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AB_ND12_Cover_A&B July-August 2010 Cover 10/18/12 12:00 PM Page 1

Canada’s Arctic Journal

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 • $ 5.95

Finding Air

An Arctic Ballooning Adventure The Seventieth Anniversary of the Sailing of the Northwest Passage

Adv dven entur tures es in Par aradise adise The Rapids of Katannilik Park

Nor orth thw wor ords ds

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AB_ND12_Cover_A&B July-August 2010 Cover 10/18/12 12:00 PM Page 2

Jobie Tukkiapik / ÔW g3exW4 President, Makivik Corporation & Chairman, First Air xzJ6√6, mrF4 fxS‰nzk5 x7m w4y?sb6, {5 wsf8k5 Président, Société Makivik et président du conseil, First Air

Thank you for flying First Air As the year 2012 draws to a close, we are proud to reflect on the many events and initiatives that demonstrate First Air’s continued support for the communities we serve. From conferences and tradeshows to cultural and sporting events, First Air and our partners Qikiqtani First Aviation and Sakku First Aviation, are consistent supporters of activities in the North. A key area of focus continues to be our commitment to helping northern youth. One mechanism for doing so is through our Sivurariaqnik Program. This year, First Air became a sponsor of the Aviation Career Development Program (ACDP), which provides 15 scholarships of $5,000 each to support full-time training in an aviation-related career. The studies can be related to airline or airport operations or management, aircraft maintenance, and pilot training. Eligible applicants must be residents of Northwest Territories and/or Nunavut and must demonstrate they have been accepted in a full-time aviation-related program. First Air continues to find synergies with the Ottawa based Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) training program. Through this affiliation, one of the first opportunities is for students to contribute to above&beyond magazine’s new Youth Column, launching in January 2013. The Youth Column will feature contributions from young writers, focusing on youth issues. The inaugural piece will be provided by Teevi Mackay, an NS graduate and 4th year Journalism student at Carleton University. Job fairs and supporting career guidance at the high school level continues to be a key opportunity for First Air to connect with youth. This fall, two young students from Gjoa Haven had a unique opportunity to learn about airline operations first hand. Gjoa Haven teacher Trina Sallerina from Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik High School, encouraged her students to enroll in the Ultimate Dream Job contest, a program from The Learning Partnership. The contest required students to photograph their ultimate dream job and submit photos with a small write up. Two Gjoa Haven students, Karen and Brett, identified aviation as their career goals and spent a day with First Air’s crew learning about their dream jobs of Flight Attendant and Pilot. Through these and other initiatives, First Air and our partners, will continue to develop opportunities to work with northern youth. Thank you for flying First Air, The Airline of the North.

ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᖃᖓᑕᒐᕕᑦ ᖁᔭᒋᕙᑦᑎᒋᑦ

ᐊᕐᕌᒍ 2012 ᐃᓱᓕᓕᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖓᓂ, ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᒍᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᕆᒋᐊᖏᑦ ᐊᒥᓱᒻᒪᕇᑦ ᑕᑯᑎᓯᒪᔭᕗᑦ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑐᐃᖏᓐᓇᕐᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓂ ᐱᔨᑦᑎᕐᕕᒋᕙᑦᑕᑎᓐᓂ.ᑲᑎᒪᓂᕐᔪᐊᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᑦ,ᑕᑯᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᒪᑯᓂᖓᓗ ᐃᓄᒃᓯᐅᑎᓂᑦ ᐱᓐᖑᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᕐᓂᓪᓗ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑕ,ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᖑᓪᓗᑕ, ᐱᖃᑎᕗᓪᓗ ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓴᒃᑯ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᒃᑯᑦ, ᑕᐃᒪᓐᖓᓕᒫᖅ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᕗᒍᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᔭᐅᔪᓂᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ.

ᑐᕌᖓᓂᖃᓗᐊᕆᕙᕗᑦ ᐊᖏᖅᓯᒪᓂᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᕈᒪᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓂᑦ. ᐅᓇ ᐃᓚᒋᕙᐅᒃ ᓯᕗᕋᕆᐊᕐᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᑕᐃᔭᕗᑦ.

ᐊᕐᕌᒍᑦᑎᓐᓂ,ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᔨᓐᖑᓕᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᖅᑎᐅᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒃᓴᓂᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕈᑎᒥᒃ, 15-ᓂᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕈᒪᔾᔪᑎᑖᖅᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᑭᓕᒻᒥᒃ $5,000-ᓂᑦ ᐊᑐᓂ ᑕᒫᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᖃᖁᓪᓗᒍ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᓕᕆᓂᐅᓂᕐᒧᐊᖓᔪᓂᑦ. ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕈᑕᐅᕙᑉᐳᑦ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᖅᑎᓂ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑎ ᒥᑦᑕᕐᕕᒻᒥ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᐅᔪᓂᑦ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᔨᐅᖃᑕᐅᓂᕐᒥᒃ, ᖃᖓᑕᓲᓂᑦ ᐋᖅᑭᐅᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐊᖁᑎᐅᓂᕐᒥᒃ.ᐱᓇᓱᒍᓐᓇᖅᑐᑦ ᓄᓇᖃᕆᐊᖃᖅᐳᑦ ᓄᓇᑦᑎᐊᒥ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ/ ᐃᒻᒪᖃᓗ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᑯᑎᑦᑎᔪᓐᓇᕆᐊᖃᖅᑐᑎᑦ ᐊᖏᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᓕᕆᓂᕐᒧᐊᖓᔪᒥᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᓂᕐᒧᑦ.

ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊ ᐋᖅᑮᖃᑎᖃᐃᓐᓇᐸᑉᐳᑦ ᐋᑐᐊᒥ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᑐᒥ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓯᕗᓂᒃᓴᒃᑯᓐᓂ. ᑕᒪᑐᒨᓇ, ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐸᐅᖃᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖃᑕᐅᓂᕆᔭᖏᓐᓂᑦ ᖁᓛᓂ ᐅᖓᑖᓄᓪᓗ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᐊᒐᕐᒥ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᑐᕌᖓᔪᓂᑦ, ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᔭᓐᓄᐊᕆ 2013-ᖑᓕᖅᐸᑦ. ᓴᖅᑭᔾᔪᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᒥᓂᕐᓂᑦ ᑐᕌᖓᔪᓂᑦ ᐃᓅᒃᑐᓄᑦ. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖅ ᓴᖅᑭᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᑏᕕ ᒪᑲᐃᒧᑦ, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓯᕗᓂᒃᓴᒥ ᐃᓱᓕᓯᒪᓂᑯᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑎᓴᒪᒋᓕᖅᑕᖓᓂᒃ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᖓᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᐅᓕᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᕙᓪᓕᐊᔪᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥ ᑳᓪᑕᓐ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᔾᔪᐊᒥ. ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᓄᑦ ᑕᑯᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑦᑕᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒃᓴᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕖᑦ ᖁᓪᓕᖅᐹᖏᓐᓂ ᑲᔪᓰᓐᓇᖅᐳᖅ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐊᓂᕆᔭᖓ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ.ᐅᑭᐊᒃᓵᖑᔪᒥ,ᒪᕐᕉᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᒥᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕈᓐᓇᓚᐅᖅᐴᒃ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᖅᑏᑦ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᖏᓐᓂᑦ.

ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᒥ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔨ ᑐᕇᓇ ᓴᓪᓕᕆᓇ ᕿᑭᖅᑕᖅ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᕕᒻᒥ ᐊᔭᐅᕆᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᖁᑎᒥᓂ ᐱᓇᓱᖃᑕᐅᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐱᔪᒪᓛᒥ ᓯᓐᓇᑦᑐᒐᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒃᓴᒧᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᒐᕐᒧᑦ,ᓄᐃᓯᒪᔪᖅ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᑲᑐᔾᔨᓂᕐᒥᒃ. ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕋᔭᖅᐳᑦ ᓯᓐᓇᑦᑑᒪᒋᓐᖑᐊᖅᑕᒥᓂᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒥᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓇᒃᓯᐅᑎᓗᒋᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐊᓂ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖃᕐᓗᒋᑦ ᓇᐃᑦᑐᒥᒃ. ᒪᕐᕉᒃ ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᒥ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑏᒃ, ᑭᐊᕋᓐ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐳᕆᑦ, ᓂᕈᐊᓚᐅᖅᐴᒃ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖃᓛᕈᒪᓂᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐅᓪᓗᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᕐᒥ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑎᒃ ᓯᓐᓇᑦᑐᐊᕆᓚᐅᖅᑕᒥᓂᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᓂᑦ ᐱᔨᑲᑖᖑᓂᕐᒥ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᒥ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᖁᑎᐅᓂᕐᒥᒃ. ᑖᒃᑯᑎᒎᓇ ᐊᓯᖏᑎᒍᓪᓗ, ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊ ᐱᖃᑎᒋᔭᖏᓪᓗ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑏᓐᓇᕋᓱᖃᑦᑕᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖃᑎᖃᕈᓐᓇᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓂᑦ.

ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᒃ ᖃᖓᑕᖅᐸᒃᑲᔅᓯ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ, ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑑᑉ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᖅᑎᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂ.

Merci d’avoir choisi First Air L’année 2012 tire à sa fin et nous sommes fiers de nous rappeler les nombreuses activités et initiatives qui manifestent l’appui continu de First Air aux communautés que la compagnie dessert. Qu’il s’agisse de conférences, de foires commerciales ou d’événements culturels et sportifs, First Air et ses partenaires, Qikiqtani First Aviation et Sakku First Aviation, appuient régulièrement des activités dans le Nord. Notre engagement à aider les jeunes du Nord continue de nous tenir beaucoup à cœur. Nous continuons donc d’appuyer le programme Sivurariaqnik. Cette année, First Air s’est portée commanditaire de l’Aviation Career Development Program (ACDP), qui fournit 15 bourses d'études de 5 000 $ chacune pour une formation à temps plein en vue d’une carrière en aviation. Les études peuvent porter sur l’aviation, les opérations ou l’administration aéroportuaires, l’entretien des aéronefs et la formation au pilotage. Les candidats admissibles doivent être résidents des Territoires du Nord-Ouest ou du Nunavut et faire preuve de leur inscription à un programme d’aviation à temps plein. First Air continue de trouver des synergies avec le programme de formation Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) situé à Ottawa. Par l’intermédiaire de cette affiliation, une des premières possibilités pour les étudiants est de contribuer à la nouvelle rubrique consacrée aux jeunes dans la revue above&beyond qui sera lancée en janvier 2013. Cette rubrique présentera les contributions de jeunes auteurs sur des questions relatives aux jeunes. Le premier article sera fourni par Teevi Mackay, une diplômée du programme NS et étudiante de 4e année en journalisme à l’Université Carleton. Les salons de l'emploi et l’orientation professionnelle de soutien au niveau du secondaire continuent d’être une occasion clé pour First Air d’entrer en relation avec des jeunes. Cet automne, deux jeunes étudiants de Gjoa Haven ont eu la possibilité unique d’apprendre de première main les rouages des opérations aéroportuaires. L’enseignante de Gjoa Haven, Trina Sallerina, de l’école secondaire Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik, a encouragé ses élèves à s’inscrire au concours intitulé « Ultimate Dream Job », un programme du partenariat d'apprentissage. Le concours exigeait que les élèves photographient leur emploi de rêve ultime et présentent leurs photos avec un court article. Deux élèves de Gjoa Haven, Karen et Brett, ont mentionné l’aviation comme objectif de carrière et ont passé une journée avec les employés de bord de First Air pour s’informer de leur emploi de rêve à titre d’agents de bord et de pilotes. Par l’intermédiaire de ces initiatives, entre autres, First Air et ses partenaires continueront de créer des possibilités pour travailler avec les jeunes du Nord. Merci d’avoir choisi First Air, la ligne aérienne du Nord.

