Members of the Ulukhaktok Western Drummers and Dancers are riding high after a whirlwind trip to the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto last week.
The group performed at York University on opening night and again at McMaster University the next night as part of the territory’s cultural contingent sent to the games.
They were also invited for a performance at the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s event to honour Team 88, as well as performing during the closing ceremonies.
“We were honoured to represent Ulukhaktok, Inuvialuit and the Northwest Territories,” said Karen Kitekudlak, one of the 10 members of the group who attended.
Four youth, from 10 to 13 years old, came along as well.
Kitekudlak said they enjoyed their experience and it was great to see all the different Indigenous drumming at the games.
Community looks to enhance adult literacy
Amberley Buray, a certified teacher, is working with community members to help improve adult literacy in Paulatuk.
The community has not had an adult literacy and numeracy program since Aurora College left about eight years ago.
Buray has received a grant from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to help build capacity in the workplace, which includes tutoring or skill-building with employees during their working day.
“It is a nice way to work with many community members and provide a service that is wanted and needed by community members,” said Buray.
Local organizations have picked up a number of high school students for work placement programs during the summer.
Otherwise, people in Paulatuk have been spending a lot of their summer on the land and netting fish, at least when the weather hasn’t been too windy or rainy.
Region represented in Northern Youth Abroad
Jessica Andre VanLoon will be representing Tsiigehtchic during the Northern Youth Abroad expedition this summer.
In a bio she wrote on the project’s website, VanLoon, 16, said her work placement is at a daycare in Ottawa, which is relevant to her desire to pursue a career in early childhood education.
She’s been enjoying the work placement program, which precedes the group’s cruise.
“The culture is different, especially the food,” wrote VanLoon in comparing it to Tsiigehtchic. “It’s hard to get used to. I love the prices though.”
VanLoon, the first participant ever from Tsiigehtchic, is also a member of the Gwich’in Regional Youth Council.
Other youth taking part in the project this year are Destiney Beaulieu, from Inuvik; Chloe Kanayok, from Ulukhaktok; John Noksana, from Tuktoyaktuk; and Hayven Elanik, from Aklavik.
Jayme Nerysoo will be representing Fort McPherson in a similar program called Northern Youth Abroad Next.
Courtney Kikoak, from Tuktoyaktuk, is taking part in the international program.