UPPLUKKUT. HALUQQUQUT IQALUKTUUTIAMIT. INUIN NAAMAGALLITTUT. QAIJUQNAHIJUQ KIHIMI. HIQINIQ QULAVAKPAKTUK. QAUMALIKMAN NUNAKPUT ALIANAHIJUQ. NIGLAKPIAQHUNI ANIIRIAMI AUDLARIAMILU. TAMNA QALAQJUARNAHIK TIKINMIJUQ IQALUKTUUTIAMUN. INUIN AIHIMAVAKTUT NUTAQQATLU ANILAIKHUTIK. TAIMA NAGUHIPKAKPAKTUT AIMALUTIK INUIN. QILAMINNUAQ NAAMAKHIVAKTUT QUANA. NAGLINGNAQ PULAQNAIKMAN . AYUQNAQ ILLA. TUHAQPAKLUGIT TAPKUAT MUNARIYAIT AANIARUT. QUANA IKAJUQPAKTAIT INUIN HUMILIKIAK NIQIHANIK TUNIKHAIJUT TUNNGAVIKKUNITLU GAVAMATKUNNITLU. AKIKANGNITUT. APIRINNAGIALGIT HIVAJAKLURIT TUNNAVIKKUNLU HIVAJAUTAIT NAUNAIPKUTA TITIRAQHIMAJUT. IKAJUQTANIAQPUHI. NUTAQQAT ILIHAKTUT TITIKANIKLU MAQPIRAKHANIKLU AIJAUVAKTUT ILIHAKVINGMIT. ILIHAIJIIT APIRIINAGIALRIT. ANGNAN INIKNIGIIT HAVANGNITTUT HULI TAMNA AANIARUT PINGMAN HULI. KIHIMI ANGNAT HUMILIKIAK MIQHUJAKPAKTUT HULI. QUANA INUIN ANGUNIAQTIIT TUKHIUKPAKTUTLU UMINGMAKHIUKPAKTUTLU IQALIQIVAKTUTLU ANGUNAHUAQTIITKUNNUN TUNIQHAIVAKTUT INUNGNUN QUANAA. IHUMALUKPALAAQHIMAITTUMIK TAMAPTA NAAMAINNAQNAHUAQTURUT. UAQATTAQLURIT ALGATIT. IVJARUTIT ATUQPAKLUGU.
Welcome to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, land of the Inuinnait, our little corner on Victoria Island. It is time of the year when the sun is back, shining and giving us more daylight hours, but it is the coldest time of the year. Once again our temperatures are reaching the -50’s. Lots of ice fog and this is when the hard snow is crunching out loud as you walk. They say this type of hard crunchy snow is the best to build the snow houses known as an iglu.
In the olden days we only had dog teams and Igluit, no power, just ourselves with our families. It was exciting when our dogs started barking and jumping if there was wildlife nearby like wolves or polar bears and other animals, but even more exciting was when dogs barked when newcomers were walking towards our camps, as there were no snowmobiles then.
Having visitors from other camps was always a joy and exciting, all our Mothers and Grandmothers would immediately put on hot water and start cooking seal, caribou, fish etc to welcome visitors. Our ancestors walked for miles to hunt, fish and move camp to camp seeking and following the migration of the caribou. In the land of the Inuinnait our ancestors were the caribou people. Not so much seal harvesters like in the eastern part of the territory. Many camps were set up nearby the new Hudson’s Bay posts, setting up camps along the river, ocean side on the land as Inuit harvested fish and seal. With plenty of caribou being abundant in the past, it was a healthy nutrious diet our ancestors and many of us who are Elders now grew up on.
Today there is not much caribou anymore, you have to apply for tags from your local Hunter’s & Trappers Organizations as the caribou population is decreasing. We also do not see much caribou clothing being made, but in some communities as in Nettilingmiut, caribou is still harvested and you see kammak being made and caribou outdoor clothing to be used for hunting. I notice from social media many still sew in the Kivalliq Region. Today you can order and buy caribou that is being sold to those who cannot harvest that good food. Many Elders have to be taken care of with caribou and other traditional foods so they do not go hungry and get sick. We are thankful for the Ekaluktutiak HTO for providing country food to the Elders and residents of Cambridge Bay. The funds are provided from the Government of Canada food security programs being offered since this pandemic started 2 years ago.
The Covid virus has reached our community and the region now, so many residents are learning more and more about the virus and what to do, learning how to isolate, the importance of staying home and no visiting. It breaks our hearts for parents and grandparents to not be able to visit our families and grandchildren. Only window visiting and drive by is done during the lockdown in our communities. It is only to be safe and to stop the spread of this virus which is affecting many all over the world. To hear stories and see photographs of children and grandchildren crying missing each other is very heartbreaking, but we must listen to the restrictions that are being put out by the health professionals.
If we don’t listen to them and continue going out visiting the virus spreads fast. Please listen to the rules and restrictions and stay home if you are isolating or feeling sick. Always wear your mask when going out and only go if you are allowed to. Together we can do this as a community.
Food hampers have been available to residents in Nunavut, and in our community the NTI and GN have been offering them. The food hampers are very helpful up here for everyone, especially for those that have to isolate and are not able to go out to go shopping. Thank you to all volunteers and store staff for taking care of us. Please take care of each other, doing contactless communication is not too hard to practice during our isolation. Quana to all our local health providers, workers, wellness staff, recreation staff, store staff, airline staff, cargo staff, municipal workers, especially to our Nurses and Doctors who are working so hard to keep us safe and healthy. Stay warm everyone. Spring is coming soon.
God Be With You Son.