A men’s gathering in Rankin Inlet saw some somber discussions and calls for action.
About two-dozen men attended the meeting at the community hall Thursday, July 13. They ranged from Elders to young people.
“As we know, we have lots of issues in Rankin,” said Noel Kaludjak, who formed the men’s committee to organize the gathering. “Social issues, family violence, lack of hunting skills, lack of tool making, addiction programs, alcohol, mental health.”
He added that a lot of people don’t seek mental health help until it’s too late.
“Our young men, some of them don’t know how to tie a rope on the sled. They don’t know how to get ready for survival properly…the list is long.”
So much was broken when Inuit were moved to settlement, said Kaludjak, who also mentioned the ability for men to properly raise families.
The group talked about the beer and wine store and struggles with alcohol.
“It’s too bad, the beer and wine store is not really helping,” remarked Kaludjak. “I thought it would be okay – people would go buy beer, go home, have a few beers, go to work the next day.”
The importance of language and Inuktitut was also discussed, as well as the need for programs like young hunters and opportunities for Elders to teach young men.
One man in attendance wanted more action and less talk.
“We need action, not just talk, talk, talk, talk,” he said. “We hear that all the time, every day. Stop talking and start doing so us young people can follow what you guys are trying to teach us.”
Another younger man shared his personal challenges with some of the stigmas around men.
“I was always told you’re old enough, you should know, you’re a boy, you should know,” he said, through tears. “I’m tired of that. We all are. And like (another participant) said, we have nowhere to go, nowhere to turn, so a bunch of us end up killing ourselves… We need to do something. Something needs to start.”
He talked about the weight on his shoulders about not being able to pass on traditional skills to youth.
“That’s been bothering me all week,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to teach but I don’t have the resources. I was never taught myself.”
Kaludjak chimed in, echoing that core need for Inuit to know how to hunt and prepare meat and skins.
“It cannot be taken away,” he said about that urge. “But a lot of us grew up not being taught that.”
Kaludjak hopes the group can grow and make a positive impact in Rankin Inlet that would be seen and echoed by other communities. At the moment, it’s just getting off its feet.
“We have no money, we have no office, but that’s how we work,” said Kaludjak. “We need to make this a model for other communities to see. It starts with you guys.”
ᐊᖑᑎᑦ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᓂ ᑕᑯᓵᖅᐳᑦ ᑖᖅᑐᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᐅᔪᓂᒃ, ᐱᓕᕆᒋᐊᖁᔨᓪᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐊᖁᒍᑎᒃᓴᒥᒃ.
24ᒃ-ᑲᓴᑦ ᐊᖑᑎᑦ ᐃᓚᐅᓵᖅᐳᑦ ᑲᑎᖓᑎᑕᐅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐱᖑᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥᑦ ᕿᑎᖅᖂᑦ ᔪᓚᐃ, 13. ᐃᓇᖅᑕᖃᖅᖢᓂ, ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓪᓗ.
‘ᖃᐅᔨᒪᒐᑦᑕ , ᐊᑲᐅᖏᓕᐅᕈᑎᑕᖃᐅᕐᒪᑦ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᓄᕆᐳ ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ, ᓴᕿᑎᑦᑎᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᖑᑎᓄᑦ ᑲᑕᖃᑎᖃᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ. ᐊᑲᐅᖏᓕᐅᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖅ, ᐃᓚᒌᖕᓄᑦ ᐊᓂᖅᓯᕆᖃᑎᒌᓂᖅ, ᐊᖑᓇᓱᒍᓐᓇᖏᓐᓂᖅ, ᐊᖑᓇᓲᑎᒃᓴᓕᐅᕈᓐᓇᖏᓐᓂᖅ, ᐅᓚᕕᓴᐃᔾᔪᑎᓄᑦ ᓯᐊᒻᒪᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᓗᐊᖅᑐᓄᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᕝᕕᒃ, ᐃᒥᐊᓗᖕᓄᑦ ᐊᒪᓗ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᕆᓂᖅ.’
ᐅᖃᖅᖢᓂᓗ ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑕᐅᔪᒪᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᐱᕆᕙᖏᒻᒪᑕ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᑭᖑᕙᓗᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ.
‘ᐃᓚᖏᑦ ᐊᖑᑎᑦ ᓱᑲᑎᕆᔪᓐᓇᖏᒻᒪᑕ ᖃᒧᑎᒥᒃ. ᓇᓗᔪᑦ ᐸᕐᓇᒋᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᐱᖏᖕᓇᖏᑦᑐᒃᑯᑦ, ᐅᓗᕆᐊᓇᖏᑦᑐᒃᑯᓪᓗ..
ᓅᑕᐅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓱᕋᓚᐅᕐᓯᒪᖕᒪᑕ, ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ, ᐅᖃᓚᐅᕆᓪᓗᓂ ᐊᖑᑎᑦ ᐃᓚᖃᕐᓂᕐᒥᑦ
ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᕆᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᐊᔪᕈᑎᖏᓐᓂᓪᓗ.
‘ᐊᐃᑦᑖᖑᒐᓗᐊᖅ ᐃᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᒃ ᐊᑲᔫᑎᖃᓗᐊᖏᒻᒪᑦ,’ ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ ᐅᖃᕆᕗᖅ. ‘ᐃᓱᒪᓚᐅᕋᒥᓕᒎᖅ ᖃᓄᐃᔮᖏᓂᖓᓂᒃ – ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᐊᑖᖅᐸᑕ, ᐊᖏᕋᐅᒃᓗᑎᒃ, ᐱᐊᑐᐊᕐᔪᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ, ᐃᖃᓇᐃᔭᕆᐊᓕᕐᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᓴᓇᕕᐊᓄᑦ ᐃᖃᓇᐃᔭᕆᐊᖏᓐᓇᕈᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᓗ ᐊᖃᒍ..ᐊᐃᑉᐹᑦᑯᑦ ᐅᑯᐃᑐᐊᕌᖓᑦ ᐊᖓᔮᓕᖅᐸᒃᐳᒍᑦ, ᑕᐃᒪᐃᑉᐳᖅ.’
ᐃᓄᒃᑐᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᐅᓚᐅᕆᕗᖅ, ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅᑕᖃᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᐊᖑᓇᓱᒃᑎᓄ ᐊᒪᓗ ᐃᓐᓇᐃᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᓗᑎᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᕐᒥᓂᒃ..
ᐊᖑᑎ ᐃᓚᖓ ᐱᖁᔨᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐱᓪᓚᑦᑖᖅᑐᒥᒃ, ᐅᖃᓚᑐᐃᓇᖏᓪᓗᑎᒃ.
‘ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑐᖃᕆᐊᖃᖅᐳᖅ, ᐅᖃᓪᓚᑐᐃᓇᖏᓪᓗᑕ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ. ‘ᖃᐅᑕᒪᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᐸᒃᑕᕗᑦ. ᐅᖃᓚᑐᐃᓇᖏᓪᓗᑕ
ᐱᒋᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇᓕᖅᑕ, ᒪᒃᑯᖕᓂᖅᓴᖅᑎᒍᑦ ᓚᓕᒐᒃᓴᖃᕐᓂᐊᕋᑦᑕ ᐃᓕᑦᑎᖁᔭᔅᓯᓐᓂᒃ.’ ᐃᓚᖓ ᓄᑲᖅᖠ ᐊᖑᑎ ᐊᔪᕈᑎᒥᓂᒃ ᐃᖕᒥᓄᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᕆᓪᓗᓂ ᐊᖑᑎᑦ ᐱᔪᑎᒋᓪᓗᒋᑦ.
ᐅᖃᐅᔭᖏᓐᓇᐅᔭᓚᐅᖅᑐᖓ ᐊᓇᕈᖅᑐᐊᓘᔪᑎᑦ, ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓪᓗᐊᖅᑐᑎᑦ, ᐊᖑᑎᐅᔪᑎᑦ, ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓪᓗᐊᖅᑐᑎᑦ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ, ᕿᐊᓪᓗᓂ. ‘ᐃᕿᐊᖑᖅᑕᕋ ᑕᒪᓐᓇ. ᑕᒪᑦᑕ ᐃᓚᐅᔪᖅᑎᒍᑦ, ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ, ᓇᒧᖓᐅᔭᒃᓴᖃᖏᓐᓇᑦᑕ, ᓵᕕᒃᓴᖃᖏᖢᑕ, ᐃᓅᓯᖅᐳᑦ ᓇᑲᑦᑕᓕᖃᑦᑕᖅᐸᕗᑦ… ᐋᕿᒃᓱᕆᐊᖃᖅᑕᕗᖅ. ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑐᖃᕆᐊᖃᖅᑐᖅ.’
ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᐅᕿᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᑎᒍᒥᐊᕐᓂᖃᕐᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖓᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᔪᓐᓇᖏᓐᓇᒥ ᒪᑯᒃᑐᓂᑦ.
‘ᐃᓱᒪᓗᑎᒋᓇᕋᒥᐅᒃ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᕐᒥ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ. ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᔪᒪᒐᓗᐊᕋᒥ, ᐱᔾᔪᑎᒃᓴᖃᖏᖢᓂᓗ. ᐅᕙᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᑦᑎᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᑎᑕᐅᖏᓐᓇᒪ.’
ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ ᓂᐱᖁᖅᑐᔪᒥᒃ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᑦ , ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᔪᒪᓪᓗᓂ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᕆᐊᖃᕋᒥᒃ ᐊᖑᓇᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ, ᓂᕿᓂᒃ ᓴᓇᒃᓴᐃᓂᕐᒥᓐ, ᐊᒥᓕᕆᓂᕐᓗ..
‘ᐊᖅᓵᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᖏᒻᒪᑦ ᐱᖁᓯᖅ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᐊᒃᓱᕈᖅᖢᓂ. ‘ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑎᒍᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᖏᓐᓇᑦᑕ ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇ.
ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ ᐊᑯᑎᓄᑦ ᑲᑎᓐᓂᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ ᐱᕈᖁᓪᓗᓂᒡᔪᒃ ᐊᑲᐅᔪᒥᓕᖁᓪᓗᒍ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᖅ, ᐅᔨᕆᔭᐅᓗᓂᓗ ᒪᓕᒃᑕᐅᔪᒪᓕᕐᓗᑎᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᑦᑕ ᐊᓯᐊᓄᑦ. ᒪᓇᐅᔪᖅ ᐱᒋᐊᓕᓵᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᒪᑦ.
ᑮᓇᐅᔭᖃᖏᓐᓇᑦᑕ, ᐃᖃᓇᐃᔭᕐᕕᖃᖏᓐᓇᑦᑕ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇ,’ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᓗᔾᔭᖅ. ‘ᐋᕿᒃᓯᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᑐᒍᑦ ᐱᑯᒋᔭᐅᓗᑕ ᐊᔪᒥᒋᔭᐅᓕᕐᓗᑕᓗ ᓄᓇᓕᐅᖃᑎᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ. ᐃᓕᒃᓯᓐᓂ ᐱᒋᐊᖅᐳᖅ.’