ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᖅ ᑕᑯᑎᑦᑎᕗᖅ ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓱᐃᒃᑲᓐᓂᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐃᒪᕐᒥᐅᑕᓄᑦ ᓂᕿᖃᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ ᓯᓚᐅᑉ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖓᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᓂᐅᔪᖅ ᐊᐅᓚᑕᐅᔪᖅ ᑭᕙᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᐆᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᕐᔪᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᐳᑦ ᐆᒪᔪᐃᑦ ᓯᓚᑎᖃᑎᒌᑦ ᓯᓚᑖᓗ
Kivalliq News WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2022
Vol 28 No 5
Nunavut's Award Winning Voice of Kivalliq
Research shows reorganization of aquatic food chain Community ᐊᐃᑉᐸᕇᖑᔪᓄᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᖅᓯᕆᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐃᓅᓯᓕᕆᔨ ᐃᓱᒫᓗᒃᐳᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᔾᔪᔾᔭᐅᕙᒃᑐᓂ ᓂᕈᐊᒐᒃᓴᐅᔪᓂ Spousal abuse counsellor lends a compassionate ear News ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᑦ ᑲᑎᑉᐳᑦ ᓄᑖᙳᖅᐸᓪᓕᐅᓂᐅᔪᒥ
Poisey Alogut analyzes stomach contents. Inset: Capelin found in an Arctic char stomach. Photos courtesy of ArctiConnexion
Climate change work led by Kivalliq Wildlife Board studies ecosystem By Stewart Burnett Northern News Services Kivalliq
Youth and Elders to connect with technology Publication mail
A shorter season for sea ice along the Hudson Bay means the bottom of the marine ecosystem’s food chain appears to be changing, according to research led by the Kivalliq Wildlife Board. “We’re finding out that the sea ice is melting earlier in the spring and forming up later in the fall,” said Vincent L’Hérault, director of ArctiConnexion, which is working with the KWB to study the ecosystems in the region. “It creates a longer summer, a longer ice-free season.” That means the season for phytoplankton, a tiny organism in the Hudson Bay waters, is extended, while the season for sea algae, which live on the bottom of sea ice, has shrunk. In turn, the researchers are seeing a “reorganization” of the marine ecosystem from one based on sea algae to one based on phytoplankton.
That has effects rippling upward, such as contributing to capelin replacing arctic cod in the diet of seals and beluga. Back 50 to 100 years ago, the ecosystem was based more on the ringed seal feeding on arctic cod, which fed on small organisms that grazed on sea algae, “so there is a switch,” said L’Hérault. Clayton Tartak, research coordinator with the KWB, spearheaded this collaboration and knows well that ringed seal populations have appeared to be dwindling in the Kivalliq. “There were more seals when I was a kid,” he said, adding that population decline is also believed to be linked to the over-abundant polar bear population along the western Hudson Bay coast. His project is also studying caribou in the region, and the unique thing about the research effort is all the data collected is owned by the KWB. “It’s important for us to be able to conduct, analyze and report our own findings,” said Tartak, adding that the work is confirming on-the-land knowledge.
“Because we’re working with people that are out on the land every day, we’re not discovering anything new, per se. We’re just doing what we normally do, and documenting it in a scientific manner.” His project, which received a $600,000 grant in 2020, has snowballed over the past six months. He’s thankful for the Nunavut Research Institute for offering some of their lab space for the program. “We were literally doing scientific research and collection sometimes out of our offices,” said Tartak about the work before the institute stepped up. Work is also underway on an animated video that will sum up a large catalogue of literature in a more digestible format. The team brought marine samples to a lab in Quebec in December, and the results of those samples will be reported back to the KWB this year. L’Hérault said it’s important for these sorts of projects to continue. “You cannot just say in one year ‘oh this is climate change.’ You have to measure things across time.”
