The spirit of giving in Hall Beach

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The generosity in Hall Beach is so strong, you can taste it. Literally.

photo courtesy of Maggie Nattuk
Maggie and Lou Nattuk of Hall Beach occasionally invite fellow community members to stop by and pick up meat, or to come and enjoy a meal at their home.

Social media invitations are extended quite often, welcoming others to stop by and stock up on country food or sit down for a prepared meal.
On Aug. 20, Lou and Maggie Nattuk had a big pot of caribou stew on the stove. A picture of the delicious-looking cuisine appeared on Maggie’s Facebook page with the message: “Come have my husband’s dish! Caribou stew.”
About a week earlier, the Nattuks had extra seal meal meat to give away, also announced via Facebook.
“He loves hunting. He loves to share his food,” Maggie says of her husband, Lou. “His catch is always free.”
Their sons also contribute fish and game to the household, meaning there’s even more to share with others.
Other residents in Hall Beach gratefully take them up on the offers.
“Everything’s gone, to the bone, even the skins. It’s never wasted,” says Maggie, who recalls her grandparents, who raised her, being generous as well. She says many people in Hall Beach are charitable.
Lou remembers his late father providing assistance to others.
“He helped needy people, especially those who don’t have hunters – elderly people, people with no transportation. He helped those people,” he says. “That’s how I was raised.”
Ammie Kipsigak is another Hall Beach resident who regularly posts on social media to alert others to free cuts of tuktu or a bowl of stew if they’re feeling hungry. Kipsigak couldn’t be reached for comment.
Ike Angotautok recently celebrated his grandson Terrence’s first caribou harvest and invited others in Hall Beach to “come eat with us.”
Angotautok was raised in Iglulik but moved to Hall Beach to be with his love, Mary. They’ve been married for 36 years. He says his parents taught him about hunting when he was a boy, and one of the lessons was that meat is not to be hoarded.
“What I get from hunting is to share,” he says, adding that he distributed caribou to people in Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay and Pangnirtung last December.

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Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North, NWT & Nunavut Mining, Construction and Degrees of Success. Derek's passion lies in human interest stories and he's indebted to those who share their struggles and triumphs. He has won more than a dozen journalism awards and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of King's College.