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Elders pass on traditions at Anaatatiaq's Camp

Being out on the land and enjoying what it has to offer is something many Nunavmmiut love to do.

photo courtesy of Evelyn Kitigon
The women of Anaanatiaq's Camp. From the left, Evelyn Kitigon, Bessie Omilgoitok, Eva Kakolak, Annie Wenek, Annie Atikhioyak and Mable Etegek.

The serenity and peacefulness of the vast openness and tundra gives peace to many and this is what Cambridge Bay's Anaanatiaq's Camp is all about.

Elders come and nourish their hearts and souls teaching the ways of ways of our ancestors to the youth and children of the North.

As Anaanatiaq means grandmother, grandmothers are the heart and soul of the camp and share their knowledge.

"I am very happy to be a part of Anaanatiaq's Camp because we are busy with our traditions," said Elder Ann Wenek.

"It is very important for us Elders to know that we are passing on our knowledge and we learn from the youth as well."

Located at Jack's Point on the outskirts of town, (the camp) is funded by the Government of Nunavut under the Culture Support program said Evelyn Kitigon, a cultural support worker at the camp.

"We reopened the camp on June 16. The camp was built in 2019 so the Elders can have a place to share their knowledge with the community to pass down traditional knowledge to keep our culture alive."

The Elders run programs in the summer such as fish filleting, story telling, making qakivaks (fish spears), making qulliqs (lanterns) how to light one, traditional sewing and more modern ways of sewing.

There are three tent frames in which one is a cooking tent, a sewing tent and the other for fleshing skins such as caribou, musk ox and other skins that come as donations.


"We are happy and excited to have Anaanatiaq's camp open again and look forward to seeing many faces over the summer," said Evelyn.

"I love being able to help and answer any questions that the youth have," Kakolak Avadluk, who attends the camp, said.

"The youth leave the camp with good advice from the Elders and they know that this camp is a pleasant place to be when troubled, when you understand the Elders they are the best counsellors."

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