Welcome to fall weather when the air is so fresh and clean this time of year. It seems that our little fishing village had snow and then melted from the sun and rain. It is one of nature’s most beautiful times of the year, watching the Arctic Ocean slowly freezing up. All the lakes, ponds and rivers must be freezing now.

The community of Cambridge Bay has grown so much in the past few years.

During this pandemic it seems that so many things have changed. No more attending feast, gatherings, meetings, but I am happy our kids are back in school and practicing safety and social distancing, quana to parents too who keep their kids at home if feeling sick.

So far Nunavunmiutat have no positive cases to date and let’s keep it that way. The workers from the mines who are from down south are testing positive and I hope they are all doing well and to get better and be safe. We are so thankful for the staff of the Chief Public Health Officer for making the rules and doing the right thing to keep us healthy in Nunavut.

We are lucky. Stay strong and healthy everyone.

Columnist Navalik Tologanak visits a monument to honour residential school students in Cambridge Bay, July 26, 2019. photo courtesy of Navalik Tologanak

Children who years ago went to the first-ever school built in new town of Cambridge Bay are now all grandparents. Our school was called the “Federal Day School.” I remember attending at a young age of five, I think.

I remember dog teaming with RCMP to school and back across where we lived in tents and igloos. We were fed a nice hot warm lunch Monday to Friday. I remember Kayy Gordon was our cook and a table with benches was set up in the hallway of our first school. It was a green colour. Then at 4 p.m. we were done classes for the day and RCMP dog team would be waiting for us kids to bring us home in the darker months.

We also had a bombardier and a school bus later on as years went by.

Our bus driver was the Late Joe Ogina, he would sing all the time. He looked after us children so well. He loved his job singing everyday to us school kids. For us kids, it was playing outdoors on the ocean when it was darker outside it was the moon that gave us light, played out for hours even though how poor we were, we were happy and healthy.

Each family had a dog team back then, which is very few now in Nunavut. I hope someday there will be more and more dog teams being used like the past with our grandparents and ancestors. The peace and quiet back then was less stressful for the families. But today, too much influence and noise, and development in the north. I miss the old days.

I think this is why Inuit when out on the land camping, fishing, hunting or just living out there, we feel at peace and are healing all the time, it is because our Ancestors are out there with us, even My Son. You can feel the calm and love and peace even if you are out there alone.

Today Inuit travel out on the land to destress, get some peace and quiet and to relax. Forever and ever. See you out there folks. Take good care. Keep washing your hands and be safe and stay well.

God Be With You Son.

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