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The Rankin Inlet Fitness Centre celebrated its fifth year in operation this past Friday, March 1, 2019. Photo courtesy Rankin Fitness Centre

AROUND KIVALLIQ: Happy Birthday

The Rankin Inlet Fitness Centre celebrated its birthday on March 1, marking its fifth year serving the community. The fitness centre first opened its doors on March 1, 2014 and, since that time, it has grown to have five staff members serving a membership that is now in excess of 100 strong. The Rankin Inlet...
Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, left, and Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) president David Ningeongan gladly accept the good news from Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs and Internal Trade Yvonne Jones that the KIA was receiving a $1.6 million grant from the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) to help fund a feasibility study into the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link Project. Photo courtesy KIA

Federal grant helps bring KIA’s Inuit-led Kivalliq Hydro-Fiber Link project a major step...

A feasibility study on plans to extend renewable power from northern Manitoba into Nunavut received a major boost with the announcement that the federal government was kicking-in with a $1.6-million grant to the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) on Feb. 25. The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs...
Yan Guilbault, top, watches as Blaire Nakoolak, middle, takes a swimming lesson with Gail Gibbons during the 2018 Kivalliq Science and Culture Camp hosted by Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet from Sept. 6-10, 2018. The school's qajaq program, designed and initiated by teacher Glen Brocklebank, has become a student favourite during the past two camps. NNSL file photo

Tapped to serve on national prize board

Victor Sammurtok School (VSS) teacher Glen Brocklebank has been named to a prestigious position within the Arctic Inspiration Prize organization. Brocklebank said the journey started when he was first approached about taking a position on the Arctic Inspiration Prize’s national selection committee this past December, which he politely declined but asked to be kept in...
Joanasie Illauq stands next to his small iglu while participating in the Qikiqtani Inuit Association Sakku Men's Healing program on the land near Clyde River from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24, 2019. Photo courtesy Noel Kaludjak

Men’s group takes part in four-day camp on the land

To build-up personal strengths, to begin or continue a healing journey and to move forward from past challenges were some of the goals of an on-the-land healing program in the North Baffin area. Noel Kaludjak of Rankin Inlet – co-founder of the Angutiit Makigiarninga (Men Rising Up) men’s healing group that originally started in Coral...
Truck-and-scoop operators, from left, Gloria Kaludjak, Beth Napayok, Hannah Pilakapsi and Angela Misheralak display the first gold dore poured at the Meliadine gold mine near Rankin Inlet on Feb. 21, 2019. Photo courtesy Agnico Eagle Mines

Golden future ahead

The Meliadine gold mine on the land near Rankin Inlet took one large step towards starting commercial production when Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) employees at Meliadine gathered around to celebrate the mine’s first pour of gold on the morning of Feb. 21. The first pour marked the culmination of a journey that began more than...
High-scoring forward Wendel Kaludjak leads his Kivalliq Inuit Association team against Team A&K in the championship series of the Rankin Inlet Senior Men's Hockey League on Feb. 27, 2019. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

AROUND KIVALLIQ: Championship series

Teams KIA and A&K clash tonight in game two of the best-of-five series to determine the champion of the Rankin Inlet Senior Men’s Hockey League for the 2018-2019 season. Game time is set for 8 p.m. at the Rankin Inlet arena. KIA nipped A&K 7-5 to take game one in the series. Elder’s tea Rankin...
Innosar Issakiark, right, and drama teacher Gord Billard are all smiles while attending a screening of the Grizzlies in Arviat on Feb. 20, 2019. Photo courtesy Gord Billard

The Grizzlies movie comes to Arviat

It was an emotional evening in Arviat when the community hosted a screening of The Grizzlies at the Mark Kalluak Community Hall. Innosar Issakiark was seen a number of times in the movie – a true story based on a teacher’s efforts to improve life for youth in Kugluktuk through the sport of lacrosse –...

Arviat mourns

One man is dead and another is in custody following Arviat’s first homicide in more than a decade. Police say Manasie Thompson, 29, was found dead on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Albert Napayok, 30, faces murder charges. Arviat Mayor Bob Leonard said the mood in the community has been pretty somber in the days following the...
Shanae Piercey carefully sweetens the sweets as Wally Kalluk carefully guards the secret ingredients during a Valentine's Day fundraiser for the potential graduates at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School in Baker Lake on Feb. 14, 2019. Photo courtesy Olivia Ullyot

Raising funds in Baker

The 12 potential graduates at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School are well on their way with fundraising efforts for their graduation in Baker Lake. The group is being helped along by teacher Olivia Ullyot who said, to date, the Grade 12 students are doing an exceptional job. Ullyot said it’s often a year-long task to raise...
Team NT's girls hockey team gathers around following their game against Prince Edward Island at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 24. Mel Bolin/Canada Winter Games photo

Week two gets underway at Canada Winter Games for Team NT and Nunavut

And so begins another week of the North’s best and brightest doing their thing at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. Week two officially got underway on Feb. 24 with three sports in action involving Team NT; Nunavut wasn’t in action. The boys and girls curling rinks took on Saskatchewan in the morning...
Garren Voisey of Arviat with MVP award at Bantam Rock championship in Rankin Inlet in March of 2018. photo courtesy Ryan St. John