ᐱᒻᒪᕿᐅᑎᑦᑕᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓯ ᐊᒻᒪ ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᖅᑐᒍᑦ ᕘᔅᑦ ᐃᐅᒃᑯᑦ,ᖃᖓᑕᔫᖁᑎᖓᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᑕᖅᑐᒥᑦ. We value your support and thank you for making First Air, THE AIRLINE OF THE NORTH. Nous apprécions votre soutien et vous remercions de votre appui à First Air, LA LIGNE AÉRIENNE DU NORD.

ᕗᔅ ᑎᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᑕᑯᒋᐊᕐᓂᖅ

First Air Focus ᓖᔅ ᓗᕆᑐ

featuring Lise

Passengers traveling on First Air in and out of Montreal will recognize a familiar face at the ticket counter. Lise Loretto, a 24 year First Air veteran and past recipient of First Air’s Nanuk award for outstanding achievement, has temporarily taken over the responsibilities of Station Manager while Alex Hesketh is on leave.

ᖃᖓᑕᕙᒃᑐᑦ

ᕗᔅ

ᐃᐊᒃᑯᑎᒍᑦ

ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥᒃ

Loretto

ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒧᓪᓗ

ᐃᓕᓴᖅᓯᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ

ᖃᖓᑦᑕᕆᐊᖅᑐᖅᐸ-

ᓕᕋᐃᒍᑎᒃ. ᓖᔅ ᓗᕆᑐ, ᐅᑭᐅᓂᑦ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᓕᖅᑐᖅ, ᐊᖓᔪᖅᑳᖑᑲᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᖅ ᐋᓕᒃ ᕼᐃᔅᑭᑦ ᓄᖅᑲᖓᑲᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᖓᓂ.

ᓖᓴ ᐱᒋᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ 1988-ᒥ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᒥ ᐱᔨᑲᑖᖑᓪᓗᓂ, ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᓇᑭᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᑐᑦᑕᕐᕕᖃᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᔪᖅ,

Lise began her career with First Air in 1988 as a Flight Attendant, over time working at various northern bases, as well as the DEW line operations, and gradually assisting with Flight Attendant training. Since August this year, Lise has stepped in to support our Nunavik operation by providing leadership, training and customer service to First Air’s ticket counter and cargo facility in both Montreal and Kuujjuaq.

ᒪᑯᓂᖓᓗ ᑎᐅᓚᐃᓕᕆᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ, ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᔨᑲᑖᖑᔪᒃᓴᓂᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᕙᓕᖅᑐᓂ. ᐋᒍᓯᒥᓂᒃ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᑦᑎᓐᓂ

The uniqueness of our Montreal operation, daily combi jet service that typically experiences maximum capacity passenger and cargo loads, requires an experienced Station Manager whose leadership and communication style can navigate the day to day challenges. The demands of this position require thorough knowledge of passenger services; airport operations; cargo and ramp policies and procedures. Strong leadership, mentoring and coaching skills are essential to support the ticket counter and cargo agents in both Montreal and Kuujjuaq as they work hard to serve our customers.

ᐊᖓᔪᖅᑳᖃᕆᐊᖃᕐᓇᖅᐳᖅ

Lise, like her predecessor Alex, is focusing on increasing efficiencies in our Nunavik operation, beginning with an effort to reduce wait times at the Montreal cargo facility. With customer service as First Air’s number one priority, new training courses for Ticket Agents in both Montreal and Kuujjuaq will help provide the skills and knowledge to better prepare our teams for the busy fall, hunting and holiday seasons. The First Air team takes pride in knowing many of our customers by name, often developing lasting impressions and friendships. Lise recently told us,“I am really enjoying the challenge of this position and I think what makes it so fulfilling is seeing the faces of passengers every day that have made my job on line so enjoyable all these years. They seem like family. I recently had a teenage boy come up to me to say that his mother had told him I was the Flight Attendant who Medivaced her when she was to give birth to him.” Now that’s personal service. We value training, personal development and encourage career advancement within First Air. If you share our commitment to safety and service, we encourage you to join our team. To learn more about employment opportunities within First Air visit firstair.ca/employment or sivurariaqnik.ca.

ᓖᓴ

ᐃᑲᔪᕆᐊᖃᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ

ᓄᓇᕕᒻᒥ

ᐱᓕᕆᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ

ᓯᕗᓕᐅᖅᑎᐅᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ, ᐃᓕᓴᐃᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ

ᖃᖓᑕᕆᐊᖅᑐᓂᓪᓕ ᐱᔨᑦᑎᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᒃᑯᕕᓐᓂ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑰᔾᔪᐊᕐᒥ.

ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᕕᕗᑦ, ᖃᐅᑕᒫᑦ ᓯᐴᔫᖃᑎᑦᓯᓂᕗᑦ ᓈᒻᒪᓈᕆᐊᕋᓱᑉᐸᑦᑕᕗᑦ ᖃᖓᑕᕙᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᐅᓯᔭᐅᔪᓄᓪᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᒥᒃ

ᓯᕗᓕᐅᕆᔪᓐᓇᓯᐊᖅᑐᒥᒃ

ᖃᐅᑕᒫᖅᓯᐅᑎᓕᕆᔪᓐᓇᕐᓗᓂᓗ

ᐱᔭᕐᓂᖏᑦᑐᓂᑦ. ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇᐃᒻᒪᑦ ᑕᒪᑐᒪᓂ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒥ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓂᖃᕆᐊᖃᕐᓇᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᖓᑕᒋᐊᖅᑐᖅᑐᓂᑦ

ᐱᔨᑦᑎᕋᐅᑎᓂᑦ; ᒥᑦᑕᕐᕕᒻᒥ ᐃᖏᕐᕋᓂᐅᔪᓂᑦ; ᐅᓯᔭᐅᔪᓂᑦ ᒥᕝᕕᒥᓪᓗ ᒪᓕᒐᐅᔪᓂᑦ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᐅᔪᓂᓪᓗ. ᓯᕗᓕᐅᕆᔪᓐᓇᑦᓯᐊᕐᓂᖅ,ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᖅ ᐱᓕᒻᒪᖅᓴᐃᔪᓐᓇᓂᓪᓗ ᐱᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᑲᒪᒋᔭᖃᕐᓂᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᖃᖓᑕᓲᖅᑎᓕᕆᔨᓂᑦ

ᐅᓯᔭᐅᔪᓕᕆᔨᓂᓪᓗ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥ ᑰᔾᔪᐊᒥᓗ ᐊᒃᓱᕈᖃᑦᑕᕐᒪᑕ ᐱᔨᑦᓯᕋᖅᑐᑎᑦ.

ᓖᔅ,ᓲᕐᓗ ᐋᓚᒃᑎᑐᑦ,ᑐᕌᖓᓂᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᓄᓇᕕᒻᒥ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᕆᔭᕗᑦ ᐃᖏᕐᕋᑦᑎᐊᓂᖅᓴᐅᕙᓪᓕᐊᖁᓪᓗᒍ,ᐱᒋᐊᕈᑎᒋᓗᒍ

ᕿᑲᑯᑖᓐᖏᓂᖅᓴᐅᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᐅᓯᔭᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥ.ᐱᔨᑦᓯᕐᓂᖅ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᐅᑎᑕᐅᕗᖅ,ᐃᓕᓴᐅᑏᓪᓗ

ᖃᖓᑕᓲᒃᑯᕕᒻᒥᐅᑕᓄᑦ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᒥ ᑰᔾᔪᐊᒥᓗ ᐅᐸᓗᖓᐃᔭᕈᑎᑦᓯᐊᕙᐅᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᑎᓐᓄᑦ ᐅᑭᐊᒃᓵᒥ,

ᐆᒪᔪᕐᓇᐅᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᐊᒻᒪ ᖁᕕᐊᓱᕝᕕᐅᑎᓪᓗᒍ.

ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᐱᒍᓱᑉᐳᑦ ᖃᖓᑕᕙᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᑎᖏᓐᓂᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᕙᒻᒪᑕ, ᑕᒪᑐᒨᓇᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᑦᓯᐊᓕᖅᑐᑎᑦ. ᓖᔅ ᐅᖃᖃᑖᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ, “ᖁᕕᐊᒋᑦᓯᐊᖅᑕᕋ ᑕᒪᓐᓇ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖅᑖᕆᔭᕋ ᐊᒻᒪ ᖁᕕᐊᓇᖅᐸᒃᑐᓂ ᖃᖓᑕᕆᐊᖅᑐᖅᑐᑦ

ᑮᓇᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᒋᑦ ᖃᐅᑕᒫᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᓯᒪᓂᓕᒫᓐᓂ ᒫᓐᓇᒧᑦ. ᖃᑕᓐᖑᑎᒋᔫᔮᓕᖅᑕᒃᑲ. ᒫᓐᓇᓵᑯᓗᒃ ᑕᐃᒥ

ᐅᕕᒃᑲᒧᑦ ᐅᐸᒃᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᖓ ᐊᓈᓇᖓᑕᒎᖅ ᐅᖃᐅᑎᓐᓂᕐᒪᒍ ᐃᑲᔪᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᒐᒃᑯ ᑐᐊᕕᕐᓇᖅᑐᒃᑰᖅᑎᑕᐅᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᐃᕐᓂᐊᖑᕙᓪᓕᐊᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ.” ᑕᒪᓐᓇ ᐱᔨᑦᓯᕐᓂᖅ ᐱᐅᔪᐊᓗᒃ.

ᐊᖏᔫᑎᕙᕗᑦ ᐱᓕᒻᒪᖅᓴᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ,ᓇᒻᒥᓂᖅ ᐱᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒥ ᓯᕗᒧᐊᕋᓱᖃᑦᑕᓂᖅ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ.

