Accolades for musician Joey Nowyuk

The video for Joey Nowyuk’s song Nalligigakku (Because I Love Her) was shot in Pangnirtung. His music met with critical acclaim after its release.
image courtesy of Hitmakerz

Pangnirtung’s Joey Nowyuk took the first place spot for Best Music Video for Novice Artists at the Indigenous Music Awards (IMA), putting the small hamlet on the map all across the country.

The award was for the song Nalligigakku (Because I Love Her), and it was shot on location in Pangnirtung.

Featuring both Inuktitut and English lyrics, the song is the first release off of Nowyuk’s debut album, Tumitit (Your Footsteps).

“People come up to me and say they really enjoy the song and the video and that they’re proud it was recorded in Pang,” said Nowyuk.

New face of the $5 bill?

The late Pitseolak Ashoona, a renowned Nunavut artist and mother to 17 children, is among eight finalists to appear on a redesign of the Canadian $5 bill, and her descendants are thrilled.

“It would mean the world to me,” Pitseolak’s great-granddaughter Mary Ashoona wrote of the potential honour. “She had told my grandfather Kiugak, who raised me, that her artwork will live on even when she is long gone. I remember her very well because she gave me so much love.”

Pitseolak was born on Nottingham Island, southwest of Kinngait, in 1904. She took up residence in the community in the 1960s. She became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974 and she was awarded the Order of Canada in 1977. Before her death in 1983, the self-taught artist produced close to 9,000 drawings, according to Dorset Fine Arts.

Judge wants stronger sentences for gendered violence

Judges need more leeway to impose harsher sentences in cases of gender-based violence and Parliament should re-examine the issue, says a seasoned Nunavut judge and former Crown prosecutor.

Justice Paul Bychok expressed his frustration in a decision released in November after he was forced to impose a “lenient” sentence on a Kugluktuk man convicted of twice assaulting his girlfriend.

“Inuit women, and all Nunavummiut, deserve a justice system that meaningfully addresses gendered violence. It is troubling that our courts have not been given the tools, including fuller judicial sentencing discretion, to do so,” Bychok wrote. “There is a need and a role for Parliament to reopen debate on this vitally important aspect of our criminal justice system.”

Senator aims to help Nunavut businesses

Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson aimed to address gaps in federal financial assistance to Nunavut businesses.
photo courtesy of Dennis Patterson

Many Nunavut businesses are “on life support” because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Senator Dennis Patterson, who was armed with feedback from a survey he conducted.

He planned to use the data to make recommendations to the federal government on how to provide further aid to the territorial economy.

“There is a high degree of concern on the part of businesses about their futures,” said Patterson. “It reinforces a perception I’ve had now since the start of the pandemic that many Nunavut businesses are really struggling. There are still significant gaps in federal support to Northern businesses.”

Covid cases spike in Arviat

The number of Arviat residents infected with active Covid-19 jumped to 115. Another 19 people had contracted the virus in Whale Cove and 19 had also tested positive in Rankin Inlet.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson acknowledged that overcrowded housing was a major factor in the contagion. A two-week lockdown was imposed across Nunavut, limiting social interaction, prior to the worst of the spike in cases.

A steady reduction in infections later ensued, and the final days of 2020 saw less than 10 active cases remaining in Arviat.

While more than 250 Nunavummiut have recovered from the coronavirus, two perished as a result of its effects: one resident of Arviat and one from Rankin Inlet.

Ottawa provides more Covid funding

The Government of Canada announced $19.4 million in immediate funding to assist Nunavut as cases of Covid-19 continued to rise in the Kivalliq region.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the federal government stated that it has provided a total of $105 million in Covid-19 support to Nunavut communities.

The latest funding was to be used for food and social supports, municipal services such as water truck delivery, security and non-medical personal protective equipment to keep people safe. The Government of Nunavut, Inuit communities and Inuit organizations were to distribute the aid.

Body cameras rolled out in Iqaluit

RCMP officers in Iqaluit began wearing body cameras as part of a pilot project.

“It is critically important for Nunavummiut to feel protected and respected by the police in order to enhance trust between the RCMP and the communities in Nunavut,” stated a news release from the police force.

Officers may turn the camera on during calls for service, including mental health calls, interactions with people in crisis, crimes in progress, for investigations, public disorder, they may also turn the camera on when they interact with the public, but not in every situation, the Mounties stated.

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