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 A3
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fact file Nunavut COVID-19 situation as of Jan. 25 Active cases: 247 Confirmed cases: 1,439 Recovered cases: 1,187 Deaths: 5 Vaccine uptake: 31,855 first doses/ 88 per cent 25,367 second doses/ 72 per cent 11,123 third doses
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Around Kivalliq Behchoko
with Stewart Burnett
Source: Government of Nunavut Department of Health
ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᑦ ᑲᑎᑎᕆᔪᑦ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂᓪᓗ Sanikiluaq
ᓄᑖᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᑭᕙᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᑕᑯᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᔪᓂ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᒫᓐᓇᓕᓴᐅᔪᒥ ᓄᑖᙳᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᐅᔪᒥ
Northern News Services
Rankin Inlet photographer David Kakuktinniq snapped this comparison photo of his usual view of the community versus his view Friday, Jan. 21. The blizzard shut down the hamlet and stores in Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Baker Lake. Photo courtesy of David Kakuktinniq
QEC estimating billings
Kivalliq Qulliq Energy Corporation announced it will be estimating billing for customers in Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake and Arviat for the December billing period. “Meter reads will not be conducted to protect the well-being of QEC staff and residents while the corporation continues to safely provie a critical service,” wrote Renee Boucher, acting manager of corporate communications, in a news release. Estimated meter reads are calculated using the previous month’s consumption. Any difference from actual usage will be corrected with the next manual meter read.
ᑕᑯᒍᕕᑦ ᖁᕝᕙᕆᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ TikTok–ᒥ ᑕᕐᕆᔭᓕᐊᖑᔪᓂ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᑎᑦᑎᔪᒥ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᑭᕙᓪᓕᕐᒥᙶᖅᑐᓂ, ᐅᕙᙵᐅᑐᐃᓐᓇᕆᐊᓕᒃ ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᑎᒍᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᕈᓐᓇᕐᓂᖅ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᕈᓐᓇᕐᓂᕐᓗ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᕕᕗᐊᕆᒥ. “ᐊᑐᖅᓯᒪᔪᐃᓐᓇᐅᕗᒍᑦ ᐃᓄᑑᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑭᐱᙳᓂᕐᒥ ᖄᖏᖅᓯᒪᓕᖅᑐᓂ ᖃᔅᓯᐊᕐᔪᖕᓂ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓂ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᓂᑰᓪ ᐱᐊᕆ, ᑐᑭᒧᐊᒃᑎᑦᑎᔨ ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᓂ Help Age Canada–ᒥ. “ᐅᓇ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᓛᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᑖᔅᓱᒥᖓ ᐃᑲᔪᕋᓱᐊᕐᓂᕐᒥ.” ᐳᓛᕐᕕᒃ ᑲᑉᓗ ᐃᓚᓐᓇᕇᖕᓂᐅᑉ ᒥᒃᓵᓄᑦ ᑲᑎᕝᕕᐊ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᔭᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ – ᐱᕈᖅᓴᐃᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᑦ ᐊᔪᙱᓐᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐅᖃᓘᑎᕋᓛᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᓄᑦ ᑲᑎᙵᓂᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖏᓐᓂ – ᐊᒻᒪ Help Age Canada ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᓯᒪᕗᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᒥ ᑲᑎᙵᓂᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓄᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᓪᓚᕆᙳᕐᓂᖓᓂ. ᑲᑐᔾᔨᖃᑎᒌᖑᔪᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᑖᖅᐳᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐱᓕᒻᒪᒃᓴᐃᓪᓗᑎᒃ 24-ᑲᓴᖕᓂ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂ ᑐᓂᓯᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᐊᑐᓂ ᑭᕙᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᓄᓇᓕᐅᔪᓂ ᐃᒻᒥᖕᓂᑦ, ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᑕᒫᒥ ᐅᐸᒃᑕᐅᕝᕕᐅᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᕕᕗᐊᕆᒥ. 250–ᓂ Android ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᓃᓕᕇᖅᐳᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐸᕐᓇᒃᓯᒪᓕᖅᐳᑦ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᐱᓂᐊᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ. “ᐃᓄᑐᖃᐃᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ, ᐃᓯᕐᓗᑎᒃ, ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᑦ ᑕᐃᑲᓃᑉᐳᑦ, ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᐸᕐᓇᒃᓯᒪᕗᑦ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐱᐊᕆ.