ᐊᖏᖃᑎᒋᒍᑦᑎᐅᒃ ᐊᖏᖅᓯᒪᓂᕗᑦ ᐊᑦᑕᓇᖅᑕᐃᓕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐱᔨᑦᓯᓂᕐᒥᓪᓗ, ᐱᓇᓱᖁᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅᐸᔅᓯ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃ-

ᔭᖃᑕᐅᖁᓪᓗᓯ ᐅᕙᑦᑎᓐᓂ. ᐃᓕᒃᑲᓐᓂᕈᓐᓇᖅᐳᑎᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᒃᓴᓂᑦ ᕗᔅ ᐃᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᖃᕆᓴᐅᔭᒃᑯᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐊᕐᓗᑎᑦ

ᐅᕗᖓ firstair.ca/employment ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ sivurariaqnik.ca.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

above&beyond Publisher & Editor Tom Koelbel Advertising Doris Ohlmann (Ottawa) 613-257-4999 Circulation Patt Hunter Design Robert Hoselton, Beat Studios email: editor@arcticjournal.ca

23

Toll Free: 877-2ARCTIC (227-2842)

An Arctic Ballooning Adventure In Canada’s far North on a cool spring day, John Davidson flew one of his multi-coloured hot air balloons between two soaring pillars of a single iceberg, jutting upward from the ocean’s surface. Award-winning photographer, Michelle Valberg, captured the spectacular vision on camera. — Jennifer Stewart

PO Box 683, Mahone Bay, NS B0J 2E0 Volume 24, No. 6

Finding Air

November/December 2012

Seventieth Anniversary of Henry Larsen’s Sailing of the Northwest Passage (1941-42)

29

In memory of Albert “Frenchy” Chartrand This year, 2012, Canadians celebrate the seventieth anniversary of a Canadian ship sailing through the Northwest Passage in the west-to-east direction for the first time ever. The captain was Henry Larsen and the ship was the St. Roch. There is also another good reason for the celebration of this year, although for a totally different, but closely related reason — a celebration in memory of shipmate Frenchy Chartrand who died in ’42 aboard the St. Roch. — Gerard Kenney

36 Adventures in Paradise

Paddling the Rapids of Katannilik Park BALLOONIST JOHN DAVIDSON AND ARCTIC BAY’S DEXTER KOONOO TAKE FLIGHT. © MICHELLE VALBERG

The powerful current grabbed the raft and propelled them towards me. Faces were intent and determined, focussed on the drop-off ahead. They hit the edge and were briefly airborne before crashing down into the rapids below, paddling hard. — Lee Narraway

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Northwords Winners Announced

45 Pablo Saravanja by Dave Brosha

15 About the North

51 Northern Bookshelf

43 Arts, Culture & Education Uvanga

53 Inuit Forum Polar Bear Politics by Terry Audla

54 Exotica Aurora over Katannilik Park by Lee Narraway

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November/December 2012

ŠHeiko Wittenborn

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NORTHWORDS

Northwords The Great Northern Canada Writing Contest winners announced

NorthWords NWT is thrilled to announce that the winners of the 2012 Great Northern Canada Writing Contest are Jenny Aitken for her essay How to Survive a Northern Childhood (main prize) and Brie O’Keefe for her short story The Ice Bridge (emerging writer prize). Jenny will receive the $500 first prize and Brie will receive the $250 emerging writer prize. Both stories are published here. The winners were selected from a total of 37 entries. These are the most entries we have ever received for this contest and this is a sign that writing about Canada’s North is alive and well. NorthWords would like to congratulate the winners as well as all who entered the contest. We would also like to thank above&beyond, Canada’s Arctic Journal, for publishing the stories and De Beers Canada for providing the prize money.

2 Locations in Yellowknife Yellowknife:

867 920-2970 | 867 873-3424

Airport • Downtown

Locally-owned and operated Daily, Weekly & Monthly Rates Insurance Replacement Vehicles Great Weekend Rates Complimentary Customer Pick-Up

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1 800 387-4747 November/December 2012

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9

NORTHWORDS: NON-FICTION

How to survive a northern childhood by Jenny Aitken

I

t’s true what your mother told you: better warm than fashionable. With an average

January temperature of -27°C in Yellowknife, it doesn’t take long to embrace all that

wool socks and long johns have to offer. So if you have found yourself one of the 19,711

people “lucky” enough to be living in the Northwest Territories’ capital, I’m here to

© CHRIS AITKEN

tell you that although growing up in the North presents its challenges, buck up kid, because

Jenny Aitken

it can be done. Learn to love layers Growing up, Halloween presented an annual early winter

Every Friday morning, my dad would wait until the last minute to bring the trash out to the street for garbage

dilemma. Any trick-or-treating outfit not only had to convey

collection. Tip-toeing down in his robe and winter boots,

a character, but it had to double as insulation against

he kept his eyes peeled for ravens. He may as well have

a harsh October chill. I always wanted to wear a dress

been presenting an offering.

and go as a princess, but my mom would stare at me,

Driving to school became a game to see who could spot an overturned garbage can first. Driving by a house,

unblinking. “Great idea. If you want to freeze to death.”

watching ravens root through chicken bones and last

So I would end up wearing snow pants and my Michelin-

week’s yoghurt container, we would pity the poor fool

Man white parka. I wondered if people confused me with

who, having inadequately secured the lid on their garbage

the tire mascot, as my stubby arms tried to grip the

can, had fallen victim to a marauding unkindness of

pillowcase. Over top my woollen hat my mom would plop

ravens.

on a witch’s hat, and with broom in hand I would set out.

And too often we were those fools, returning home to

As I went from door to door the adults would stare down

find apple cores and used tissues strewn across our lawn.

at me, and ask the perennial question: “What are you

My dad would pace back and forth, rubbing his hands in

supposed to be?”

frustration.

A kick in the stomach to any trick-or-treater — damning evidence that you have failed to create a costume that

“How the hell do they do it? I swear I snapped the lid on tight.” “Stupid ravens,” my dad would mutter, as we embar-

speaks for itself. A princess, I thought.

rassedly picked up our trash.

“A witch. I’m supposed to be a witch.”

Embrace the photo op Invest in a quality garbage can

One thing that we do have going for us North of 60 is the

The Northwest Territories official bird may be the

northern lights, or as my smarter-than-thou Outdoor Ed

gyrfalcon, but ask any Northerner and they will tell you that

teacher would remind us, the “aurora borealis”. This rain-

ravens lay claim to the sky, and, unfortunately, the trash.

bow of colour could be seen in the night sky frequently

With their hooked black beaks and beady eyes, ravens have always given me the creeps. Even out of sight they

10

arcticjournal.ca

throughout my childhood, and I felt lucky whenever I got a chance to see it.

could still be heard squacking and caahing at pedestrians.

In fact, the northern lights are the primary tourist

Ravens present a unique challenge to Northerners in that

attraction for the Northwest Territories. Each year an

they are relentless and masterful scavengers of garbage.

average of 10,000 Japanese tourists fly across the globe to

November/December 2012

© TSPIDER / FOTOLIA.COM

NORTHWORDS: NON-FICTION

see this natural phenomenon paint the sky, injecting

to a movie, but how many Shrek sequels can anyone be

about $20 million into our tourism industry.

expected to sit through before saying enough already?

When I was young, the northern lights were pure

Less than a week after my photo-op, I was driving on

magic — an explosion of colours, pink, purple, blue,

the ice road to Detah with my three best friends. Crammed

green all streaking the sky simultaneously. In Science class

in the back of Morgan’s 1970’s purple Mustang, we blasted

they taught us that this display is actually the result of

our theme song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as we charged

collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s upper

across the frozen strip. It was just shy of midnight on a

atmosphere and charged particles escaping from the sun.

Friday night, and, once again, we had nothing to do. Not

But, looking into the sky, they were still magical.

wanting to waste any more gas, we parked and piled out

In Yellowknife, Japanese tourists are almost as common

of the car. With the sensation slowly returning to our

as the ravens. Bundled into bulky red or blue Canada

cramped legs, we acknowledged the emerald curtain

Goose-down parkas, they flock around town, excitedly

shimmering and whipping across the night sky and,

taking pictures beside anyone and anything.

although we would never admit it aloud, thought that it

One day I was walking downtown when a petite Japanese woman tentatively approached me. A full head shorter than

might just be the coolest thing in the whole world. Shivering on the roof of the Mustang, surrounded by

me, I leaned in, struggling to understand her. She pushed

the girls I’d grown up with, I hoped that my Japanese

back her fur-trimmed hood and offered me a smile.

tourist was still in town to see the display.

“Can I have a picture with you?” “Oh, you want me to take a picture of you?”

As she thanked me for the picture, she told me how lucky I was.

“No. With you in it.”

“Lucky? Why?”

I agreed, albeit uncomfortably, and soon we were

“Because this place is beautiful.”

posing in front of the TD Bank.

Linking arms with the girls I’d grown up with, that I’d trick or treated with, that had been in my classes

Make your own fun

since kindergarten, I stared into the sky, and thought

As a high school student in Yellowknife, there aren’t many

yes, yes it is.

options for a Friday night. Sure, you can spend $12 to go November/December 2012

above & beyond

11

NORTHWORDS: FICTION

The Ice Bridge by Brie O’Keefe

T

he waters of the MacKenzie around Fort Simpson had just begun to melt when Janine

told her husband she was leaving. Sitting across the kitchen table, their toddlers playing on the floor she took his hands and said, ‘I’m sorry. But I’m going.’ He said

© BRIE O’KEEFE

nothing, but drew his hands away.

Brie O’Keefe

It had been news that had been building within her for

to cement the first. They had prospered, but they had also

months — a year, really. That night she had sat in the

faltered and now found themselves looking like adults but

kitchen after dinner in silence with her husband and it

feeling far from it.

seemed if she kept it secret for one more day she would

In the days after she left, Janine would take the

scream and so she’d said it, finally. Told him about Nathan

children for long walks by the river and through the papal

and Fort Providence and her plans and now it couldn’t be

ground to watch the packed ice struggle and grind to free

taken back and she found herself covered in sweat like a

itself. The boys would throw rocks and name the larger

fever had broken and was awash in relief.

pieces after different monsters and superheroes but all

But telling him had been premature, actually as the ice bridge had just been closed — in fact just today — and

furtively to make it to open water, pressed upon all sides.

the ferry was a long way off. Despite her statements at

She turned her back to the river and headed to the play-

dinner, she couldn’t leave, actually — not for weeks.

ground to try and make her children laugh.

So that night Janine packed up her boys and some toys

On the 5th day without the ferry the only store in town

and sleeping bags and went to her mother’s house and

ran out of milk. This was a game of chicken played by

found herself lying awake, a boy on either side wondering

grocery managers all over the North every spring and fall.

what she had done and how long she’d have to wait to

Trucks full of fresh produce sat idle on the other side of

know whether it was right or not.

the river waiting for passage while they put off flying food

It had all started on Facebook, of course — how else could she have found him again? Nathan was no longer

a litre overnight.

the skinny kid who pulled her hair, but a strapping young

Janine wandered the aisles, marvelling at the now empty shelves that once held apples, lettuce and milk. She

Hey I found you, she wrote. Is that you? he said. Do you remember when I made the giant paper

turned a lone orange on display to hide a brown spot. They would have canned fruit with dinner tonight. Janine remembered her childhood — when fresh fruit rarely made it up to town in the winter and the summer

airplane and flew it into your eye? He wrote. If I didn’t

barges would bring the first fresh oranges of the season,

say it then, let me say it now: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to

how her mouth would water on sight. At the end of winter you never wanted to see another tinned peach as

hit you in the eye. She didn’t remember that, but she remembered him,

long as you lived. Janine sighed. In a few days the shelves

and writing him a valentine signed with a question mark

would be full again and she had plenty of powdered milk

and when his father fell through the ice and the whole of

at home. She left without buying anything.

