This year Nunavut Day will be celebrated quite differently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We just have to celebrate within our family and friends,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq, noting the usual outdoor celebrations will not take place.
“I’m anticipating more family groups getting together to celebrate in smaller scales, then probably normal,” said Health Minister George Hickes, adding there will be a lot of online activities through the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI).
James Eetoolook, vice-president of NTI, confirmed that Nunavut day will mostly be celebrated through social media and broadcasting since no large public gatherings are permitted.
The NTI is holding two online contests for all Nunavummiut.
The first contest, called the Home Cook Challenge, encourages each participant to submit an application with their Northern recipe and its photo. The recipes will be judged by professional Northern chefs for originality, presentation and affordability.
There will be three contest groups: kids aged 12 and under, youth aged 13 to 19 and adults. Prizes such as bicycles, iPads, fishing and camping equipment will be awarded to the top three winners in each category.
This is a very unique opportunity to showcase Nunavummiut recipes of nutritional country food recipes for the world, said Eetoolook.
The second contest, called the Cultural TikTok Competition, requires participants to create a video promoting Inuit culture, traditions and language.
There is no limit to the length of the video, but it must be made on the TikTok App using the hashtag #NUDay2020. Each video will be judged on creativity and the cultural content.
The top three winners will be awarded the prizes: 1st prize-iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, 2nd prize-Canon Rebel T7i starter kit and 3rd prize-AirPod Pros and $200.
Winners from both the cooking and video contests will be announced on Nunavut Day, July 9. For more information email email@example.com.
Additionally, on Nunavut Day, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., Inuktitut programming will be broadcasting on APTN, said Eetoolook.
He added CBC will also be broadcasting an Inuktitut program on July 8 and 9 between 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. “There will be a lot of giveaways” during the show, Eetoolook said.
Celebrations within communities
Some communities like Pangnirtung and Clyde River also have their own plans for celebrating Nunavut Day.
Pangnirtung’s Recreational Coordinator Jenna Kilabuk said her community will be having a Nunavut Day outfit contest, radio games, a small boat race, TikTok dance challenge and a music video contest.
In Clyde River, the Recreation Committee plans to have radio games, community parade and a vehicle decorating contest. “We are also trying to order some Narwhal meat,” said Clyde River’s Recreation Co-ordinator Caitlyn Joanas. “If all goes well … we will be contributing the meat to the community,” Joanas added, “We cannot do much due to the pandemic.”
However celebrated, Nunavut Day is time to celebrate the creation of a territory and a government for the Inuit people, explained the Premier.
For Hickes, Nunavut Day means the recognition of Inuit and Nunavut on a national scale.
“I really hope everyone does get out and find a way, in their own way, to celebrate Nunavut day,” said Hickes, adding “We literally changed the map of Canada without a war.”