Arrest made in fire
Coral Harbour The Coral Harbour RCMP have arrested and charged Emerson Emiktowt, 23, in relation to a fire in a fourplex in town Jan. 17. Emiktowt has been charged with arson, unauthorized possession of a firearm and unsafe storage of a firearm. His bail hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26. There were no injuries in the fire, but the fourplex was extensively damaged.
Schools move to half capacity
Baker Lake As Covid-19 cases rose in Baker Lake, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson announced schools in the community would be opening at half capacity Jan.24. Moving forward, each community will be assessed on a weekly basis. When the CPHO deems appropriate, schools will be asked to lower capacity for one to two weeks to limit the spread of Covid.
ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᐃᓚᖏᓐᓂ ᑐᙵᕕᒋᔭᐅᔪᓂ ᒫᓐᓇᓕᓴᐅᔪᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᓄᑦ, ᓲᕐᓗ ᐊᑐᕐᓂᕐᒥ ᐊᒃᑐᖅᓯᓗᑎᒃ ᐆᒃᑐᕋᕈᑕᐅᔪᓂ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᐊᓱᐃᓛᒃ ᓅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᕿᓂᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᓂ ᓲᕐᓗ ᕙᐃᔅᐳᒃ ᐊᒻᒪ ᕿᓂᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᑐᓴᒐᒃᓴᓂ ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᑎᒍᑦ. ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇ, ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᖅ ᐱᔨᑦᑎᕋᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᔅᓯᐊᕐᔪᖕᓂ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂ ᐱᔾᔪᑕᐅᔪᓄᑦ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐱᐊᕆ. ᐃᓄᑐᖃᐃᑦ ᐃᓕᑦᑎᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐱᔭᕆᑐᔪᓂ ᐊᔪᙱᓐᓂᐅᔪᓂ ᐅᖓᑖᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂ ᐱᕙᓪᓕᐊᑎᑦᑎᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᖅ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔨᒻᒪᕆᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ, ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᑕᒫᒥ ᐱᕕᒃᓴᖃᕐᓂᐅᕗᖅ ᒪᕐᕉᔪᓄᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖑᔪᓄᑦ ᑲᑎᙵᓂᐅᔪᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐊᑐᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᓄᑖᙳᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᐅᔪᓂ ᑐᙵᕕᒋᔭᐅᓗᓂ ᑐᑭᖃᑦᑎᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᐅᔪᓂ. ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᖅ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᓚᐅᕋᓗᐊᖅᐳᖅ ᔭᓄᐊᕆᒥ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐊᒥᓱᓄᑦ ᖃᓂᒻᒪᓐᓇᐅᔪᒥ ᑭᒡᓕᖃᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᐅᔪᑦ ᐅᖓᕙᕆᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᕕᕗᐊᕆᒧᑦ. ᐋᖅᑭᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᐊᕐᓂᖓᓂ ᑕᐃᑯᖓ ᐊᕐᕌᒎᓂᐊᖅᑐᒧᑦᑕᐅᖅ, ᑭᖑᓂᐊᒍᑦ ᐊᒧᔭᐅᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᑐᓂᓯᓂᖃᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᓂᑦ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓄᑦ ᐱᔭᕇᖅᓯᓚᐅᖅᑐᓄᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ. ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑕᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᙳᐊᒃᑯᓐᓂ, ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᖅ ᐃᓚᓕᐅᔾᔨᓂᐊᕆᕗᖅ ᒪᕐᕉᖕᓂ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᓂᑦ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂ ᑐᙵᕕᖃᖅᑐᓂ. ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᔾᔨᔨᐅᔪᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᓇᒥ ᐊᒻᒪ ᖃᖓ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᖅ ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓴᐅᓂᐊᕐᓂᖓᓂ ᐊᑐᓂ ᓄᓇᓕᐅᔪᒥ. ᑐᒃᓯᕋᕆᐊᖃᙱᓚᑦ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᑦ ᐅᐸᒍᓐᓇᖅᐳᑦ ᖃᖓᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅ. ᐅᖓᑖᓂ ᑭᕙᓪᓕᕐᒥ, ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᖅ ᐊᐅᓚᑕᐅᓂᐊᕆᕗᖅ ᑲᖏᖅᖢᒑᐱᖕᒥ.
ᒪᒃᓚᐅᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᐊᕋ ᓯᒥᒃ ᑕᑎ, ᒪᕐᕉᒃ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᔾᔨᔨᐅᔪᑦ ᑲᑎᙵᓂ ᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎ ᓂ ᕐᒥ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓄᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪ ᒥ , ᐅᕙᓂ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᕗᑦ ᐱᓕᒻᒪᒃᓴᖅᑐᓂ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ. ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓄᑐᖃᕐᓂ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᕙᖕᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᖃᕋᓴᐅᔭᕋᓛᓂ ᓄᑖᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᕕᕗᐊᕆᒥ .
MLA sends rental rate reminder
Baker Lake Baker Lake MLA Craig Simailak took to social media to update the community during the current outbreak of Covid in Baker Lake. “The government did lift some restrictions on Monday, Jan. 17, but we as a community need to be very careful,” he wrote in a release Jan. 21. Simailak went on to say he had discussions with the housing manager earlier in January regarding reduced rental rates for those affected by Covid. “If your pay has been reduced, please call the housing office, so that your rent can be assessed to see if it should be made lower for the time being,” he wrote. The rental policy applies to public housing tenants who saw a reduction of income caused by the most recent Covid shutdown.
Breakdown by community: Kinngait: 13 Arviat: 24 Naujaat: 11 Baker Lake: 37 Pangnirtung: 0 Cambridge Bay: 24 Chesterfield Inlet: 1 Pond Inlet: 2 Rankin Inlet: 18 Coral Harbour: 11 Sanikiluaq: 29 Iglulik: 24 Sanirajak: 4 Iqaluit: 41 Taloyoak: 3 Gjoa Haven: 0 Whale Cove: 3 Kimmirut: 1
Macleod Arnatsiaq and Dora Simik Tatty, two of the youth mentors in the Connected Elders program, are seen here taking training in Rankin Inlet. They will be teaching Elders how to use tablets in a new program starting this February. Photo courtesy of Help Age Canada
Tablets bringing youth and Elders together New program in the Kivalliq will see the young teach the old about modern technology By Stewart Burnett Northern News Services Kivalliq
If you see a surge in TikTok videos featuring Elders coming out of the Kivalliq, it just might be from a digital literacy program starting up in February. “We’ve all experienced the isolation and loneliness over the past couple of years,” said Nicole Perry, director of national programs with Help Age Canada. “This is one of the most accessible ways to help combat that.” The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre identified the need – building Elders’ skills with phones and tablets to keep them connected to an increasingly online world – and Help Age Canada has partnered with Pinnguaq to make the Connected Elders
program a reality. The organization has hired and trained nearly two dozen youth to deliver the program and teach Elders in each Kivalliq community themselves, with weekly dropin sessions beginning in February. Two hundred and fifty Android tablets are already in the communities and ready for Elders to get their hands on. “Elders literally show up, drop in, the equipment’s there, the youth are prepared,” said Perry. Youth will teach Elders some of the fundamentals of modern devices, such as using touch gestures, and then move on to navigating different apps like Facebook and looking up information online. In that way, the program is serving a few different purposes, explained Perry. Beyond Elders learning technical skills and
youth developing their own professional abilities, it’s a weekly opportunity for the two age groups to connect and use technology as a basis for meaningful interactions. The program was originally supposed to start in January, but pandemic restrictions pushed it back to February. It is scheduled to run through next year as well, after which a raffle will award the tablets to Elders who completed the program. With help from Pinnguaq, the program is also incorporating bilingualism with Inuktitut and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Principles. Youth mentors will make it known where and when the program will be available in each community. There’s no need to apply, and Elders can drop in at will. Beyond the Kivalliq, the program is also being run in Clyde River.
