Rankin Inlet dedicates Agnico Eagle Arena

The $26-million arena – a 950-seat multi-use facility complete with concession stands, volleyball courts and, of course, a hockey rink – was formally dedicated as the Agnico Eagle Arena Oct. 6.

More than 2,000 people attended the dedication ceremony for the state-of-the-art facility, which has become a “focal point” for the community, said Darren Flynn, Rankin Inlet’s senior administrative officer.

The hamlet treated all attendees to a barbecue. It also gave out about $30,000 in draw prizes including a Honda ATV, a 65-inch television and a number of $1,000 gift cards.

Flynn said “the community is rightfully proud of” and “quite excited about” the long-awaited and much-anticipated facility.

While the old hockey rink was a seasonal facility, the new arena will be open for about 11 months of the year, aside from when its playing surface is being converted from ice to turf or back again.

Pair of Kivalliq incumbents ousted in territorial election

Nunavummiut headed to the polls Oct. 25 to vote in new MLAs for the territorial government.

Aivilik saw Solomon Malliki elected ahead of incumbent Patterk Netser, with 134 votes to Netser’s 111.

Craig Atangalaaq Simailak was re-elected in Baker Lake with 73 per cent of the 454 votes cast.

In Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet, incumbent Cathy Towtongie lost her seat with 124 votes to Alexander Sammurtok’s 147.

Lorne Kusugak held his seat in Rankin Inlet South with more than 52 per cent of the 379 ballots cast.

John Main and Joe Savikataaq were acclaimed to the Arviat North-Whale Cove and Arviat South ridings.

Great egret spotted by eagle-eyed photographer in Rankin Inlet

The rare fowl soared into the Kivalliq community in September, thrilling eagle-eyed bird watcher Bernice Sandy, who spent days on the hunt before finally snapping a few images of the feathered fellow in the wetland behind the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility.

“For two days I went looking for it and couldn’t find it, and then I finally saw it on October 17,” said Sandy.

Though common enough in southern Canada, the birds are seldom seen in the North, said Eric Reed, a waterfowl biologist in Yellowknife.

“Sightings are very rare,” he said. “But also, there’s not a very high density of human population across the North, so a lot of incidents may go undetected.”

Photos shared of Naujaat, Coral Harbour in the 1980s

Darryl Gershman was only supposed to spend one year away from his private practice in Winnipeg.

But in 1980 the young dentist – then working in Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation – took an instructor job at the National School of Dental Therapy in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. The result was a decades-long career that brought him to many rural, remote and underserved communities across the North – and over 10,000 individual Kodachrome slides.

“The photos were a personal documentation of the community and my experiences,” Gershman told Kivalliq News in an email interview. “I wasn’t very good at keeping a journal so the photos were my journal.”

He shared a serious of 40-year-old photos that demonstrated life in the Kivalliq in the ’80s.

Amy Komakjuak working to help Inuktut speakers navigate system

An Arviat woman was looking to make higher education more attractive to other Indigenous students.

Amy Komakjuak, a certified interpreter-translator undertaking her final year in the Inuktitut/English interpreter-translator program at Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit, said she is “encouraging people with kids to apply for college and bring their children to attend school.”

She applied for the interpreter-translator program back in 2019 because “I like to try new things,” and was immediately accepted.

As an interpreter-translator, Komakjuak was looking to bridge the communication gap between Nunavummiut who use Inuktut as their first (and sometimes only) language and the primarily English-speaking workers who run medical services, the justice system and other industries across the country.

Arviat residents working to open permanent homeless shelter

Jenny Gibbons described the last few years as nothing short of a whirlwind.

Precarious housing had been a reality for her – she did not have ready access to a telephone – but she remained at the forefront of a growing campaign to open a new homeless shelter in Arviat.

Gibbons said her own experience with precarious housing inspired her to help others.

“I didn’t have any place to go,” she said of a housing situation she faced several years ago.

In 2019, she took part in Inspire Nunavut, an entrepreneurial leadership and employment skills program.

After considering a number of business ideas, Gibbons decided a shelter in the community to address its social problems was needed.

In October, organizers were looking at funding resources and fundraising ideas to support the concept of a permanent shelter in the community.

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