Literacy council unveils new Kivalliq home base

The Ilitaqsiniq: Nunavut Literacy Council’s new regional home in Rankin Inlet was dedicated to one of the council’s most dedicated members, Quluaq Pilakapsi.

Council member Adriana Kusugak said Ilitaqsiniq received a donation from Agnico Eagle Mines when the company was celebrating the first pour at its Meliadine gold mine in 2019, which was used to support Ilitaqsiniq: Nunavut Literacy Council in its purchase of a building to house its operations in the Kivalliq region.

Arviat MLAs want Covid shaming to stop

John Main and Joe Savikataaq, who both represented Arviat as MLAs, were imploring people to stop making mean-spirited comments about Arviarmiut’s struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks.

Speaking in the legislative assembly in March, Main said there had been tremendous support extended to Arviat residents during the previous few arduous months, but the community had also seen “the dark side,” as some individuals chose to belittle Arviarmiut and lay blame.

“I am asking for patience and I’m asking for empathy from our fellow Nunavummiut, whether it is online or whether it is in person,” said Main.

Lockdown lifted at last

As Arviat marked the end of more than 100 days in lockdown, Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. said residents deserved praise for pulling together amid a pandemic that was worsened by overcrowded and inadequate housing.

“I’d like to thank Arviammiut for everything they have done,” he said. “They made a lot of sacrifices for the sake of their community and I commend every single Arviammiut for that. Everything that we did was necessary, it was all for public safety, and if we would have to do it again, we’d do everything the exact same.”

The lockdown was lifted March 10.

Kivalliq sales of caribou ‘getting very worrisome,’ Netser says

Kivalliq MLAs were once again voicing concerns over sales of caribou meat that they said could do lasting harm to the Kivalliq region’s treasured herds.

Patterk Netser and Cathy Towtongie both spoke of pressures on the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds, which were hunted not only by harvesters from Nunavut, but also from the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Nunavut.

“Caribou in the Kivalliq are in a crisis. A lot of it is due to overhunting and internet sales … There is currently no control of the sale of the meat, and some individuals will sell caribou online at a very expensive price,” Towtongie, then-MLA for Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet, said in the legislative assembly on March 12.

“Additionally, sometimes we can see caribou that has been hunted and just thrown away because they don’t have any fat. They just get left behind. They just get the tongue, and that is not the traditional Inuit way.”

‘It’s been my life:’ Longtime educator reflects on almost 50 years of work

Uliut Iksiktaaryuk, a Grade 5 teacher at Rachel Arngnamaktiq Elementary, was closing in on 50 years of experience as an educator.

She taught generations of Baker Lake students, championed the Inuktitut language and was still going strong in March.

“It’s been my life,” she said. “The only way I was able to last this long is I work with a lot of good supportive teachers.”

Coming up through an education system that originally intended to suppress her Inuit culture and language, Iksiktaaryuk had a tremendous impact on her students and the community.

“I was the last one in my family to be born in an iglu out on the land,” she said.

‘It smells like mud in this apartment’

An Arviat mother whose home was overrun with mould said the problem was making her family sick.

Emilda Hallauk, 36, was worried about how the mould could affect her elderly father, who had respiratory problems, and her three-year-old daughter, who had been asthmatic since birth.

“It smells like mud in this apartment,” she told Kivalliq News.

Home for Hallauk was a two-bedroom Arviat Housing Association apartment she shared with up to 13 other people, including her six children, her parents, two brothers and three sisters, although one sister then lived with her boyfriend because “we don’t have enough room,” she said.

The story had a happy ending, though.

The Arviat Housing Association responded to her issues and helped move her into a new home March 26.

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