HALLUUQQURUT IQALUKTUUTIAMIT. INUIN NAAMMAINNAQTUT. AUYALIQMAN APINMIJUQ NUNAKPUT. PINNIQHIJUQ. NIGLALIMAN ANURAINNAQ ANIIRIAMI. INUIN NUNAVUT TUNNGAVIKKUNIT KATIMAJUN IQALUKTUUTIAMI. QUANA INUIN TUUQMIANLU PULAAQTUT. TAKHIGAGNAT HILAMI ALIANAQ. NAAMMAINAQPIAQTUT INUIN. NUTAQQATLU ILIHARIALIRAMIK NAAMMAKTUTLU. PUIRUKTAILUHI UAKATTAQLURIT ALGATIT. TAMNA AANIARUT. IPAKHANI ANILRARAMA ETMINTINMIT. AVALIINGAAQTITAUVINGMIT. AMIRIYIIT, HALUMAQHIYIITLU, HAVAKTIIT NUTQALAITTUT. IKAJUQPIAKPAKTUNLU QUANA ILLAA ITIKTIKVINGMI. QUANAQHIVAKTUQ NIGIPQAQTITAUVAGAPTA PINGAHUIKTUKHUTA UPLUK TAMAAT. NIRIJUMANAQHIVAKTUK NIQAINAKNIK ILANI. INUIN TAAKTILIQIJUT NAAMMAINNAQTUT. AVALIINGAAQTITAUMUNGGNALIRUVIT MIQHUJAKHANIK HANAUJAHANIKLU TIGUMMIAJAVUHI TUNINGNUNAITGUTIKHANIK. TAAKTIKAKTUQ MUNAQHIQAQTUKLU UQAQVIUJUMAGUFFIUK ITIQTIQVINGMI. AJUQNAQMAN TAMNA AANIARUT PINGMAN HULI.
Welcome to beautiful snow white country from the southern tip of Victoria Island, land of the Inuinnait. Nature has its own way of once again beautifying our land and sea with fresh fallen snow giving us a new season to let winter settle in for few months. The cool fresh air and the darkness makes it like a Christmas town with many lights shining brightly out in the middle of nowhere up in the Arctic.
As lakes and rivers and ocean freeze, it is this time of year fishers are out jigging and ice-fishing for red-bellied char. Many set nets up at the lakes to harvest this type of fish which tastes so good and healthy. The ocean is still slowly freezing but it looks black as it is so cold and ready to freeze up for the next few months. As you walk in this weather it starts to get dark and the roads are very slippery so please be careful when walking or driving on the streets of Cambridge Bay.
The pandemic Covid-19 has changed our lives all over the world and more precautions are being taken, with many rules set up to keep the virus out of Nunavut. So far the communities in Nunavut do not have any positive cases to date with their residents. So far the few cases are from mining sites where individuals are from the southern provinces and are put into isolation and well taken care of. We hope everyone out there is doing well and practicing safety rules set out by the Chief Public Health Office from the Government of Nunavut.
During the pandemic residents of Nunavut who travel south for medical or personal reasons or for work have to isolate for 14 days prior to flying back to Nunavut, set out by the Chief Public Health Office out of Iqaluit head offices. I myself just got back home from Edmonton, Alta. and I have experienced the 14-day isolation rules.
There were many of us residents all at the isolation hub, arriving on different days. I as a resident from the Kitikmeot was brought to the isolation hub in Edmonton, while Kivalliq residents are brought to the isolation hub in Winnipeg and Baffin residents isolate in Ottawa. Many travel for medical reasons seeking cancer treatments or tests that can’t be done in the territory.
The isolation hub in Edmonton for those traveling to Nunavut are lucky to have a nice hotel with security everywhere, three meals are provided, some medical patients and their escorts get their own rooms. A few construction workers were also isolating before heading up north to work in the communities. If heading down to Edmonton for us Kitikmeot travellers, it is recommended that you carry a few supplies and country food, for those who love doing sewing or other types of crafts, please bring them with you on your way to Edmonton isolation hub, also goes to those who carve, bring your carving tools and supplies.
The food provided is all restaurant food which some Inuit are not used to eating all the time, so make sure to bring some of your own country food and your ulu and pocket knives. Prepare your food so that it is all ready cut up in bite sizes as the hotel may not provide an axe used when cutting up tuktu and fish.
The hotel staff are very busy taking care of us all in isolation, we as hotel guests have to clean our own rooms and are provided cleaning supplies during the pandemic. You are provided with clean bedding, towels, toilet paper, Kleenex and cleaning supplies to wipe down your rooms with a disinfectant provided by the hotel. A vacuum cleaner is provided also to vacuum your own rooms and then passed on to the next guest.
Those who isolated in Edmonton had the chance daily to watch the train go by everyday, which was exciting for us to watch especially for those residents from Nunavut. Each guest is allowed to go outside for however long as you want in the back of the hotel. The security guards are there to help you get from one area of the hotel such as to the front desk or you are signed out and signed back in when going outside to the back of the hotel.
The front desk has a canteen where junk food is sold, there is a shopper on site where a guest can write down on a form provided upon checking-in what you need from the store in the area, two nearby stores are Superstore and Walmart. You pay for your items by putting the cash in an envelope for the shopper and by end of the day of shopping your change is given back in the envelope. Another service provided is laundry, three times a week you are allowed to get your laundry done. Wearing masks is mandatory when going outside and can be removed once you are outdoors or using the elevator.
We are well taken care of with a nice hotel and good helpful staff looking after us in isolation which makes life a whole lot easier for us guests. I hope I gave you an idea of how it is to be in 14-day isolation.
It is quite the experience for those missing their loved ones and families, but there are nurses, doctors, a mental health nurse and social workers on site at the isolation hub. Anyone is allowed to call any one of these professionals to help you in your needs. For myself it was my relatives and friends whom we grew up with that helped me get through the long isolation experience. Nowadays, down south there is a service called “Skip The Dishes” or order take-out from restaurants which guests can also use, when you get tired of the same restaurant menu. Also with social media nowadays you can Facetime with your family and loved ones, which makes it easier to communicate while in isolation.
Take good care of yourself and always stay positive and that really helps you get through isolation much better and quicker. Quana to all those who help each other get through the 14-day experience. Quana and big hello to Stanley Carpenter and Leslie Klengenberg, Angele, Kimnek and Ida, Agnes, Naomi, Tamalyn, quana for being there for me. Stay well everyone. Christmas is just few weeks away already. A huge Quana to my daughter Kingnektak and Alexis and Al for all you did for me during my stay in Edmonton, I will always remember how well I was being taken care of.
God Be With You Son.