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 Harbour a decade ago – partnered with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and the Ilisaqsivik Society to bring the QIA Sakku Men’s Healing program to Clyde River earlier this month.
“We would have a check-in each morning to make sure everyone was OK and, each evening, everyone would take part in healing sessions to end the day,” said Kaludjak. “After the check-in every morning, all the men would head out seal hunting.
“We caught some seals to eat and, during our tea breaks and lunch breaks, the elders would talk to the younger men about the land and its history.”
The program was created and organized by the QIA’s Youth Department (under the direction of Becky Qilavvaq) and was funded by the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Culture and Heritage.
The North Baffin camp followed up on the program being delivered in Iqaluit for South Baffin communities in 2018, which was made possible by a partnership between the QIA and Angutit Ikajuqatigiit.
If future funding is approved, the next QIA Sakku Men’s Healing program will be held for communities in the High Arctic such as Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq) and Grise Fiord (Ausuittuq).
Kaludjak said the North Baffin delivery was centred around a four-day land program Feb. 20 to 24, located at an old outpost camp about 64 kilometers north of Clyde River.
He said the group taking part was comprised of 15 men from the communities of Hall Beach, Iglulik, Pond Inlet and Clyde River.
Kaludjak said Joshua Akavak of Clyde River’s Ilisaqsivik Society did an outstanding job helping to co-ordinate the camp.
He said all in all he is quite happy with the delivery of the program and the positive effect it had on the participants.