Simpson mourned and how broken his mother seemed

Her mother’s lips remained pursed most of the time when they were in the same room, but Janine knew they

afterwards.

arcticjournal.ca

in from down South — milk prices could shoot up to $20

man with a family in Fort Providence, a steel worker for one of the diamond mines.

12

Janine could see was herself in every block struggling

They began speaking every day. Their lives shared a

were speaking non-stop as soon as she left. She walked in

parallel narrative: surprise babies, marriages, second child

on phone conversations that abruptly fell silent, saw her

November/December 2012

© KELLER / FOTOLIA.COM

NORTHWORDS: FICTION

friends speaking with her mother-in-law in hushed tones,

docked in front of her instead of on the shore of the

and worst of all, saw her husband often and usually in the

opposite bank of the river. She stopped. She breathed.

company of his last girlfriend. Her smirks were especially

She eased herself on and turned the key.

difficult.

She hadn’t heard from Nathan for six days. He knew

She kept her bags packed and every morning drove to

she had left her house and had promised to end his

the edge of the island to see if they had put in the ferry

marriage so they could begin again when she arrived. She

on the other side. Her favourite part of the day was just

had written messages short and sweet for each of those

before she turned the corner when the ferry terminal

days, relaying the latest ferry rumours, promising to drive

came in view. What she imagined would happen when

as quickly as she could once she got off this suffocating

she would be able to just keep on going. The boys never

island. She told him she loved him, and was coming

understood of course – their home was behind them and

whether he liked it or not.

she worried when the moment came she’d lose her nerve and be completely lost. And then one day it was there. Like any big moment when the time came there was nothing to distinguish it

And as she eased herself off the boat on the other side, her phone flashed. “I can’t” was all it said. Janine pushed back her shoulders, set her eyes on the road in front of her, and drove.

from any other moment in her life. She saw that ferry November/December 2012

above & beyond

13

About the North

Agriculture in the North The challenges of tough climate, remote location and short season standing in the way of developing sustainable practices and food security are hardly new to northerners west to east. In the Northwest Territories, enthusiastic small-scale personal and community gardeners, commercial greenhouses, and the government’s Growing Forward support program all work together in tandem to effectively develop and expand grow-local food initiatives territory-wide. “Growing food locally in our communities is an important way to reduce our dependence on imported food and also reduce the cost of living in the NWT,” says Minister of Industry,Tourism and Investment David Ramsay.“With our sunshine-filled summer days,the dedication of small and large-scale farmers,and continued support from the agriculture industry,this sector has the potential to really grow and flourish.” The 2012 harvest blessed with consistently warm weather and plentiful sunshine proved fruitful both in expanded development and participation in commnity gardens and overall yields. A bumper crop (40,000 pounds) of potatoes was realized in Norman Wells, situated in the Sahtu region.The Inuvik Community Greenhouse, even farther North, saw an abundant harvest of spinach, chard, squash, zucchini, carrots and tomatoes too.The small community of Lutselk’e was the territory’s topproducer again this year.

Inuvik Community Greenhouse

Seems every day further evidence that undeterminable biological factors along with the melting ice and generally warmer temperatures on land and in the sea could be tossing conventional knowledge of the habits of certain Arctic species by the wayside. For the second summer in a row, Cambridge Bay hunters in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut sighted narwhal,in greater numbers than ever before, far to the west of their historic migratory routes. Currently a complicated quota system requiring Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) permission in conjunction with the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB) determines which communities can access tags and the numbers of narwhal allowed to be harvested.This year, for the first time, a limited number of tags (five) were issued to Cambridge Bay hunters, with another five borrowed from Gjoa Haven's quota — allowing for the successful harvest of 10 narwhal — providing an essential, traditional food source to share among Inuit families and elders in the community. Inuit hope to soon gain greater input and control over the harvest of sea mammals within their territory in what they see as an issue of first-right access to a traditional resource under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

Fabulous Creations by the Artisans of Nunavik

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COURTESY MADS PETER HEI

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Grades 9–12 English/French Immersion Principal: Coleen McDonald Ph: (867) 873-4888 Fax: (867) 873-5732 5010–44th Street, Box 2880 Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R2

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Our district provides a strong, moral, ethical environment for our students. We encourage a loving, Christian perspective which supports Catholic principles and thought.

Central Services Office: Claudia Parker, Superintendent Box 1830 5124–49th Street, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P4 Ph: (867) 766-7400 Fax: (867) 766-7401

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STUDENTS FROM ALL RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS ARE RESPECTED… AND WELCOMED! 16

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November/December 2012

About the North

The Inuit art world lost a great champion this fall. On September 16, Lorne Balshine, one of the world’s most dedicated collectors of Inuit and Circumpolar art,lost his battle with cancer.He leaves behind him a remarkable legacy,not only in art,but in the lives he touched along the way.A friend to many Nunavummiut, Lorne will be remembered for his warmth, kindness and generosity. Among many of his achievements, Lorne founded the Arctic Art Museum Society — an organization dedicated to promoting contemporary Inuit art and educating people on all aspects of Arctic culture. Lorne was a collector with vision. He had a remarkable eye, and an obvious passion for the culture behind the art. The “Lorne Balshine Collection of Inuit Sculpture” permanently shown at the Vancouver airport remains a testament to his drive and his desire to share the art and culture of Inuit with the world. When he learned that his hometown of Vancouver won the Olympic bid for 2010, he began collecting works that depicted traditional and modern Inuit games, the result of which received great acclaim in Canada’s Northern House, the pan-territorial Olympic pavilion in downtown Vancouver.These two things alone have allowed Inuit art to enter the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The impact of his collection will undoubtedly be felt for decades to come.

© LYNN FEASEY

Inuit art legacy

Lorne at Canada’s Northern House during the 2010 Olympic Games with then BC Premier Gordon Campbell.

Nunavik Inuit skin-care products garner interest in Paris

© COURTESY NUNAVIK BIOSCIENCES(2)

Beyond Beauty Cosmetic Exhibition 2012, held in Paris this September again saw participation by Makivik Corporation subsidiary, Nunavik Biosciences. For this year’s Beyond Beauty Nunavik team, the show, marking its 10th year, was an opportunity to monitor current cosmetic beauty trends and innovations and provide a marketing venue for their successful organic beauty and skin-care formulations based on natural marine and terrestrial sources from the Nunavik region of Québec. The show also saw Inuit-owned Nunavik Biosciences launch its newest high-end, yet affordable, hydrating, anti-aging line, SEAKU, based on a Vitamin E and Omega-3 rich sea algae formulation. SEAKU joins their UNGAVA (launched 2010) line of beauty and skin-care products. The show was a success, with distributor interest expressed by Beyond Beauty attendees from Japan, Australia, Dubai, Brazil, Ukraine, Italy, France and of course, here at home in Canada. Interested readers can find out more by visiting websites: www.ungavacare.com and www.seakucare.com

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Nunavut’s NS students take part in Ottawa U Cultural Days

© MARCEL MASON(3)

About the North

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“Grazing Caribou” by Esa Kripanik, Igloolik, Nunavut

Being far away from home, family and friends and living and learning in an entirely new environment, perhaps for the first time, can be a daunting personal experience — a fact that post-secondary educators and parents are well aware of. Whatever can be done to help build peer comfort levels and facilitate orientation helps smooth such a major transition. During this fall’s first semester, Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) students had the opportunity to share their culture with other new students at a special Ottawa University meetand-greet style student orientation luncheon hosted for First Nations, MÊtis and Inuit students. Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) is a unique Ottawa-based eight-month college program for Inuit youth from Nunavut preparing for the many educational, training, and career opportunities flowing out of the creation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) and the new Government of Nunavut.

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© COURTESY ICC CANADA

ICC Canada President, Duane Smith.

Canadian Inuit leader’s contribution recognized On October 16 from Nuuk, Greenland, the Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Aqqaluk Lynge, congratulated ICC Canada President and ICC Vice-Chair for Canada,Duane Smith, for being named recipient of the prestigious 2013 Indspire Award for Politics. Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) awards are given to Canadians who are both indigenous and an inspiration to others. “The Inuit Circumpolar Council is proud of Duane Smith's accomplishment. His Indspire award is testimony to the fact that hard political work and respect for those that have different opinions on challenging Arctic matters pays off.” Lynge continued, “Duane knows that making mutually beneficial alliances with others without compromising Inuit values is key to improving and sustaining the Inuit way of life.” Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire, when asked about the award replied that,“each and every one of our Award recipients is a role model and a leader who has made a profound impact in their communities and across Canada”. 20

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© DAVID F. PELLY

About the North

Tuinnaq Kanayuk Bruce, 1925-2012 The Kivalliq has lost a treasure. But her legacy will be cherished forever. Her gift from the past is her grandmother’s stories. The Kivalliq has lost a treasure. But her legacy will be cherished forever. Her gift from the past is her grandmother’s stories. I have had the privilege of recording oral-history from dozens of elders across every community of the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot, but none were more enthusiastic participants than Mrs. Bruce — she is also the only elder I know who is so often referred to as, “Mrs. so-and-so.” I can’t explain it, except to say it must surely be a sign of widespread respect, and to suggest that it is a measure of the extent to which she and Mikitok Bruce were such an indivisible force throughout more than 60 years of marriage. From that marriage came a gift to the future, evident in the important ways in which their children have contributed to Nunavut.

They all, no doubt, owe their diverse success to the strength of their roots in Coral Harbour, and the values passed on to them by Tuinnaq and Mikitok Bruce.These two understood the importance of Inuit traditional knowledge, not only in the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit sense as a way of seeing the world, but equally in the value of the old stories as a reflection of where they had come from, in effect the documentation of Inuit history. Tuinnaq leaves a remarkable collection of documented stories, like a folk musician who leaves a repertoire of ballads. She loved to tell stories; some we heard many times. She took great pleasure in knowing they have all been recorded for posterity. One time, as she finished up a long oral account of events near Ukkusiksalik (Wager Bay), the telling of which November/December 2012

took several hours, she leaned over the recorder, looked me straight in the eyes, and said softly but emphatically: “This is true. I have told you in the same words that my grandmother used.” I believe her, for that is how stories from the land have been transmitted through the generations for centuries. As we celebrate Tuinnaq Kanayuk Bruce’s repertoire of stories, like songs from the past, a poem from William Wordsworth says it best: Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; … The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.

