Well, valued readers, it’s hard to believe we’re less than two weeks away from Christmas Day.
I’m dedicating this space, as I do every year, to those who do so much to help me keep the Kivalliq News a truly regional paper.
During my 19-plus years in Rankin Inlet, I’ve grown to truly appreciate the folks outside Rankin who take the time to send me photographs, keep me abreast of what’s happening in their community and, in some cases, conduct a number of interviews throughout the year.
Some, who do so much for our Kivalliq youth, find it difficult to have public attention focused on them, but they always answer my calls and questions.
As uncomfortable as it may be for them at times, the interview leads to a story that highlights the youth in their programs or schools and they just can’t say no to that.
I can’t say enough about the job Lloyd Francis has done with a large number of youth in Naujaat through his running of the local cadet program and a Grade 9 teacher at Tuugaalik High School.
Francis takes the time to keep me in the loop on almost everything the 3055 RCACC has on the go, as well as school programs and projects, and a number of traditional trips and activities throughout the year.
Did I mention the 3055 have been named the best cadet corps in Nunavut and most of Manitoba for two years running now? Thanks, Lloyd.
Also in Naujaat a big thank you to Tuugaalik vice-principal Julia MacPherson for doing interviews, sending me photos and contact information, and keeping me in the loop on student activities during the school year. Thanks, Julia.
Right here in my own community, I owe a great deal of thanks to Noel Kaludjak for the interest he’s taken in having the people and activities of the community highlighted in Kivalliq News throughout the year.
Kaludjak also realizes this old ink-pusher can’t be two places at once and is deserving of a break every now and then, and I can’t thank him enough for all the photos and news tips since his time in Coral Harbour to the present day. Thanks, Noel.
There are numerous Inuit across the Kivalliq (you know who you are) who take my phone calls, e-mails and in-boxes and help me identify faces in photos from their community, as well as give me a head’s-up on who I should be talking to when I’m trying to find out who’s behind the so many awesome programs in our region, as well as those who hold various board positions and are the go-to person on various issues
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Sarah Ayaruak in Rankin, who has identified more youthful faces for me than Quaker has oats. Thanks, Sarah.
And, finally, two teachers who are absolutely not allowed to leave the Kivalliq unless the day ever comes when I do, in Gord Billard in Arviat and Glen Brocklebank in Chesterfield Inlet.
I admire Billard for the work he’s done in theatre with so many Inuit youth, and he’s had his young thespians tackle some mighty difficult topics. Billard is also heavily involved with the Arviat Film Society and Skills Nunavut, and he keeps me up to speed on how well the youth in all three are doing. Thanks, Gord.
Brocklebank has his paddle dipped in more projects than most people can keep up with, and he’s never been one to duck a tough question on me.
Like the others mentioned, he keeps the photos and info coming from his community. Thanks, Glenn.
A big thank you to everyone across the region who’s made this old hack’s life a little easier by contributing to our paper this year. I couldn’t do it without you!