Well, valued readers, another year has passed us by and another decade has come to end.
Life is good, but it, indeed, does go by fast.
All in all, 2019 was a good year for the Kivalliq region, especially our regional hub, Rankin Inlet, despite the fact our territorial capital, Iqaluit, is leaving us behind in the dust when it comes to the type of community amenities that attract successful business and productive people.
In fact, just the opposite is occurring as the list of talented, dedicated, motivated and inspired Inuit who leave Rankin for better opportunities in Iqaluit and beyond continues to grow.
Once a common term in its usage, “brain drain” is a particularly sinister occurrence in that its somewhat debilitating effects on a community are often spread out over a period time, so communities don’t feel just how much they’re being impacted by the exodus until they begin to struggle years later.
And, as often is the case with “brain drain,” a good percentage of those leaving Rankin Inlet who posses those positive traits also tend to be young community leaders, cultural activists and involved with various community organizations, as well as volunteer events, programs, projects and groups.
In short, their contributions to the community on numerous levels will be missed and they are often not easily replaced.
Rankin does have a few things in its favour, however, such as an amazing sense of community, especially when it comes to bonding together when tragedy strikes, and stepping-up to help those struggling or in need.
The folks in Rankin Inlet also have a sterling reputation for the efforts of their core base of volunteers, their generosity in opening their wallets in support of charity events, and in continuously meeting the needs of the never-ending local fundraising efforts, especially when it comes to the number of teams looking to travel or host events in a sports-crazy community.
Rankin also boasts solid schools, a minor hockey program second to none at the community level, and a solid cadet corps consistently led by dedicated volunteers and now steeped in tradition.
However, while these collective attributes are valuable to any community and usually considered by those considering relocation, they are rarely the deciding factor in the final decision that is reached.
While still, for the most part, firing on all cylinders, the impact on Rankin Inlet from the growing number of those relocating to other communities is beginning to be felt.
If the number of those leaving continues to rise, especially among the best of its youthful community leaders and role models, the cumulative effect on Rankin may see a pallor cast by year’s end on the guarded optimism that greeted the arrival of 2020.
To borrow a line: that’s not news (yet), but that too is reality.