David F. Pelly above & beyond

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FINDINGAIR

An Arctic Ballooning Adventure by Jennifer Stewart

I

t was a feat often dreamed of, and

rarely accomplished. It took weeks

of planning, and days of patiently

waiting for gusty conditions and fog to pass. In Canada’s far North on a cool spring day, John Davidson flew one of his multi-coloured hot air balloons between two soaring pillars of a single iceberg, jutting upward from the ocean’s surface. Award-winning photographer, Michelle Valberg,

© MICHELLE VALBERG

captured the spectacular vision on camera.

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“It is one of the most spectacular landscapes to witness and photograph,” says Valberg. “It was just an incredible and exhilarating adventure,” said Davidson. “To see the Arctic from that view, in an open space, took your breath away.” This Arctic trip was a once in a lifetime adventure for this family of Arctic enthusiasts, one most people could only dream of. Dream yes, but one defined by an indelible sense of purpose. To that end, the family wisely chose a team of experts in their respective fields to assist their Spring 2012 expedition, capturing their experiences on film and video, and providing very personal, uniquely tailored adventures. In addition to the family of seven, the entourage included Davidson, Valberg, a videographer, a chef, eight Inuit guides, two helicopter pilots, a mechanic and an experienced, reputable expedition leader. A top priority for the family was to witness first-hand the haunting views of the remote land, including the floe edge where the frozen ocean meets the open ocean. “It is one of the most spectacular landscapes to witness and photograph,” says Valberg. Late May and June is the best time to travel to the floe edge, according to Davidson. Visitors are able to take in the stunning landscape, including mountain scenery, glaciers, and a variety of Arctic wildlife. 24

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© MICHELLE VALBERG (3)

A New Way to Travel

A Leader in his Field

The expedition was a first of its kind for Valberg. Having travelled to the Arctic more than two dozen times, she had never taken part in such a unique expedition. Camped out on the ice about 150 kilometres from Arctic Bay, Nunavut, the group faced erratic and unseasonable weather, which limited some of their activities and altered planned timelines. It was a true testament of the power of the Arctic. “You are in the hands of the North when you embark on an adventure like we did,” says Valberg. “Its quite humbling to realize that you’re not fully in control of your plans, and they can be changed in an instant. You need to be respectful of that.” Waiting for the fog to clear, the family and their team made the most of their time. With the help of their Inuit guides, they made an Inuksuk and built an igloo. “It was a real team building initiative that we were all proud of,” says Davidson. ���It built an appreciation of the land and the hardships and effort needed to battle the elements.” A positive of the unpredictable weather was the deep grey skies against the stunning landscape, which provided an ideal backdrop to capture the terrain by photograph.

While Davidson had travelled the world as a hot air balloonist, the prospect of flying at such high latitude in the Arctic was exhilarating and one he couldn’t turn down. As one of Canada’s most noted and celebrated hot air balloonists, Davidson’s passion for ballooning grew from his days as an avid skydiver, and his love of seeing the world from above. He had his first big break in the world of ballooning in the ’90s, when Michael Cowpland, a successful hi-tech tycoon, contracted his company to help market its graphics program, Corel Draw. It was Davidson’s first vividly coloured balloon that was turned into Corel Draw’s icon logo that would eventually become familiar around the world. While Northern expeditions are his true passion, Davidson has had his fair share of flying adventures. Just a few of his ballooning accomplishments include flying 550 miles over the Canadian Rockies from Prince George, British Columbia, to Medicine Hat, Alberta; a high altitude flight to 37,500 feet over Ottawa; and a flight of 130 miles from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, to the shores of Nunavik, Québec, in temperatures below -38 degrees.

“Contrary to what some may think, the Arctic is a next to perfect backdrop for ballooning,” says Davidson.

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© MICHELLE VALBERG

Davidson has also flown throughout North America and Europe, Japan, Australia, the Caribbean, Fiji and Africa, with special memories of flights over St. Petersburg, Russia; Warsaw, Poland; and Los Angeles, California.

A View Unlike Any Other Hot air ballooning is gaining traction in countries all over the world, and its rise in popularity makes perfect sense to Davidson. His hope is that the sport becomes a tourism staple in Canada’s Arctic. “It’s an economical way to see a place in a completely unique way,” says Davidson. “For me, there is no better feeling than taking in the sights of a new land, while feeling the air on your face and the freedom you feel in the sky.” While helicopters are a tourist favourite in the Arctic, they are expensive to operate and can be nearly impossible to get into some remote and untouched areas. Balloons, on the other hand, are extremely portable, and can be easily assembled in small or confined spaces. “Contrary to what some may think, the Arctic is a next to perfect backdrop for ballooning,” says Davidson. “The abundance of ice and land provides ideal landing opportunities, and the views are unparalleled.” 26

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The Photograph The photograph of Davidson’s balloon soaring between a majestic iceberg has made its way around the world. Valberg’s image has received nation-wide media coverage, and was recently nominated in the National Geographic Traveler reader photo contest for 2012. As far as both Valberg and Davidson know, the voyage is one of the highest latitude commercial passenger flights in a hot air balloon. “It is truly a unique shot that captures an experience many would dream of having,” says Valberg.“And the lighting just happened to be perfect.” Getting the ‘perfect’ shot meant succumbing to the unpredictability of Canada’s North, and remaining patient until the right moment finally arrived. The wait, according to Valberg, was well worth it. While the photograph is making its rounds, Davidson hopes it will ignite passion and curiosity about Canada’s North and the many possibilities to witness its untouched beauty. Jennifer Stewart is an Ottawa-based writer, and owner of JS Communications, a communications and media relations company with national reach. www.jscommunications.ca

November/December 2012

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Captain of the St. Roch, Henry Larsen of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

SEVENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF

HENRY LARSEN’S SAILING OF THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE (1941-42) In memory of Albert “Frenchy” Chartrand By Gerard Kenney

This year, 2012, Canadians celebrate the seventieth anniversary of a Canadian ship sailing through the Northwest Passage in the west-to-east direction for the first time ever. The captain was Henry Larsen and the ship was the St. Roch. There is also another good reason for the celebration of this year, although for a totally different, but closely related reason — a celebration in memory of shipmate Frenchy Chartrand who died in ’42 aboard the St. Roch.

T

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© COURTESY OF VANCOUVER MARITIME MUSEUM

The St. Roch in Pasley Bay.

Larsen with a frozen beard.

30

The year was 1942. Henry Larsen’s St. Roch and her crew were frozen into small notch in the ice called Pasley Bay on the western coastline of Boothia Peninsula. The pressure of the powerul Arctic ice had bodily squeezed the mall ship into the vice grip of Pasley Bay to pass the long winter months. Although they were socked in the ice, Larsen and his men were not idle. There were many RCMP duties to be arried out by dog sled, such as a census of the inhabitants, determination of he health and living conditions of the people, investigation of any criminal ctions (they were very few), and others. On February 13, 1942, one of Larsen’s most valued crewmembers, Albert Frenchy” Chartrand, was on deck in p, ing air. He was preparing the big, tengallon drum set on two primus stoves that were used to cook the dog food. Huge quantities of rice, cornmeal and rolled oats along with tallow and seal blubber, were chopped into manageable frozen chunks to carry on sled trips when away from the St. Roch on missions. A similar procedure took

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place when preparing food for the men, but with somewhat higher quality ingredients. It was morning and Chartrand was on deck getting the stoves ready for cooking. He had complained of a small headache at breakfast, but that didn’t stop him from carrying out his job. At this point, Larsen came up on deck, took one look at Chartrand and knew that something was very wrong with him. He sent his sailor below to rest for a while. Frenchy was not there long before he collapsed while listening to the radio with his friends. Larsen was urgently summoned below, but soon after he got there, Chartrand was up, smoking a cigarette, recovered, it seemed, and pronouncing himself well. Larsen went back on deck to finish Frenchy’s task, but a few minutes later an urgent call sent him back below again, this time to see Chartrand in his death throes. He died soon after. This was a heavy blow for the rest of the crew. Chartrand had been everybody’s friend on board and was loved by all. He was the strongest man on board, and now he was dead. It was very hard to come to grips with the reality of Frenchy’s passing. The RCMP Superintendent of G Division, headquartered in Ottawa and to whom Larsen reported, was notified by radio of the sad event. He personally visited Chartrand’s parents later to let them know that their son had died while carrying out his duties aboard the St. Roch.

Fully aware of the police responsibilities his Arctic mandate entailed, Larsen planned his mercy mission as part of an official RCMP patrol for census taking. Although Pelly Bay, where Father Henri’s mission was located, lay to the southeast of Pasley Bay where the St. Roch was locked in the ice, Larsen, Hunt and Ikualaaq started off on February 24 by first doing a loop to the northeast to include a good number of Inuit communities for census purposes before heading south to Pelly Bay. In heading northeast, Larsen was aiming for the Hudson’s Bay post of Fort Ross at the east end of Bellot Strait where the post manager Bill Heslop and his wife Barbara were glad to welcome Larsen once more into their home. The patrol then continued north to Creswell Bay where there was a small Inuit community to count and include in the census. On this northern loop, the patrol passed Cape Garry, a place of great interest especially to Ikualaaq. While passing the cape, Ikualaaq drew Larsen’s attention to what he claimed were remnants of very old dwellings built and used by a tribe of people long ago disappeared. Ikualaaq and his contemporaries had never seen these people, but he knew of them from legends passed down by his elders. These ancient people differed from present-day Inuit in that they had obviously been whale hunters, whereas modern Inuit in the same region were not.

© COURTESY OF LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, C-70771

The question now was what to do about a proper burial and religious service for their beloved shipmate. In those days of relatively primitive transportation facilities in the Arctic, burial back home in Ontario would not have been possible before late the following summer after ice break-up and the arrival of the St. Roch on the east coast. Clearly, it was not feasible to take that route. The best that could be done for poor Chartrand and his parents was to give him a Christian burial in Pasley Bay accompanied by a proper religious service. This meant the attentions of a Catholic priest, for Frenchy had been a Roman Catholic, the only member of the crew to be of that faith. Even that secondbest option was not going to be easy to realize. The Catholic priest nearest to the solidly iced-in St. Roch in Pasley Bay was Oblate Father Henri Pierre who ministered to the Inuit of the Kellett River region near the present-day community of Pelly Bay, some 640 kilometres (400 miles) to the southeast. Before Father Henri could leave his mission to perform a burial ceremony in Pasley Bay, he had to be apprised of the fact that his services were required there. The only way for that to happen was for someone from the St. Roch to drive a dog team and sled the distance to Pelly Bay to let him know, and only then could Father Henri set out for Pasley Bay. It would be many weeks before poor Chartrand could be finally laid to rest with all due ceremony in his Arctic grave. A coffin was built for Chartrand’s body, which was temporarily buried in a snow bank to await Father Henri’s arrival. Larsen, Ikualaaq and Constable Hunt began preparations for the long trip to summon the good Father. Food for men and dogs for about two months had to be cooked and frozen before leaving. There would barely be enough time while travelling to thaw the food, let alone cook it. Many dozens of doughnuts were fried up and frozen to take the place of bread. Beans, an important high energy staple, were mixed with bacon and other meat, usually canned bully beef or local game, canned tomatoes, onions, molasses, all seasoned with mustard and salt. After everything was boiled up into a thick stew, it was spooned into large pans and set out to freeze, then chopped up with an axe into smaller chunks and thrown into canvas bags for carrying on the sleds. For variety, the men also boiled up rice and potatoes together with other vegetables and meat. After cooking, these were put through a meat grinder. For liquids, canned soup and tomatoes were added in, together with spices, and the mixture was ladled out into flat patties and frozen. These were also put into canvas bags for transporting. Fixing up a meal was as simple as thawing some chunks of beans and patties, plus a few doughnuts. Fish were also part of the menu. While hungry men were setting up camp, they chewed on chunks of frozen raw fish, which, curiously, have the quality of creating a sense of warmth and well being while waiting for the main course to be ready. Dog food consisted of fish and seal blubber or beef tallow to provide the fat that was essential for the hard-working beasts.

