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AROUND NUNAVUT: Pond Inlet asks how to use cruise ship proceeds

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

The Hamlet of Pond Inlet is consulting on how to manage the financial returns from this year's cruise ship season, said senior administrative officer Daryl Dibblee.

The hamlet earned $250,000 in cruise ship docking fees and has hired a consultant to determine how that money should be used to maximize the benefit to the community, he said.

Last year, 10 cruise ships passed through the community, but that number more than doubled to 23 this year with an average of 150 people per ship, said Dibblee.

A total of 3,500 people came through the community, and that number is expected to rise in coming years, he said.

The consultant will weigh how to use the funds and whether to reinvest the $250,000 into new infrastructure investments for tourism.

Tourism allows craftspeople to sell their wares, and the community anticipates as many as 40 cruise ships will visit the community in the coming year, he said.

– Avery Zingel


Seeking additional narwhal tags


Kugaaruk hunters have already accounted for all the available 113 narwhal tags, but that hasn't satisfied local needs. So a request has been sent to other communities in the region to see if they have any remaining narwhal tags they can spare, said Mark Jr. Karlik, manager of the Kurtairujuark Hunters & Trappers Association.

Hunters and trappers representatives in Cambridge Bay said they may be able to surrender 12 tags, Taloyoak had three to give away and there's a possibility of some being available from Kugluktuk as well, Karlik said.

"That was very generous of them," he said of the offers of assistance.

Kugaaruk was issued 156 narwhal tags last year but didn't use them all. The reduction to 113 this year has proven a bit too much, according to Karlik.

"It went way down," he said. "We still have a lot of need."

Narwhal hunts can normally take place until the first week of October, which is usually when the ice along the shore starts getting thick and interferes with boating, Karlik added.

– Derek Neary


Terry Fox coin drive a success


Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik School in Iqaluit raised $2,300 for this year's Terry Fox Run through its annual coin drive.

Grade 7 teacher Rob Strutz has organized the fundraiser at the school since 2009, but has participated in Terry Fox fundraising since he was a kid, he said.

"Ultimately, everyone has been touched by cancer and you look at what Terry Fox did, and his vision and his dream," he said.

"It's important to carry that legacy on."

Honouring Fox's legacy with middle school kids teaches them about perseverance, resilience and dealing with adversity, said Strutz.

"It's a sense of community when we come together and help each other out," he said.

– Avery Zingel


Formulating an oil spill response plan


Representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard and the World Wildlife Fund were in Resolute last week to help residents come up with an oil spill response plan in case there's ever a significant fuel spill in Lancaster Sound.

Mayor Tabitha Mullin said she can't remember a large-scale spill occurring in nearby waters during her lifetime, but she applauded the preparations.

"It's always good to know what to do and who to call," Mullin said. "At least some of the people in the community would be able to assess and try to do something while help is on the way because it's so far away. We don't always have the equipment to do anything about it."

– Derek Neary


Kings, queens, bishops and castles

Gjoa Haven

Robby Qammaniq is trying to launch a chess club in Gjoa Haven. He's found some eager fellow players in Derek Donald and Assol Kubeisinova, but they're looking for more people of all ages to come to the community centre for lessons and matches every Sunday afternoon.

"Chess can teach people about strategy," Qammaniq said. "You have to make decisions on how to move and consider its consequences. If you have a good strategy, you can succeed in the game or in life."

Qammaniq began playing chess at age 12, having learned the rules from some uncles and cousins.

Donald was also introduced to the game as a child, but it was his grandfather doing the teaching.

"Chess is a great way to exercise the mind. It teaches people to always be thinking ahead, not just on the next move in life," said Donald.

Qammaniq said the chess club will give residents another option for something to do.

"If you can help provide some services for a community in any way, it can be helpful for the people," he said, adding that a chess tournament could be in the offing later this year if enough players step forward.

– Derek Neary


Pinnguaq Association opens creative space


The Pangnirtung-based Pinnguaq Association is opening its own Iqaluit Makerspace as a hub for creativity, innovation and knowledge sharing in Nunavut.

The space will be at House 754, and will offer opportunities for exploration in science, technology, engineering, arts and math that intersect with everyday life, language and culture, states a news release.

Interested community members are welcomed to the opening of the space on Sept. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m., with Canada Learning Code, an organization dedicated to coding education in Canada.

It will offer a permanent home for te(a)ch coding camps and family workshops, states a document outlining the proposed uses for the space.

The space will offer carving workshops, 3D modeling and printing outdoors to connect the visual, sculptural and digital arts. In the long term, the association hopes to accommodate cooking classes and sewing workshops with high-end sewing machines for local artisans.

The space will have a focus on computer refurbishment for Nunavut schools to support the Computers for Schools program, and will teach the fundamentals of computing, including basic troubleshooting, web safety and development, online banking, e-commerce and the use of social media and digital applications.

Pinnguaq proposes building relationships with teachers to integrate computer programming and coding lessons as part of their teaching routine in collaboration with the Department of Education to boost computer sciences into Nunavut curriculum.

– Avery Zingel