AROUND KIVALLIQ: Bantam time

The Arviat Wolves will be returning to defend their championship title when the Bantam Rock hockey championship gets underway in Rankin Inlet from March 1 to 3. The Rankin tournament will be an excellent warmup for the Nunavut Bantam Territorial Championship, which will be held in Arviat from March 15 to 17.   Film screening...
Silu Autut, left, and Troy Aksalnik are half grinny and half yummy as they load-up on some delicious chile at the Rankin Inlet arena on Feb. 10, 2019. Photo courtesy Noel Kaludjak

Effective plan for complex critical

A lot has been said, written and talked about from the arena perspective as the grand old lady on the hill lumbers through her final season before passing the puck off to the brand new arena for the 2019-2020 season in Rankin Inlet. Combined with the attached community hall, tiny curling rink, and local radio...
Jimmy Ishalook, from left, Andrew Kuksuk, Jackson Kablutsiak, Nap karetak and Robert Karetak are all smiles inside the iglu they built in Arviat on Feb. 12, 2019. Photo courtesy Robert Karetak

Five friends and an iglu

It was a quiet moment of triumph, a task finally completed, and one item scratched off the bucket list for five men who built their own iglu near Arviat this past week. Four of the five Inuit – Jimmy Ishalook, Andrew Kuksuk, Jackson Kablutsiak and Nap Karetak – had first determined to build the iglu...
Alex Hejnowicz of Iqaluit comes around the bend during speedskating action at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 17. Peter Fuzessery/Canada Winter Games photo

Team NT and Nunavut schedule: Day 6

Here’s what Team NT and Nunavut will be up to on Day 6 of the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Wednesday. All times MST Table Tennis 9:00 a.m. Girls singles placement round (continuing all day) 10:30 a.m. Boys singles placement round (continuing all day) Hockey 12:30 p.m. Nunavut vs. Newfoundland and Labrador...
Members of the Rankin Inlet competitive gym team turn their backs to the camera to show what the backs of their new Team Canada uniforms will look like at the upcoming international World Gymnaestrada in Austria from July 7-13. Photo courtesy Lisa Kresky

Rankin gymnasts work doggedly at fundraising as World Gymnaestrada looms closer

The founder and head coach of the Aqsarniit Ujauttaq (Northern Lights) gymnastics club in Rankin Inlet, Lisa Kresky, left for the Canada Winter Games this past week with a lot on her mind. Kresky is attending the games as part of the Women in Coaching program and is linked with the B.C. gymnastics team as...
Jade Ko goes through her routine on the floor during gymnastics action at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 17. Rod Ince/Canada Winter Games photo

Team NT and Nunavut schedule: Day 5

Here’s what Nunavut and Team NT will be up to on Day 5 of the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 19: Table Tennis 9:00 a.m. Mixed doubles – Team NT vs. Yukon 9:30 a.m. Mixed doubles – Nunavut vs. Newfoundland and Labrador 10:30 a.m. Boys doubles – Team NT vs. Nunavut...
Chase Harron of Coral Habour battles with Connor Cozens of Yukon in front of the net during boys hockey action against Yukon on Feb. 17. Rod Ince/Canada Winter Games photo

Team NT and Nunavut schedule: Day 4

Here’s what Team NT and Nunavut will be up to on Day 4 at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. All times MST Hockey 9:00 a.m. Nunavut vs. Prince Edward Island 4 p.m. Nunavut vs. Team NT Table Tennis 9:00 a.m. Boys and girls singles matches begin Speedskating 9:10 a.m., 10:18 a.m. and...
Conner McKay-Ivanko of Hay River, left, awaits the serve from Caleb Bolt of Kugluktuk during table tennis action at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 16. Peter Fuzessery/Canada Winter Games photo

Table tennis leads the way for Nunavut in first day of action at Canada...

The 2019 Canada Winter Games are underway in Red Deer, Alta., and it was table tennis which kicked things off for Nunavut. The boys and girls team competitions were the first orders of business for the territory on Feb. 16 and the boys had themselves quite a good run as they managed to get to...
Team Nunavut marches into the opening ceremony of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 15. Mark Cundict/Canada Winter Games photo

Team NT and Nunavut schedule: Day 3

Here’s what Team NT and Nunavut will be up to on Day 3 of the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Sunday: All times MST Hockey 9:00 a.m. Team NT vs. Prince Edward Island Nunavut vs. Yukon 7:30 p.m. Nunavut vs. Newfoundland and Labrador Team NT vs. Yukon Table Tennis 9:00 a.m. Boys...

