Kugluktuk women Loretta Angnaluak and her daughter Savannah have had a busy weekend of sewing. For the mother and daughter team, it is a “no brainer” that they pull together to assist the community.

“The community of Kugluktuk has given me and my family so much over the years and it is our way of giving back,” said Loretta.

Savannah Angnaluak, left, and her mother Loretta have been sewing non-medial grade masks for residents of Kugluktuk for the past week amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
photo courtesy of Loretta Angnaluak

Loretta and Savannah have sewn over 140 masks, their goal is to make masks for all the adults in the community, masks made with calico, headbands, bias tapes and elastics.

“Materials were running low we have been getting donations of material coming in from people in the community, and it is a great help,” said Loretta.

“We need to flatten the curve, we need to stay ahead of the game, we can’t wait until the virus gets here, we need to be proactive not reactive.

“I don’t see this as a job, it brings me joy to be making these masks, just a bit of extra precautions for others to feel safe and to protect themselves.”

Savannah says she is very proud of how she sees that everyone is respecting physical and social distancing, “When tough times happen, the first instinct of Inuit and Native people is to band together and support each other, but in this case we must physical distance,” she said.

They both are proud of the measures that the Nunavut Government has taken to stay ahead of the pandemic, says Loretta.

“Nunavut is doing the best job they can in dealing with this virus, I feel safe.”

The sewing continues, especially as the government has recently recommended the use of personal masks.

Loretta, who is originally from Cold Lake, Alta. had made her move to Kugluktuk back in 1988 as a dental therapist and later changed her profession to social work.

Loretta married Sammy Angnaluak of Kugluktuk and have lived in a number of places in the North but have always returned to Kugluktuk. Loretta was called back to Kugluktuk as a casual for the Department of Social Services in February of this year working as an income support worker for the hamlet.

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