A4 Wednesday, January 26, 2022 Kivalliq News Nunavut's Award Winning Voice of Kivalliq
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Society should support autonomy How the pandemic response filters down to our personal relationships Northern News Services
It’s difficult to hear as a reporter, and no doubt far more as a victim, a counsellor say that there is often no great escape plan for people dealing with spousal abuse, especially for those in remote communities with few alternative housing options. Creating those escape routes for victims is necessary, if not always easily done. Unfortunately, escape options alone are not enough. Neither are education and public awareness campaigns about acceptable treatment of partners and others in our lives, as necessary and helpful as those are too. At some level, violence and bad acting will never be stamped out. It’s part of life. But another layer we can add to fostering healthy relationships free from abuse is through the values and ideas we spread in our society at large. This is why the concepts of personal autonomy, freedom of choice Sanikiluaq and freedom of expression are so important for their rippling effects through our lives, beyond politics. A culture that does not value a person’s right to their own body
There are all sorts will see less issue in of things that govindividuals violating ernments ask, some that right. A culture more egregious than that stifles speech others, some more will ingrain the debatable. Not all of idea that unpleasant those asks are bad, speech should be kept and the mechanism of quiet. democracy is about Much of the critical the best one we have perspective on Covidto keep that power in 19 measures comes line. from this angle, not But during the as a rejection that stewart pandemic, those asks action must be taken burnett have been large and to mitigate damage they threaten to incaused by the virus, grain themselves in but that extra caution our general expectations as a socishould be considered when we ety. That trickles down and feeds steer core values of our society in into our daily lives and personal another direction. interactions. At its best, government ensures If we see people removed from stability, fair treatment and the rule social media because they quesof law among the people, while tioned a dominant narrative, we holding a uniquely powerful and will be less inclined to speak up encompassing position where it ourselves. If we allow the governcan address needs, crises and exment to form classes of citizens ternalities better than individual based on their medical history, we actors. will more readily consider others At its worst, it can resemble an less equal. abusive spouse: controlling where Both of these go beyond poliyou can go, how many people you tics, even if they originate in that can see, what you have to wear sphere. and even physical actions you Fear is often the weapon, with must perform on yourself.
the threat that one must follow the authority or some sort of punishment or bad thing will ensue. The public health measures Canada and Nunavut have taken during the pandemic are not necessarily wrong and are pursued with the best intentions. Voters will have the ultimate say in the end. But there is reason for some sober second thoughts once the emotion of the moment dies down, about how these rules and society’s direction can have reverberating effects through our individual lives and relationships. At best, we strike a balance where we perform the largely agreed-upon actions that are in the best interest of everyone, while retaining our fundamental commitment to nonviolence, respect for one another and the right to be our own person. The counselling, awareness campaigns, shelter programs and education for new generations to respect our partners must continue. And to support it all, we also need a society that values that ethos. What good is the advice to speak up about issues in our lives, if the evidence all around us shows consequences for rocking the boat?
