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Keeping important dates in mind

Many, if not all, of us like to keep certain dates well versed so that we do not offend
those significant to us personally.

There are birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, holidays and so on. We make every effort to be on top of these special events. As we ponder over events and situations, I like to think about and remember where I came from and some of my experiences as I was growing up. Some memories are pleasant while others are painful. I can remember being in the Sandy Hills in the East Arm of the Mackenzie River where I first attended grade school in a one-room classroom at Reindeer Station. This was a small camp where the reindeer herders gathered with their families and would go up into the Sandy Hills where the reindeer grazed.

The school ranged from grade one to grade three or four and was guided by one teacher. I was tickled to hear Billy Emaghok one of my residential school buddies from Tuktoyaktuk refer to this and it brought back vivid memories of this time.

As I moved along through my school-age time, more dates were introduced for us to
remember as part of historical studies. You may recall how it was said that in 1492 an
explorer sailed from one side of the Earth to the other and found a different race of people
already occupying this land. Then in 1867 a group of visionaries formed an organization
to voice matters of concern in various sections of this new found land. Then, for one hundred years this was the government of the day until in 1967 the Northwest Territories was formed in the aspirations of autonomy and self-governance by Northerners. This has been a challenging endeavor right through to the creation of Nunavut in 1999 – and in my view we are facing greater challenges.

My biggest concern in these historical developments is how the gap gets wider and
wider between the haves and have-nots. Those who have fallen between the cracks of services, or the lack of, are suffering mentally, emotionally and physically. There are housing units that were built at the early developments of our communities and are showing their age; we talk about food security as the diet has changed; the family dynamics are in jeopardy because of addictions and many other circumstances and situations that affect our health and well-being.

We are often told that things don't change or happen overnight but I like to entertain the
thought that Nunavut will move forward as the IQ principles are applied in all areas of
our growth and further developments as we exercise our desire for self-governance and
sustainability ... respecting others, relationships and caring for people; fostering good
spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive; serving and providing for family and/or
community; decision making through consensus; development of skills through practice,
effort and action; working together for a common cause; being innovative and resourceful
and respect and care for the land, animals and the environment.