on Williamson Lake for two hours.

The only catch was Williamson Lake is not stocked with fish, which made the bet all the more absurd and amusing.

“Everyone in town here knows there’s no fish in the lake,” Pameolik told Kivalliq News.

After the Leafs lost in 7 games, Kaludjak was forced to fish the fishless lake for the community’s pleasure.

Baker Lake woman back at home thanks to wheelchair donation

A Baker Lake woman who suffered a stroke was finally back home after community members fundraised for her to get a new wheelchair.

“It’s always good to be back home,” Ruby Atutuvaa told Kivalliq News after returning to the community.

Atutuvaa said she was taken to the health centre in February and was later medevaced to a Winnipeg hospital after being found in bad shape by her partner.

“From my understanding, my common-law went to go buy supper for us, and I don’t really know what happened after that,” she said.

In order for her to return home, she needed a wheelchair. When her close friend Carmen Ikuutaq heard of the news, she started collecting pop cans to fundraise and eventually trade in for a wheelchair. She collected $10,000 within a day after a callout on social media, and Atutuvaa was able to return home.

Baker Lake bans single-use plastic bags

Baker Lake banned single-use plastic bags in an effort to tackle its growing waste management issues.

Bylaw 236 passed unanimously after its final reading on June 3. It “prohibits the provision, distribution, and sale of single-use shopping bags by retail establishments.”

The maximum fine for failing to adhere to the new regulation was set at $10,000.

“When we look at our dump, the fence is half white because of shopping bags stuck in the fence. You go out hunting and fishing there’s all kinds of bags,” senior administrative officer Sheldon Dorey told Kivalliq News. “Council thought this would be the best way to deal with this.”

Mark Tunguaq prevails in Baker Lake snow drags

Mark Tunguaq won the open mod division during the Philip Tagoona Memorial Ice Drag Races in Baker Lake on June 1.

Tunguaq was using a sled owned by Taqtu Tunguaq, his nephew, and tuned with the help of his brother, Tim Tunguaq. The races were run using a best two-out-of-three elimination format with two snowmobiles going head to head at a time. The second and third place finishers in the heats then faced off in a semifinal, with the winner facing the top seed. Bryon Ikoe finished in second place while Carlos Simailak took third place.

“Mark ended up going undefeated in the heats and then he and another guy went head to head for the top spot,” Tim told Kivalliq News. “With my boy and myself, we tuned it right, making sure nothing fell off during the races.”

It was a fitting return for the Tunguaq family, who took a break from racing after the death of a relative in a snowmobile accident several years ago. ((Need to double check this one, there was a correction — EMC))

Business booming for new Rankin Inlet taxi company

A new taxi service in Rankin Inlet was thriving in summer since setting up shop in February, according to the entrepreneur behind it.

Silu Autut decided to start up Silu’s Taxi after several months of being off work due to the pandemic.

Before that, he had been working for a contractor at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine for several years.

“I got sent home like all the other Nunavummiut. Since I worked for a contractor, I had to go on EI for a while,” he said.

After several months of being unemployed, Autut started thinking of ways he could earn an income. That’s when he came up with the idea for a taxi service.

“I already had the vehicles so I said, ‘Why don’t we try it,’” he said.

First Pride parade held in Rankin Inlet

Rankin Inlet held its first Pride parade in support of the LGBTQ2S+ community on June 19.

Approximately 25 people showed up to the march, including several members of Rankin’s queer community. Belinda Ugjuk and her sister Terri Nordman organized the march.

Although neither of the women is part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, they both consider themselves allies.

“I really wanted to support my family and friends who are LGBTQ2S+ to have space to be who they are and awareness of equality, love and acceptance,” Ugjuk told Kivalliq News.

Agnico Eagle starts welcoming Kivalliq staff back to work

Nunavut employees at Agnico Eagle’s Kivalliq mine sites were invited to return to work at the end of June after more than a year’s absence.

The mining company sent Nunavummiut workers home with 75 per cent pay in March 2020 to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 in local communities.

Since then, Agnico Eagle had been working with the Nunavut’s chief public health officer to implement its return to work plan.

Dentist opens office in Rankin Inlet

Hamza Jafri and his wife Shireen Jafri officially opened Northern Smiles Dental Clinic on June 16. Hamza said the phones had been ringing off the hook ever since.

“It’s super exciting. We are just swamped,” he said.

Hamza, who moved up from Winnipeg, first worked as a travelling dentist in Nunavut in 2017. Following a brief visit to Rankin Inlet for work that year, he thought the Kivalliq could use a permanent dentist’s office.

“When the dentist would come they were only here for such a short time (that) there was only treatment and no prevention. So I thought it would be good to be able to provide prevention so less people would be in pain,” he told Kivalliq News.

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