Rabies risk high in boom year for foxes All sightings should be reported to conservation officers immediately By Stewart Burnett Northern News Services Kivalliq
Johanne Coutu-Autut has trapped 55 foxes and climbing around Rankin Inlet since December, a number only matched in other boom years for the population. “The lemmings were very abundant last year,” said the conservation officer, noting that fox populations rise and fall with prey populations – lemmings being their prime source of food. Rabies is endemic in the North, meaning it is always present among the fox population, even in lower-population years. With more foxes around this winter, there is more spread of the disease as the chances of foxes biting each other increases, and along with that, there is more risk for rabies contacts with people and dogs. “Once an animal gets rabies, it will die,” said Coutu-Autut, adding that all mammals can carry the virus, including wolves and polar bears. “Foxes are the main reservoir for rabies in Nunavut. That’s why it’s very important to control the foxes coming into the community, because you never know which one is carrying the virus.” She suspects some of the foxes she’s live-trapped had rabies, but they don’t get sent out for testing unless there’s an encounter with a pet or human. Gary Nelson, environmental health officer, said there’s little value in sending animals out for testing unless they bite a person or dog and the owner wants to keep the dog alive. “The assumption is if you have a fox within a community, that’s not really fox-like behaviour,” he said. “Foxes typically wouldn’t attack a dog or human, so if that happens, usually the animal is assumed to have rabies.” Rabies can display in two main ways: furious rabies and dumb rabies. The former is the well-known type, where animals become unusually ag-
gressive. When they get to frothing at the mouth, that’s because their throat has been paralyzed and they can no longer swallow, which is a sign of a late stage of the disease. The well-known staggering and lack of balance presents because of how the virus damages the nerves in the animal’s rear end. But because the rabies virus affects the brain, sometimes it manifests in other ways, such as making the animal more tame or friendly. Nelson remembers a potential case of this a few years ago in Rankin Inlet, when children were playing with a docile fox in town. Because rabies is present in saliva, even playing with a fox can present danger if one were to touch their face afterward. Anyone scratched or bitten by a fox or dog should immediately contact the health centre for a rabies assessment, even if the owner is confident their dog is vaccinated. “You wouldn’t want to risk your life on you thinking your dog doesn’t have rabies,” said Nelson, even if a small scratch from a domestic dog seems innocent enough. “I wouldn’t suggest that. I would suggest going to the health centre and having a nurse assess you.” Though rabies deaths are very rare, the disease is fatal in humans if untreated. Proper treatment after exposure is very effective, but signs of symptoms would already be too late . That’s what happened for the last rabies death in Canada in 2019. A bat flew into the hand of a B.C. man who didn’t realize he had been exposed. He began showing symptoms six weeks later and soon died. Earlier this year, Nelson followed a case of an Iglulik woman who was bitten by a fox. “My key message to the public is if you are bitten or scratched by a fox, dog or wolf, contact the health centre and let the nurses know, so we can assess if you need to be treated right away,” he said. “Rabies is a fatal disease in humans.
Rankin Inlet conservation officer Johanne Coutu-Autut has trapped 55 foxes in and around town since December. The population is in a boom year, meaning the risk of rabies is high. Photo courtesy of Johanne Coutu-Autut If you are exposed potentially to getting rabies and you don’t receive treatment right away, unfortunately, when you show signs or symptoms of having the disease, you’re probably going to die.” Thankfully, the woman in Iglulik received the proper treatment. Nelson said he is actively following up on about four to 15 people receiving treatment for rabies at any given time. The treatment involves an immediate injection, plus four doses of vaccine spread over a time interval. “Rabies is a risk in Nunavut all of the time, and people need to be mindful of that,” he said. Those in high-risk professions, like bylaw and police, can usually get the rabies vaccine before exposure. Hunters and trappers who have close contact with foxes should contact the health centre and be assessed if a pre-exposure vaccine would be appropriate. All dogs and cats can be vaccinated for free by Rankin Inlet’s bylaw
department. If owners are unsure of their pet’s vaccination history, it’s best to vaccinate them annually, said Coutu-Autut. Otherwise, vaccinations every three years is the normal schedule for dogs with proper documentation. Puppies cannot receive the vaccine in the first four months of their life, which is reason for extra caution around them. Because of the high fox population this year, authorities are urging residents to be on the lookout for foxes and keep control of their dogs. “Don’t tell me ‘I saw a fox yesterday,’” said Coutu-Autut, suggesting people contact her immediately when they see one in Rankin Inlet. “The fox can be long gone by that time.” Even if the fox isn’t acting strangely, it could be rabid. That’s why Coutu-Autut doesn’t tolerate any foxes in town. Rankin Inlet’s conservation officer can be reached at 867-645-6447. If that fails, residents can contact the RCMP or bylaw as well.
