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AROUND NUNAVUT: Children’s book sale a success


Children's books by Nunavut authors are a hot commodity.

A book sale featuring numerous authors on site at the Frobisher Inn to sign books saw line-ups throughout the afternoon sale.

As one parent noted on his way out, "That was a long line-up, but worth it."

Inhabit Media managing partner Neil Christopher was thrilled with the turn-out. The event was co-hosted by the publisher and the Qikiktani Inuit Association.

Eva Aariak, who owns Iqaluit's Malikkaat gift shop, handled the sales for Inhabit Media.

"Like last year, we never even had a chance to look up for the whole duration of the book sales. It was a constant flow of people."

Bernadette Niviatsiak, right, helps Malikkaat gift-shop owner Eva Aariak serve an endless line-up of book lovers the afternoon of Feb. 25 at the Frobisher Inn. Inhabit Media and Qikiqtani Inuit Association co-hosted the event featuring Nunavut children's book authors and a wide selection of books in Inuktitut. Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

Thankfully, Aariak had some help behind the makeshift sales desk.

"Bernadette Niviatsiak, who used to work for me, kindly provided her help as she knows how busy it was last year," said Aariak.

–Michele LeTourneau


CD launch for seven artists


The 2017 Qilaut compilation CD will be launched at a March 8 concert.

Every year, the Department of Culture and Heritage holds an Inuktut songwriting contest, and 2017's winning songs are:

- Qaigialaurit and Maanna by Leetia Kalluk of Arctic Bay

- Angijuq by Joey Nowyuk of Pangnirtung

- Aullarniaqtunga and @1000 BPM by Abraham Eetak of Arviat

- Nagligijaugavit by Corey Panika of Rankin Inlet

- Angirrarviga by Angela Amarualik of Iglulik

- Ataata by Colleen Nakashuk of Iqaluit

- Inuinnaujaami and Hilami Ulapkiyami by Gordon Kaniak of Kugluktuk

The contest is intended to celebrate Nunavut’s vibrant Inuktut music scene, and promote the use of Inuktut in daily life. The songwriting theme was youth songs.

The concert celebrating the winning artists takes place at Inuksuk High School beginning at 7 p.m. Free copies of the CD will be available at the concert.

–Michele LeTourneau


Organ donation to continuing care centre

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

It isn't a life-saving vital organ, but a musical instrument may provide uplifting sounds for residents at Cambridge Bay's continuing care centre.

A double-keyboard organ measuring close to two metres wide has found yet another home in the community. The organ started out at the Glad Tidings Church in the 1980s. However, it was replaced by a more compact electronic keyboard. The pastor allowed Harry and Mary-Rose Maksagak to move the organ into their home. They eventually decided to give it to the hamlet's recreation department, Harry Maksagak recalled.

"I now have my own piano, so I didn't think it necessary to keep the organ, so we donated it," he said.

The organ's primary use was for funerals at the community hall, said recreation coordinator Fred Muise. Yet, like at the church, many performers brought their own portable and more familiar keyboards. So the organ collected dust at the back of the hall between a couple of storage cabinets.

"That was our thought: if we're not going to use it, let's give it to somebody who can use it," Muise said.

The Department of Health did not respond to numerous queries about the organ's new location and planned use.

–Derek Neary


Homelessness survey to find community-based solutions

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

A team from the Department of Family Services' poverty reduction division began a door-to-door survey in Pond Inlet Feb. 27.

The 20-minute survey is to better understand homelessness in the community.

"A team will go to randomly-selected houses and units to speak with people who permanently sleep in the dwelling, and with those who sleep there temporarily because they have no other place to go," according to the news release.

The survey is expected to be completed for March 9, at which point the department will offer more information, according to senior policy analyst Barb Tierney.

Information provided will be confidential and anonymous, and will be used to help find community-based solutions to Nunavut’s housing crisis.

Michele LeTourneau


Pink to prevent bullying


Students at Netsilik School were decked out in pink shirts on Feb. 28, unified in their message that bullying will not be tolerated.

Principal Gina Pizzo said a late-January Respect Education/Bullying Prevention workshop, put on by Red Cross instructors from the south, made an impact on the students. The lessons communicated there have been reinforced by RCMP officers making anti-bullying presentations to Netsilik students last week and this week.

Students will also be concentrating on science as the school holds its annual science fair on March 9. The winners from that event will advance to the Kitikmeot science fair in Kugluktuk from March 16 to 18. The best young student scientists from the regional competition are eligible to participate in the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa from May 16 to 18.

–Derek Neary


Off to Quebec


Fourteen Kugluktuk High School students in Grades 9 and up embarked on the first half of an exchange trip to Quebec on Feb. 28. The students' destination is the community of Chelsea, population 7,500, not far from the Ottawa River and the nation's capital.

From Chelsea, they will be able to go on excursions to major attractions, such as the National Art Gallery, the Royal Canadian Mint, Parliament, the Canadian Museum of History. They hope to visit the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program and to go skiing as well, said teacher Danielle Scarlett.

To help raise funds for the trip, the students raffled off tickets for a Bobby Anavilok carving.

The students' counterparts from Quebec are expected to visit Kugluktuk from April 16 to 23, Scarlett noted.

–Derek Neary