Larsen conning the St. Roch from the stern.

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© COURTESY OF LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-121409

It was clear that these ancient people hunted whales from the fact that their dwellings were constructed of whalebones and skulls. According to legends, the Tunits, as these people were known, were supposed to have been of much greater stature than Ikualaaq and his contemporaries, which seemed to be confirmed by the huge whale skulls and large rocks that the Tunits had manipulated in building their homes. Leaving Cape Garry, the expedition next turned south and headed for Kellett River where Father Henri’s mission was located some 200 kilometres away. On the way, the patrol passed another area of legendary Tunit ruins at Cape Esther, then came to a large present-day Inuit camp complete with igloos, loose, roaming sled dogs and all the accoutrements of a camp except for one thing — people. Despite the usual uproar created among a camp’s dogs on the arrival of a strange sled, not even one person stuck his head out of an igloo to see what was going one. This was strange indeed. One of the igloos stood out among the others because of its size — it was huge compared to the others. Undoubtedly, it was an igloo built by the Inuit to enliven the long, dark days of winter with community activities such as drum thumping, singing, dancing, even physical exercise as Amundsen had discovered when he spent two winters in Gjøa Haven. As Larsen and his men approached the big igloo, they began to hear muffled noises inside that gradually resolved themselves into singing and strains of what sounded like an accordion. Larsen and his men

The St. Roch on Patrol.

© COURTESY OF LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, E-003894954

Larsen and Frenchy Chartrand with a good catch.

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© COURTESY OF LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, PA-121411

dropped on all fours and crawled into the entrance tunnel of the Igloo to the door leading inside. From out of the opening door a cacophony of music and song blasted the visitors. They were met with a totally unexpected scene. The igloo was jam-packed with a large, entranced crowd of excitedly singing, sweating Inuit led in their expression of fervour by a giant of a white man passionately squeezing stimulating religious hymns from a concertina. No sooner had the three strangers stood up in the igloo, than the music and singing stopped as though cut off by a knife. The tall concertina-squeezing white man in huge polar bear pants was momentarily stunned at the sight of the strangers, especially the two white men. When everyone had recovered from their temporary amazement, Larsen and his two companions introduced themselves to the leader of the celebration, who, it turned out, was Canon John Turner, a young Anglican missionary stationed in Pond Inlet. He was on his yearly tour of his widely spread parish and was quite relieved to discover that the three visitors were not competing Roman Catholic missionaries. Men of the cloth in those days were very protective of their flocks, which were unprejudiced and quite open to the influence of missionaries from different churches. So heated was the competition at times that stories circulated of clergymen secretly hitching up their dog teams in the middle of the night to be the first to arrive at new, previously unvisited Inuit communities, before their rival missionaries of other faiths could claim the people as members of their own church. After the introductions, both sides being reassured of the benign nature of the other, the celebration picked up steam again with the Canon once more belting out religious hymns on the concertina, amplified by Inuit voices whose levels were set at the only volume they knew — top of the lungs. The vibrations from stamping feet and excited vocal chords, combined with the massive heat generated by the expenditure of so much human energy, was too much for the structural strength of the huge igloo’s roof — it collapsed on the celebrants. In typical Inuit fashion, what might seem a disaster to white people, was, on the contrary, an occasion for tremendous hilarity on the part of the Inuit who could hardly stand up, holding their stomachs with laughter. It was the funniest thing they had ever seen. The singing might have been cut short, but the eating had yet to begin. Canon Turner cooked up a copious Inuit meal in his igloo where everyone ate until almost bursting. By the time the feast was over and the guests had sufficiently partaken of Canon Turner’s hospitality, it was five o’clock in the morning. Larsen and his two companions finally laid down to sleep as did the Canon, but the churchman was soon up again to massage the Inuit souls to the tune of a morning service complete with wheezing concertina. Some years later, Canon Turner came to a tragic end when he accidentally shot himself in the head while returning from a hunting trip. He did not die immediately, but was carried

Captain’s table.

back to his home camp where he lingered on until a mercy flight was able to land and speed him on to civilization for medical help, but it was too late and his horrible wound finally carried him off. The next day, Larsen and his companions sledded on to the next major Inuit community, Thom Bay, where Larsen found what he called the finest and healthiest Inuit he had seen on this trip. Seals and fish were available in abundance in the area. On March 21, the RCMP patrol took a short side trip to Victoria Harbour to examine the last anchorage of Sir John Ross’ ship Victory, abandoned in the ice in 1833. At this stage, Ikualaaq, feeling that he had been absent from his family long enough, decided it was time he returned home to Gjøa Haven which was a relatively short distance away at this point. He left the expedition after having provided excellent service as a guide. Another Inuk named Kinguk, after consulting with his wife who agreed to the idea, offered his services and took Ikualaaq’s place, guiding Larsen and Constable Hunt the rest of the way to Father Henri’s mission on the Kellett River where it empties into Pelly Bay. On arriving at Father Henri’s mission, Larsen and his companions were given an especially warm welcome, typically offered by all northern residents to travellers who arrive at their doorstep, expected or not. Father Henri broke out a small barrel of frozen wine that the priest thawed out near the stove, enough to eke out a few glasses, which turned out to be plenty. The three visitors, dead tired from consecutive days of mushing their teams through frigid Arctic air were

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© COURTESY ANDREW PORTER, NUNAVUT TOURS

Chartrand’s grave and cairn in Pasley Bay.

soon overcome with drowsiness and lay fast asleep where they fell, not to awaken till the following morning. Father Henri lived in a large house he had constructed himself of small stones embedded in clay. The priest was conducting morning mass when his visitors woke up, after which he prepared a substantial breakfast. It was soon to be Easter and Father Henri was expecting the annual sprouting of thirty-some-odd igloos around his house, an annual occurrence at that time as the Inuit from the surrounding distant camps arrived to take part in the Paschal celebrations. Such occasions called for enormous quantities of food and Father Henri was ready, having stocked up on layer upon layer of fish and seals that he had stored away in his commissary. Holidays such as Easter and Christmas were not treated lightly in the North. They were a great source of pleasure for both whites and Inuit. The Inuit, particularly, appreciated the celebration of these holidays as being one of the more important gifts conferred on them by missionaries. By Easter morning, April 5 that year, the usual village of snowy mounds had grown up around the mission, temporary homes to the 80 or so worshippers that gathered in Father Henri’s little stone chapel to benefit from spiritual and corporal sustenance. The priest’s alter was flanked by a heap of thawing fish on one side and a great pot of seal meat simmering over a seal oil lamp on the other, occasionally tended to by the missionary as he said mass. The Inuit enthusiastically belted out hymns with old familiar religious tunes accompanied by lyrics of aboriginal origin. A young woman next to Larsen fell unconscious near him. He took her outside to revive her in the cold air and brought her back inside. Twice more she fainted and twice more Larsen revived her. It turned out that she had given birth just three hours before. Once the mass was over, the feast began. Inuit were capable of putting away prodigious quantities of food when they put their minds to it. The white men were no

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slackers either, as their travel-whetted appetites were still quite sharp. Easter of 1942 was a great success for all — Inuit, white men, Protestants and Catholics. Larsen informed Father Henri of the purpose of his visit, to ask him if he could come to Pasley Bay and conduct a proper Catholic ceremony for Frenchy Chartrand’s burial. The priest was impressed by the considerable efforts undertaken on the part of the Protestant captain and his crew to see that their shipmate received the ministrations and blessings of a man of the cloth of his own Catholic faith. He was willing to undertake the long trip, but would have to wait a while until later in May to set out when seals had begun showing themselves again on top of the ice. It would be necessary for the priest and his travelling companions to hunt seals for food along the way both for themselves and their dogs. After six days of generous northern hospitality extended by Father Henri, Larsen and Corporal Hunt headed back north to regain the St. Roch, stopping in at Gjøa Haven on the way. They were fortunate to have an Inuk from Pelly Bay accompany them since both Larsen and Hunt had caught bad colds that turned into a flu. They were very weak by the time they reached Gjøa Haven on the 15th of April. It took two weeks for the two men to recover enough to continue on their trip to Pasley Bay, finally arriving there on May 6. The patrol had taken seventy-one days to cover 1,835 kilometres (1,140 miles) of snow and ice. True to his word, Father Henri arrived at the St. Roch thirteen days after Larsen and preparations were begun for the burial. Father Henri conducted the Requiem Mass on board ship with Larsen, his crew and a number of Inuit in attendance. Chartrand’s coffin had been laid to rest in a shallow grave on top of a nearby hill. It had not being possible to dig a deeper grave because of the rock-hard frozen soil. After the Requiem Mass, a funeral procession climbed the hill to the grave where Father Henri pronounced final words of blessing over Chartrand’s body with all due solemnity, sprinkling the grave with a handful of snow rather than the usual holy water. Albert Chartrand’s parents in Ottawa would be comforted to know that their son had been buried and blessed by a Catholic priest. His mission accomplished, Father Henri and his three Inuit travelling companions embarked on their long return journey to his little parish on the Kellett River. He carried with him a solid hardwood cross, built and presented to him by Larsen and the crew of the St. Roch. It was Larsen’s idea to present the priest with a substantial cross as he had noticed that the one Father Henri had at his mission on the Kellett River was made of pieces of wood from a packing case. How ironic, but appropriate, that the new oak cross in Father Henri’s Catholic mission had been built and donated to the mission by a shipload of Protestants. Later that summer, Larsen and his men built a 15-foot memorial cairn of limestone slabs. Over the grave itself was built a pyramid of several tons of rocks to which was attached a brass plate with Chartrand’s name and the dates of his birth and death and his regimental number inscribed on it.

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Š LEE NARRAWAY (2)

Adventures in paradise Paddling the rapids of Katannilik Park

Text and Photos by Lee Narraway

T

he day did not look promising. Frobisher Bay lay under a blanket of fog and rain and our early morning charter flight from Iqaluit into the wilderness of Katannilik Territorial Park had been cancelled due to poor visibility. I checked through my stuff again; sleeping

bag, rain gear, a few extra clothes, wool hat, lots of warm socks and my oh-so-essential photography equipment, carefully packed in a waterproof case. I glanced over at my companions as they too attempted to reduce the size of their backpacks; Murray Ball from Iqaluit had organized this trip for his two sons, Misha and Bryn and his brother Max from Saskatchewan.