AROUND KIVALLIQ: Archeological mapping project

The Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet is taking steps to document sites of archeological value within municipal boundaries via a mapping project. Through an arrangement with a firm in Winnipeg, a certified archeologist will come to the community when the snow has cleared – likely in June or July – to assist in the mapping initiative,...
The health centre in Rankin Inlet on July 24, 2009. Health staff are working on a pandemic plan to deal with H1N1 Kassina Ryder/NNSL photo

Nurse shortage no crisis, says mayor

Nunavut is enduring a shortage of nurses and the Government of Nunavut Department of Health has identified Rankin Inlet as one of the communities in greatest need of additional staff. However, the impact at the community level is not readily apparent, according to Rankin Inlet’s mayor. “Nothing that I’m aware of. Nobody has brought it...

COLUMN: Grow the solution from within

I can’t say I’ve gotten to know a lot of people well in the community of Baker Lake, but I’ve gotten to know more than a handful very well during the past two decades. And, like pretty much everyone else, I tend to take an interest in any community where people who I care about...
Jim MacDonald drops the puck between Sidney Nichol of the Rankin Rock and Andrew Pearce of the Baffin Blizzard to mark the championship game of the Polar Bear Plate juvenile-junior tournament in Rankin Inlet on Feb. 17, 2019. Photo courtesy Noel Kaludjak

One last shot at junior championship

Once again, the Rankin Rock faced defeat in the big game after an impressive tournament run, as the Baffin Blizzard held on for a 4-3 victory to claim the 2019 Polar Bear Plate juvenile-junior tournament in Rankin Inlet on Feb. 17. It was a particularly tough loss for head coach Donald Clark, who is stepping...
Paige MacDougall goes over some Deaf Life story books with a group of youth in Rankin Inlet while leading a workshop addressing indigenous research and training capacities with a focus on disability rights, deafness and the revitalization of Inuit sign language in Rankin Inlet on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo courtesy Paige MacDougall

Fighting to be heard

An inclusive-and-interactive workshop addressing Indigenous research and training capacities with a focus on disability rights, deafness and the revitalization of Inuit sign language was held in Rankin Inlet, Jan. 21. The workshop was sponsored by the Canadian Deafness Research and Training Institute (CDRTI) in connection with the Nunavut Deaf Society and supported by a connection...
Grade 10 students Anthonese Mablik, left, and Shane Mapsalak are all smiles as they prepare to serve some hot caribou stew for students in grades seven to 12 at Tuugaalik High School in Naujaat on Jan. 10, 2019. Photo courtesy Julia MacPherson

Skills, stew and bannock

Students at Tuugaalik High School picked up in 2019 right where they left off in 2018 – busy, creative and recognized. The students began their Christmas holidays on a festive note when, on Dec. 12, school staff members distributed the Christmas gifts donated to them by the Lions Club of Edmonton, Alta., and Bev Mitchell...
Victor Sammurtok School students, from left, Adrianna Putulik, Keith Issaluk, Dustin Issaluk, Herman Aggark and Landon Makpah proudly display a newly constructed boat for their school's qajaqing program in Chesterfield Inlet on Jan. 17, 2019. Photo courtesy Glen Brocklebank

Building the fleet in Chesterfield Inlet

The qajaq program at Victor Sammurtok School (VSS) received another boost with the covering of five new qajaqs in Chesterfield Inlet earlier this month. The qajaqs were built this past May by VSS students and staff members, and students from Grade 9 to Grade 12 worked on sewing the new covers for the qajaqs from...
Arviat North Whale Cove MLA John Main says more has to be done to help Nunavut's efforts to recruit and retain more health professionals on Jan. 16, 2019. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Health care staffing crisis

There is no magic bullet to solve the problem of nursing shortages in communities across Nunavut, said Arviat North – Whale Cove MLA John Main last week in Arviat. Main, speaking to Arviat nurses being terribly overworked due to a shortage of staff and a nasty flu bug on the go, said the staffing and...
Agnico Eagle Mines employees check out the fabulous items for sale during Ivalu's visit to the Meliadine gold mine site near Rankin Inlet on Dec. 23, 2018. Photo courtesy Ivalu

Artists bring their wares to the masses

The Nunavut Development Corp. (DevCorps) outlets of Ivalu Ltd. in Rankin Inlet and Jessie Oonark Centre in Baker Lake completed their second year of bringing their wares to the masses by spending afternoons at the Meliadine gold mine site near Rankin and the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker. DevCorps manager of finance and administration Bernadette...
Heavy-equipment operators were put to the test when a three-day blizzard pounded Rankin Inlet from Jan. 13-15, 2019. Photo courtesy Noel Kaludjak

AROUND KIVALLIQ: Freezing blizzard

Residents of Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake had the worst of both weather worlds when a heavy blizzard and extreme cold temperatures rocked most of the Kivalliq region for three days this past week. Schools were closed along with municipal and territorial government offices until mid-week, with residents of Rankin Inlet...

COLUMN: Fixing the health care system, in baby steps

Arviat North – Whale Cove MLA John Main is bang on when he states small steps taken today to help cure the continual nursing shortage in Nunavut will lead to much bigger steps forward in the future. He’s also right when he says there’s no one magic-bullet answer to solving the capacity issue, and long-term...