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AROUND NUNAVUT: Gjoa Haven youth committee executive in place

Gjoa Haven

The Gjoa Haven Youth Committee has been revived.

Joran Takkiruq was selected as chairperson on Oct. 1. Shaunya Ullulaq will serve as vice-chair. The treasurer duties will be split between Karen Aaluk and Jennifer Ullulaq. Gibson Porter will be the organization's secretary while Lonna Ikkutisluk and Jennifer Ullulaq will be members at large.

Takkiruq said he can remember failed attempts to establish a youth centre in years past but now that the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven has announced a youth centre will be part of a new wellness centre under construction and scheduled to open in 2019, it "jump started" interest among local youth who want to help guide use of the facility.

As chairperson, Takkiruq said he aims to create more activities in the community.

"Things that give kids something to look forward to," he said. "With this plan I hope to tackle mental health issues along with suicide prevention."

He also hopes to see more community involvement in youth events, like "town tournaments and parent/child meets."

Among the ideas discussed at the Oct. 1 youth committee meeting were dance competitions, Inuit games, Halloween bake-offs, and floor hockey games.

Encouraging better school attendance is also among Takkiruq's stated goals.

"Of course there will be bumps and diversions from this mindset but, all-in-all, I know that with the coming youth centre and new youth committee we will give Gjoa Haven's youth, and potentially Kitikmeot youth, something to look forward to," he said, adding that there's a long-term plan to connect youth in the region's five communities.

– Derek Neary


President's job opens up at QIA


The Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced Oct. 9 that elections for several positions will be held Dec. 10.

The position of president is the top one up for grabs. P.J. Akeeagok narrowly won the 2014 election by only two votes, and he wasn't declared president until a recount took place. Heading into the recount, Akeeagok trailed frontrunner Mikidjuk Akavak 758-755. But once the recount was finished, the official result reversed those positions, handing Akeeagok a two-vote win, 756-754.

Also up for grabs are the community director positions in Clyde River, Hall Beach, Iglulik, Iqaluit, Kimmirut, Pond Inlet and Sanikiluaq.

Nomination forms are available from QIA community liaison officers, at or from the chief returning officer.

– Michele LeTourneau


Another season of metal crushing completed

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

It was the second straight year of compacting old vehicles at the Cape Dorset landfill site and another 400 bundles of waste metal were created, according to senior administrative officer John Hussey. All that compacted metal, along with batteries and waste oils from the junked vehicles, should be shipped out on the last sealift ships near the end of the month, Hussey said.

"That will give us a lot more space up there (at the landfill)," he said.

The metal crushing started in May and ran until earlier this month, providing jobs for five people.

Using equipment on loan from the Government of Nunavut, the work should start up again next spring, Hussey said.

– Derek Neary


Teen activities


Moving Forward Together launched its weekly teen boys' and teen girls' groups at the Kugluktuk Youth Centre last week.

The girls' group is held on Tuesdays while the boys' group is held on Wednesdays. Those ages 12 and up are welcome.

It's the fourth year for the programs, which focus on activities like arts and crafts, cooking and traditional activities, according to Stephanie Fummerton, program counsellor with Moving Forward Together.
Although they meet separately, sometimes the boys and girls work collaboratively, Fummerton noted. Last year, the girls made candle holders bearing positive messages for the women's group to use in a vigil for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The teen boys then distributed the candle holders and assisted in setting things up for the event.

"We try to get them to volunteer or to help out with other community groups, doing different activities in town that help them feel positive about the actions that they're doing, not just for themselves but for the greater good of the community as well," said Fummerton.

– Derek Neary


Contest for children and youth launched


The young people of Nunavut have an opportunity to tell their stories, with the fourth annual Your Story, Your Voice contest launched Oct. 10.

"The contest submissions we have received over the past three years come from all over the territory. They have been very thought-provoking and creative," stated Nunavut's representative for children and youth Sherry McNeil-Mulak.

"This tells us that the contest is something students and teachers alike enjoy. I'm really looking forward to seeing the entries we receive this year."

McNeil-Mulak explained classes are encouraged to work together to create a piece of art, such as a wall mural, to express their thoughts, individually and/or collectively, on the contest theme.

"While all of the rights are equally important, our office agreed that a child's right to education was a good choice for this year's contest, given the work currently underway to review the Nunavut Education Act," she stated.

For more information, visit the Representative for Children and Youth's Office website.

– Michele LeTourneau


Iqaluit passes bylaw for recreational cannabis


The capital now has its own bylaws for the use of recreational pot.

At a council meeting Oct. 9, Bylaw 863 passed third reading.

Titled Bylaw for Cannabis Consumption, Smoking and Vaping, it adds to federal and territorial legislation. All are in effect as of Oct. 17.

"Council wanted to ensure that the City's Cannabis Bylaw was passed by October 17 and we have met this deadline," stated Mayor Madeleine Redfern.

The city worked out additional information on restrictions on where cannabis use is not permitted within the city, such as nine metres from the entrances of public buildings, according to a news release. Cannabis is also banned on school and daycare grounds and at public events.

The city worked closely with the Government of Nunavut and the RCMP to make sure it can implement and enforce the new bylaw.

Fines for violations range from $200 for a first offence and up to $10,000 for multiple offences.

Nunavummiut will only be able to purchase cannabis on-line for the first year.

– Michele LeTourneau