Above: Pouring down to create a foamy curtain of turquoise, Livingstone Falls roars through a Katannilik canyon. Opposite: Paddling through that very first set of rapids proved to be exhilaration plus!

I was tagging along as the photographer. We were making final preparations to paddle the Soper River in Southern Baffin Island for ten days with Wanapitei, an Ontario-based canoe company that had hired local Iqaluit guide Matty McNair. Her experience on this Canadian Heritage River spanned 21 years. The 60-kilometre route offered swift currents and Class 1 and Class 2 rapids, perfect for our group, most of whom had never even held a paddle. Because of our novice status, Matty switched from canoes to inflatable rafts to give us better stability. We would finish our trip in the predominantly Inuit community of Kimmirut.

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Commandeering the raft over one of the Soper’s rocky “drop-offs” is challenge-filled excitement.

We were excited and anxious to get underway. By late afternoon the distant mountains of the Meta Incognita Peninsula became visible. This was our signal to go. The Twin Otter was quickly loaded and 20 minutes after take-off we landed in the wilderness. As the plane departed, I whispered, “Let the adventures begin.” We had arrived in paradise. Mount Joy stood at one end of the long valley, its rocky face scarred by ancient glaciers. In the distance, a waterfall slipped down the hillside. Vegetation was lush and abundant; much of it already turning brilliant orange and autumn reds and everywhere were ripe berries. We lugged our gear down to the river’s edge, scrambling through tangled thickets of knee-high dwarf birch to set up camp at the base of a low hill. When the wind rose we carried rocks up from the riverbed to mimic the traditional Inuit method of holding down tents with a circle of stones. When at last we finished, the dining tent provided a welcome respite from the wind and a cosy place to gather and share a hot dinner and warm conversations. The wind woke me. It howled and moaned as it tore at the tents and set them flapping. Again and again the noise intensified in the distance, then roared down the river valley toward us like an approaching train. Morning brought no relief. Our dining tent was flattened. We piled more rocks on the lower nylon walls, shortened the centre pole from standing to sitting height then crouched on the mossy ground beneath to eat breakfast while the tent flapped and tapped our heads with every gust of wind. Rather than sit around camp all day, we decided to embrace the weather and head out on a quest. Our destination was the Panorama waterfall and our first challenge was to cross the runway. As we fought our way to the other side, we met a group of eight who had also arrived yesterday. A meeting like this is rare in Katannilik, which sees less than 20 paddlers annually. They were testing the power of the wind with a hand-held meter and it recorded the katabatic gusts at 90 km/hr. We wandered into the shelter of the valley, wobbled from rock-to-rock across streams and boggy areas, laughing as we sat on the tundra to change into dry footwear then headed up onto the pebbled hillside where tiny scarlet cranberries thrived in small oases of emerald moss. Masses of blueberries and crowberries slowed down our progress as we grazed along. Drawing near to the falls, the wind caught rivulets of water 38

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from the smooth rock face and twirled them high into the air until they turned to mist. The Inuit had aptly named this area Katannilik, “the place of waterfalls.” I lay on my stomach at the edge of the falls with my camera propped on a rock to hold it steady for a long exposure while I feasted on wild blueberries and occasionally dipped my cup into the cold delicious water. Later that evening, heavy clouds rolled in and the wind increased even more. Repeated trips outside throughout the night were needed to tighten guy lines and prevent the tents from blowing apart. Next morning, the wind still raged but we agreed that it was another perfect day for a hike and this time we wandered parallel to the river along ancient caribou trails; these animals had travelled to and from calving grounds further north, their passage carving deep grooves into the tundra. We found only one set of fresh tracks but never spotted any animals. Lunch was shared high in the

Matty McNair and Murray Ball hold hands for stability to cross a swift-moving river.

hills, surrounded by lichen-encrusted rocks that sheltered us from the wind. It was still blowing on the third morning but the intensity had diminished. Spirits were high as we dismantled the camp at five am, inflated the rafts and carried everything down to the shore. Gear was carefully loaded and after some paddling tips, we were off. Matty had warned us that the first section of the river was shallow but we were surprised when the rafts beached on the rocky bottom after we paddled only three metres. We climbed out into the shallow water and for the next hour waded, slithered and slipped our way over rocks, lifting the raft to Matty’s rhythmic chant, “One, two, three, heave….One two three, heave…” It was exhausting. Finally we dragged the rafts to shore, carrying the gear another kilometre to the “drop-off,” a small but intimidating waterfall and the site of our first set of rapids. I crouched on a rock, camera in hand only inches from the drop-off. The team was in a small cove above me waiting for my signal. The idea of going over any kind of waterfall after barely wetting a paddle was terrifying. But Matty, who qualified for the U.S. National Whitewater team at the age of 15,

inspired confidence in everyone. I waved them forward and with a mighty yell they dug in their paddles. Suddenly the powerful current grabbed the raft and propelled them towards me. Faces were intent and determined, focussed on the drop-off ahead. They hit the edge and were briefly airborne before crashing down into the rapids below, paddling hard... and suddenly it was over. Their triumphant cheers were accompanied by high-fives and huge grins. I overheard the comment, “Only problem was it was over too soon.” To celebrate their newly acquired confidence, they told Matty she could sit out the next one and they hiked back upstream to bring the second raft down through the rapids alone. The other campers had paddled as far as the drop-off to watch our first whitewater attempt. Their leaders decided to cancel their trip due to the weather and remain in camp until the plane could land again. Often during our expedition we thought about this and someone would comment, “Look what they have missed. Thank goodness we have Matty!”

One raft was specially equipped with oars to enable it to be rowed by two people.

© LEE NARRAWAY (5)

Being able to camp in the tranquil solitude of the Arctic is a “bucket list” priority for many adventurous travellers.

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© LEE NARRAWAY

Fellow rafter, Bryn Makaroff, takes in the spectacular view of the Park from the top of Mt. Flemming.

It was a fun and exhausting day. As the strong current carried us along, Matty explained how to read the river. Frequently we misjudged the direction of the flow and ended up stuck on big rocks in the middle of a rapid or chose to paddle down the wrong side of the river, ending up marooned in ankle-deep water. There was plenty of laughter, suggestions and encouragement shouted back and forth to whichever hapless team of rafters had to hop out into the shallow rushing water and give their raft a yank to get it moving again. Our destination for the end of the first day on the river was a group shelter at the 12-kilometre mark, built and maintained by Mirnguiqsirviit (Nunavut Parks). The living area included a cooking and eating section, sleeping platforms and an oil heater. Though there were outdoor toilet facilities, the shelter felt near palatial in space and comfort. No one missed the howling wind as we fell asleep to the soft drips from clothing hung to dry above the stove. The Soper River meanders through 1,200 square kilometres of wilderness and for the next week the sun shone daily. Some days we drifted over deep pools, the water so clear we could see the sun-dappled rocks on the bottom. When we were thirsty, fresh water was simply scooped from the river. At each set of rapids our style improved. We became a team, stronger, more in sync paddling fearlessly around rocks and through the whitewater, whooping and hollering all the way. While the river lazily curled and looped through the valley, we often lay down our paddles letting the current do the work. No one spoke and this precious silence, so rare in our modern world, became part of our days. We hiked to the Livingstone Falls where water rushed through a narrow canyon, spilling down in a turquoise curtain to tangle into the frothing maelstrom below. Murray remarked that the scenery was “like eating a chocolate bar with my eyes.” The famous “willow grove” of Katannilik Park is the largest (and virtually only) “forest” on Baffin Island, hidden in a narrow fertile valley supported by a microclimate that had encouraged some of the trees to grow more than three metres in height. Naturalist Joseph Dewey Soper, after whom the river is named, explored this valley in the 1930s. Astounded by the diversity and abundance of the flora, he catalogued and collected hundreds of specimens for the Canadian government. This past summer another group of botanists repeated his mission and they anticipate their record will help future scientists understand how the fluctuating climate affects plant life in the Arctic. 40

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Katannilik is home to a rich variety of minerals like the marble and garnets we stumbled upon during lunch breaks. I even found a piece of graphite large enough to write with in my journal. We hiked to the site of an old mica mine. At first glance it seemed the ground was covered in broken glass. Sheets of mica reflected the sunlight, glowing bronze and gold. When held to the sun, thin pieces appeared nearly translucent. Nearby was lapis lazuli, a rare blue gemstone found in only a few locations in the world. It had also been mined until it was realized the stones were of poor quality and too soft to polish or shape. One evening a few raindrops pattered on the dining tent. The sun was still shining so I grabbed my camera and raced outside. Sure enough, a double rainbow arced over our campsite. Later I watched the full moon rise over the hills and listened to the haunting call of the loons. At midnight, the aurora began to dance across the heavens and I spent two magical hours alone, blissfully photographing the phenomena. We arrived at the Soper falls where the rapids rushed between high marbled cliffs. It wasn’t possible to paddle so most of our gear was portaged before we returned to camp at the park base, surrounded by an electrified bear fence. Polar bears are not common in the park but have been known to wander the valley. It rained on our final day and we paddled nearly six hours against powerful headwinds amazed at our newfound strength and sense of achievement. Arriving in Kimmirut, we shared a home-cooked meal of caribou stew, Arctic char and bannock, hosted by a local Inuit family. What a perfect way to finish our journey. Flying back to Iqaluit the next day, Katannilik Park lay far beneath us covered in this season’s first snowfall. Winter had arrived.

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A R T S , C U LT U R E & E D U C AT I O N

UEL IPPE R

IGHT

COPYR

TIONS

ODUC

EO PR

VID ARNAIT

INC

UVANGA in post production

PHIL HOTO

©P

Some of the cast and crew of Uvanga on set including: Actors Marianne Farley (Anna), Pakak Innuksuk (Ike), Lukasi Forrest (Tomas), Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq (Barrie) and Travis Kunnuk (Travis); Director Marie-Hélène Cousineau; and Félix Lajeunesse (Director of Photography); Pierric Soucy (Assistant Camera). Not shown: Co-Director Madeline Piujuq Ivalu,Susan Avingaq (Art Director), and Michelline Ammaq (Assistant Director).

magine being a 14-year-old boy who has only known Montreal, Quebec, as home. At this young age, where males are progressing out of puberty and beginning their journey to manhood,they are searching for meaning in their life and discovering their strengths and weaknesses and what makes them tick. In the upcoming film by the Arnait Video Collective, 14-year-old Tomas travels with his mother to visit Igloolik, his deceased father’s birthplace. There Tomas meets his father’s Inuit family. They and the small northern village of Igloolik, Nunavut, provide insights into his roots and an entirely different way of life. Co-Directors Madeline Piujuq Ivalu and Marie-Hélène Cousineau, their crew and cast completed filming Uvanga (Myself ) at the end of August. It will be in post production until 2013.