Multi-medium artist hopes to take it full-time Lifelong Baker Laker Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego shares inspiration By Stewart Burnett Northern News Services Baker Lake
Baker Lake’s Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego can just about do it all. The artist mainly focuses on oil paintings and bead work, but she also sews parkas, adds sealskin accents to clothing, can make sealskin shoes and even knows metal work. “I started drawing when I was a kid,” said Niego. “It was always a hobby I enjoyed a lot. I’ve been creating art basically my whole life, but only recently did I start to monetize it.” One subject she loves to focus on in her work is shamanism and spirit helpers. Her favourite piece is a portrait oil painting she made of Serenity, her baby sister. Her second-favourite is a mural in British Columbia she made in 2014. “I find the Inuit culture very artistic,” said Niego. “I love seeing other young artists emerging. The art community is a very rich and loving one.” She hopes to see more territory-wide workshops and gatherings for craftspeople, and once the pandemic calms down, she plans to host some of her own. “I eventually want to become a full-time artist,” said Niego. Her work can be found on social media under her name.
Shamanism and spirits are subjects of fascination for the Baker Lake artist. Photo courtesy of Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego
One of Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego’s favourite pieces is an oil painting she made of Serenity, her baby sister, seen here. Photo courtesy of Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego
Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego’s work is done using a variety of media and embraces Inuit culture. Photo courtesy of Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 A5
A seal skin collar, bracelet and earrings are some of the recent creations by Baker Lake artist Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego. Photo courtesy of Kaytlyn Amitnak Niego
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‘There’s only so much out there’: counsellor Spousal abuse program offers chance to work through issues By Stewart Burnett Northern News Services Rankin Inlet
Those who seek help with Rankin Inlet’s spousal abuse
counselling program find a compassionate ear and shoulder to lean on for their challenges. “I find a lot of women just need someone to talk to, and they realize they are under-
stood, and then we try and build them up,” said Donna Adams, assistant counsellor in the program. “They just needed to vent, or they’re at the end of their rope, and that’s all I can do. My hands are so tied. I can’t tell them, ‘Here’s another shelter you can go to, here’s an escape plan you can apply.’ There’s only so much out there.” Rankin Inlet has a number of programs and services that offer help for those in need, but the options are lower for those in other communities in the Kivalliq. Even still, lack of housing, responsibilities to children and other challenges of the North force many people who need help to stay put because of their circumstances. “There are not women’s shelters in every community,” said Adams. “And to boot, society – the traditional mindset on that – is that it’s shunned. They don’t really accept shelters. They just think do or die. In the olden days, you stayed married. You didn’t leave the person.” But that is changing, she added, and many of the people she sees are younger or middle aged. There is increasing acceptance in using shelters, but still some stigma attached. And everyone is already so loaded down with responsibilities and their own healing journey that finding a safety plan in the event of domestic abuse can feel impossible or overwhelming. Adams has been working in her current role since last summer but had extensive experience interpreting in the court system before. From that experience, she knows just how much violence is happening in homes around the territory, mostly alcohol related. “It’s a huge, huge number of assaults happening everywhere, all the time,” she said. Though the court system
Donna Adams, assistant counsellor with the Rankin Inlet spousal abuse counselling program, said that a lot of the time, her clients just need someone to talk to. Photo courtesy of Donna Adams doesn’t recognize it in the same way, psychological and verbal abuse can be just as bad, she added. That’s why Rankin Inlet’s spousal abuse counselling program is so valuable. It was started by Emiline Kowmuk and Mary Fredlund about 20 years ago. It offers individual counselling and also serves court-mandated appointments, where people must complete a 10-module program as
directed by the justice system. Adams sees a fairly even mix of court-mandated clients and people who voluntarily walk in for help, with more of the latter over time. The big difference is the court-mandated clients’ relationships are clearly over and are not in a place of reconciliation, whereas the walk-in clients are usually in a relationship and want to break the cycle they’re stuck in.
For all clients, Adams tries to drill down to root causes of issues, which often stem from traumatic upbringings. Past pain can easily resurface in people’s adult life, she said. “So many more people nowadays want to get out of the cycle,” said Adams. “They want to break the cycle and get help to overcome their addictions.” The Rankin Inlet program can be reached at 867-645-3785.