The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre led the way for people in Rankin Inlet to get involved with the Embrace Life Day initiative on Sept. 8.

Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
Grade 7 student Tabvi Manernaluk, left, and Grade 10 student Tiana Manernaluk proudly display one of the Embrace Life Day banners in Rankin Inlet this past week.

Embrace Life Day – or World Suicide Prevention Day – is actually held on Sept. 10, but a number of Nunavut communities moved the event to Friday so more people could take part.

Addictions worker Ingride Lowe was the event’s main organizer for Pulaarvik Kablu, to mark the day created by the Embrace Life organization.

Diana Salguero, a member of the centre’s wellness team, was hoping for a big turnout in Rankin. She said the message of Embrace Life Day is quite significant, especially in areas that struggle with high rates of suicide.

“The name of the day is to embrace life; to remind everyone of the good things that life has to offer, and, when there’s bad days, you know, everyone has them, but we can all get through it,” said Salguero.

A walk and barbecue were held on Friday.

“The schools all held a hand-holding circle around 2 p.m., and then they started their big walk around areas of the community at about 3 p.m., with the walk ending up at the community ball field where we had the barbecue all set up and waiting for people to start coming around 3:30 p.m.” said Salguero.

The friendship centre is also sponsoring a poster contest asking people to try and show the various ways they enjoy life, or what embracing life means to them. The contest is open to all ages and the deadline is today by 4 p.m.

The winners will be showcased during a concert held in Rankin tomorrow night. The concert will feature Iqaluit artists Nick Sherman and Colleen Nakasuk, who are travelling to Rankin as part of their tour for mental health.

Salguero said a number of hands pitched in to help with the Embrace Life Day event.

She said numerous places in Rankin’s business community donated the prizes to be given out to the first, second and third poster contest winners.

“We paid for the barbecue and all the food, while the concert is kind of a mixture,” said Salguero. “It’s sponsored by Alianait, the Iqaluit festival people, so they’re, kind of, doing a lot of that, but they’re also working with Pulaarvik and we’re covering some of the costs.”