I

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A R T S , C U LT U R E & E D U C AT I O N

Pablo

Saravanja

Arts Mentor of the NWT

alking down the busy downtown streets of Northwest Territories’ capital city of Yellowknife, or on one of the many gravel roads in remote communities throughout the North, you’re not quite sure what grabs your eye first as a man seemingly always dressed in black approaches: his mischievous smile, which always seems to break into ear-to-ear proportions as soon as you come into sight, or what’s simply become known around town as “the beard”, a growth of wonder that would make Rasputin proud.

W

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A R T S , C U LT U R E & E D U C AT I O N

Anybody who at least has a faint pulse in the NorthwestTerritories arts community would recognize both the face, the beard, and the smile of Yellowknife-born artist, photographer, producer, consultant, business-owner, video-

grapher, director, mentor, and friend-to-many, Pablo Saravanja. This 33-year-old son of immigrant parents is one of the most recognizable and beloved Yellowknifers, and for good reason. Over the

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past five or so years he has played a major role in advancing the film industry and those interested in the video arts in the North as a two-term president of the Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP), a non-profit arts

A R T S , C U LT U R E & E D U C AT I O N

organization that produces, supports, showcases and promotes film, video, and digital media throughout the Northwest Territories. He also has tirelessly lent his efforts since 2008 to mentoring aspiring photographers through active involvement in the Frozen Eyes Photographic Society. Saravanja’s passion for mentoring seems to be born out of his own educational experience and his frustrations with‘traditional’schooling. “Mentorship played a huge role in my development as an artist,a professional,and frankly,as a human being. Like a lot of kids, I never really did‘fit-the-mold’of the traditional school model; teacher at the front, verbally spewing abstract knowledge... I wasn't a terrible student, but I was completely disengaged.” When he was a young man, it was through his exploration of the visual arts and his own personal growth through mentorship that Saravanja discovered his calling in life, and his own passion in helping others. “My actual education was delivered by mentors.My community was ripe with mentors, and they saved me... from myself, basically.” Pablo’s boyhood

friend and eventual peer,Amos Scott — who has himself evolved into a well-respected producer with the Native Communications Society — remembers how the two of them found mutual satisfaction in photography: “I loved how he would challenge me with my imagery.I sometimes feel like photography helped us become adults. Now he is sharing with other northern youth just how a passion for photography can be a positive driving force in life.” When he’s not busy with a myriad range of projects that has recently included working as a videographer on History Channel’s Ice Pilots NWT, as a fixer for the CBC television show, Arctic Air, and Director of Photography for a film called North Paws (PetNetwork/iChannel), Saravanja frequently travels the North sharing his own experiences in both video and photography to youth and adults alike, a mentoring path that started with involvement in Frozen Eyes shortly after the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, and has only grown and expanded since. In the past few years, communities that have benefited from workshops that Pablo has participated in as a mentor have included November/December 2012

Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, Norman Wells, and Inuvik. “The wealth of natural creative talent in young people around the North is staggering,” explains Saravanja. “The pure creative potential... it’s limitless! But it's mostly undeveloped. Artists across Canada's Arctic are mostly selftaught, and often unrecognized until they've matured to a point where they begin to selfdefine as an artist.” This is where Saravanja has found a bit of a calling — helping those interested develop their potential — a selfless act that has not gone unnoticed by many in the northern film and photography industries. “Both through and beyond his photographic and film work, Pablo has ideas that actually have the capacity to create more vibrant, happy and healthy communities in the North,” says Lynn Feasey, an arts expert who served as Creative Director of Canada’s Northern House, the pan-territorial Olympic Pavilion for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Friend Camilla MacEachern agrees: “Pablo really is an arts fanatic — aside from his own artistic endeavours he is passionate about above & beyond

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supporting his peers, whether it be through mentoring or just being the loudest cheerleader in the crowd.” It is through his passion in the arts that Saravanja finds day-to-day satisfaction, but it is through careful consideration of what he finds inspiring and interesting that helps dictate the direction that he takes on a given

month — a freedom and flexibility of career choice that many would find inspiring. “If there is someone I really like working with, or a new skill-set I'm trying to develop, or a place I've never been...these are considerations.I love learning, so that's always a selling point. On the flip-side, a big contract for my company will subsidize my volunteerism for causes that

AVERY COOPER FINANCIAL CORP

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I really care about, like WAMP or Frozen Eyes, so I try to maintain a balance.” No matter which way the wind blows him on a given month, Pablo always seems to be thinking ahead and giving thought to how not only he — but the entire northern arts scene — can positively evolve. “If I ever stop wanting to do better I'll know that I've outlived my usefulness as a mentor. I want to keep developing the local industry for film television and media arts by working with young people. I’m giving them the opportunities I had but at an earlier age. One of these days I’m going to be working for one of my apprentices and just the thought of it makes me so proud.” Whether or not he will ever work for one or more individuals he’s encouraged or inspired, Pablo’s positive approach to life and his abundant passion shines. “I often refer to Pablo as ‘the man of mystery’,” muses MacEachern,“because it is impossible to keep up with all of his creative goings-ons. You never know what he is going to pull out of his beard, and that is what I think is his true beauty.”

Dave Brosha

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IQALUIT, NUNAVUT

NORTHERN BOOKSHELF

Great reads for all ages Creation and Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art

People of the Deer

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Douglas & McIntyre, 2012

arley Mowat, Douglas & McIntyre, 2012

The treasures of the world’s largest public collection of Inuit art are revealed in this seminal history of art from the Arctic. The collection of Inuit art held by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, one of Canada’s most important public galleries, is extraordinary by any standard: its geographic range, diverse media and size have brought international attention to the collection of some 11,000 artworks. The WAG celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012-13 and this book will feature many of the gallery’s treasures as it marks this important milestone. Creation and Transformation is a major art book that describes the genesis and evolution of contemporary Inuit art from 1949 to the present day: from carvers in the 1950s to later storytellers in stone, and in whalebone from pioneer graphic artists to more modern day graphic artists. Organized chronologically, this remarkable volume will constitute a new historical narrative of a contemporary art form as revealed in essays by international authorities led by Winnipeg Art Gallery’s curator of Inuit art, Darlene Coward Wight, and explored through the personal insights of the artists themselves.This book also features 150 colour and archival images.

The most powerful book to come out of he Arctic, People of he Deer traces the material and spiritual bonds between land, deer and people. In 886, the Ihalmiut of northern Canada numbered 7,000 souls; by 1946, when 25-year-old Farley Mowat travelled to the Arctic, their population had dwindled to only 40. Living among them, he observed the millennia-old migration of the caribou and endured the bleak winters, food shortages and continual devastating intrusions of interlopers bent on exploiting the Arctic.

The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen Stephen R. Bown, Douglas & McIntyre, 2012 In the early 1900s, many of the great geographical mysteries that had intrigued adventurers for centuries remained unsolved. The Polar Regions — the Northwest Passage, the South Pole, the North Pole and the Northeast Passage would be, however, claimed by one man within a span of 20 years. Roald Amundsen was an adventurer, entertainer, organizer and planner, willing to learn from the mistakes of others, and humble enough to seek advice of indigenous peoples skilled in Arctic survival. Amundsen’s life was one of sharp contrasts: reviled by the British for defeating Robert Falcon Scott in a desperate race to the South Pole, loved by his men, hailed as a hero in his native Norway and dolized as a charming and eccentric celebrity in the United States. Drawing on hundreds of recently uncovered press clippings, The Last Viking goes beyond Amundsen’s conflicted legacy, revealing a humorous, self-deprecating storyteller who had unusual opinions and dreams; a visionary and showman who won over both his sponsors and his audiences with the same verve that characterized his geographical conquests.

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Specialists in individual and group travel to the Arctic regions for over thirty years.

1.800.661.3830 greatcanadiantravel.com

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INUIT FORUM

Polar Bear Politics glulingmiut are having a hard time believing that the polar bear population is in decline. In a single day in October, 11 bears wandered into the Qikiqtaaluk community. Large, healthy – fearless – bears. That’s why it’s so alarming that the United States has once again launched a proposal to list polar bears on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Since the convention was drawn up back in 1973, the global polar bear population has increased. That’s right.The population has increased. Appendix I is a list of the most endangered species in the world. Species, such as pandas, you aren’t likely to see peering into a kitchen window. Appendix I is an effective ban on international trade. Appendix II, under which polar bears are currently listed, provides for controlled, or managed, trade. And Canada is a world leader in polar bear management, research, monitoring and conservation.Canadian Inuit are world leaders in polar bear management, research, monitoring and conservation. The Canadian Arctic is home to some 16,000 polar bears, roughly two-thirds of the global population. Inuit live among polar bears.They are an integral part of our culture, our lives and our future. Their strength in numbers is directly related to ours. Since the 1970s, Canada has maintained a system of sustainable harvest management in partnership with communities and implemented through agreements and quotas. Harvest quotas are based on principles of conservation and Aboriginal subsistence – they are not market- or trade-driven. In fact, the actual harvest level is often less than established quota. Only two per cent of the polar bear population (300 bears) enters the market each year.

© ITK ARCHIVES

© ITK

I

Wildlife harvesting has been an essential part of Inuit culture for thousands of years. It remains fundamental to Inuit social and economic well-being.

In September, I met with Senators and Members of Congress in Washington D.C., along with representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada. We countered opinions with fact and defended what is ultimately at stake here: our knowledge, our way of life, and the truth itself. The last time the U.S. proposed uplisting, in 2010, states rejected the motion because they were not convinced uplisting would produce any actual conservation benefits. And that is precisely the point.There is not a scientist who would argue that the evidence warrants uplisting. In fact, many would argue that a ban on trade is merely a distraction preventing solid action to address climate

change. The cost of that distraction will be shouldered by Inuit. It is disingenuous at best to seek a ban on trade that not only does not help polar bear conservation efforts, but actually harms Inuit. No new information has appeared since 2010 that would indicate that an Appendix I listing is now required. If anything, new data from areas such as Western Hudson Bay indicates exactly the opposite. In March 2013, the U.S. proposal will go to vote before 176 member states in Bangkok, Thailand. Canada has a voice. But more importantly, you have a voice.We have a voice. And we must use our voices to fight false conservation efforts. We must use our voices to speak the truth.

Terry Audla

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 75 Albert Street, Suite 1101 Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7 t. (613) 238.8181

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arctic exotica

Aurora over Katannilik Park At midnight, the aurora began to dance across the heavens over our camp and I spent two magical hours alone, blissfully photographing the phenomena.

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Š LEE NARRAWAY

ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓅᖓᔪᖅ, ᐊᑲᕐᕆᓇᖅᑐᖅ, ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇᖃᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᖅ

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ᐱᔨᑦᑎᕈᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᐅᓂᖅᐹᖑᔪᒥᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ

ᐊᑲᐅᓂᖅᐹᖑᔪᒥᒃ ᖃᖓᑕᖃᑦᑕᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᔪᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ

ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓄᑦ 3 0- ᓄᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒦᑦᑐᓄᑦ.

Arviat Station Agents: Connie Mamgark, Marina Kinak and Elizabeth Copland.


Above & Beyond | Canada's Arctic Journal Nov-Dec 2012