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TUSAAYAKSAT MAGAZINE / SUMMER 2016 / $5

STORIES THAT NEED TO BE HEARD

SPECIAL EDITION

AWG NUUK 2016

COMMEMORATIVE AWG POSTER INSIDE

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NORTHERN CULTURE HONOURED, CELEBRATED AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT GREENLAND

FACEBOOK.COM/TUSAAYAKSAT

TEAM NWT BRINGS HOME THE GOLD


ON THE COVER: Editor-in-Chief Nathalie Heiberg‑Harrison captured these images on location in Greenland for this special edition of Tusaayaksat. To see our commemorative 2016 Arctic Winter Games poster, flip to page 37.

TUSAAYAKSAT MEANS “STORIES AND VOICES THAT NEED TO BE HEARD.” WE CELEBRATE THE INUVIALUIT PEOPLE, CULTURE AND HERITAGE.

OUR MISSION:

TO EMPOWER, CELEBRATE, COMMUNICATE, HEAL AND BOND. TO BRING YOU THE BEST COVERAGE OF OUR NEWS, VIBRANT CULTURE AND PERSPECTIVES. Published quarterly by ICS at Box 1704, 292 Mackenzie Rd, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, X0E 0T0. Contact us at +1 867 777 2320 or tusaayaksat.magazine@gmail.com PUBLISHER Inuvialuit Communications Society

CONTENTS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison HEAD DESIGNER Vanessa Hunter EDITORIAL TEAM WRITER/PHOTOGRAPHER Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison COPY EDITOR Laura Worsley-Brown INUVIALUKTUN TRANSLATORS Lillian Elias and Barbara Memogana CONTRIBUTORS Fran Hurcomb, Mia Chemnitz, Sheree Mcleod and the Arctic Winter Games International Committee PHOTOGRAPHERS Mads Pihl, Thorsten Gohl and the Arctic Winter Games International Committee SPECIAL THANKS TO the Arctic Winter Games International Committee, Visit Greenland, Doug Rentmeister and Sport North Federation, the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre, NWT Archives, Lena Kotokak, Brad Mapes, Lynn NapierBuckley, Pilo Dahl, Mia Chemnitz, Fran Hurcomb, Britney Selina, Underwood Day, Chris Stipdonk and the Team NWT Arctic Sports team, Lucy Ann Okheena, Jacob Klengenberg, Richard McKinnon, Joelle Archie and the Team NWT Dene Games team, Daniel Melanson, Kolbi Bernhardt, Colin Pybus, Liam Larocque, Aaron Wells, Steve Cockney Sr., Jacob Peffer, Debbie Karl and the staff at the Arctic Winter Games media centre BUSINESS OFFICE Inuvialuit Communications Society

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THE TEAMS

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2016 ARCTIC WINTER GAMES LET THE GAMES BEGIN! MEET THE TEAMS GREENLAND AT A GLANCE

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THE PEOPLE AT THE HEART OF THE GAMES

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THE HOST COUNTRY

PIONEERING PEOPLE CULTURAL EVENTS THE BIRTH OF THE GAMES THE PARTICIPANTS

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CULTURAL EVENTS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT, INUVIK Lucy Kuptana TREASURER, TUKTOYAKTUK DIRECTOR Debbie Raddi AKLAVIK DIRECTOR Colin Gordon UKLUKHAKTOK DIRECTOR Joseph Haluksit PAULATUK DIRECTOR Anne Thrasher SACHS HARBOUR DIRECTOR Jean Harry EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Veronica Kasook OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Roseanne Rogers

FUNDING MADE POSSIBLE BY Inuvialuit Regional Corporation GNWT (Education, Culture and Employment) GET SOCIAL Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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ARCTIC WINTER GAMES HISTORY

37 41 46 74

COMMEMORATIVE POSTER ARCTIC SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS ATHLETE PROFILES LANGUAGE GAMES

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DENE GAMES TEAM HIGHLIGHTS

COMMEMORATIVE POSTER

SUBSCRIPTIONS E-mail subscription inquiries to icsfinance@northwestel.net or phone +1 867 777 2320

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ARCTIC SPORTS TEAM HIGHLIGHTS

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ARCTIC SPORTS: CHRIS STIPDONK

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VOLUNTEER: JACOB PEFFER

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FUTSAL: KOLBI BERNHARDT

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DENE GAMES: JOELLE ARCHIE

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GETTING ACTIVE IN INUVIALUKTUN

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BADMINTON: DANIEL MELANSON

BIATHLON: JACOB AND LUCY ANN

TUSAAYAKSAT UPINARAAMI TUSAAYAKSAT IN THE SUMMER QANUQ ITPIT! HELLO! The Arctic Winter Games is a place where stories are born, and where memories are created. For the athletes, coaches and volunteers at the heart of the Games, the stories began well before the first puck dropped and continued well after the torch was extinguished at the closing ceremonies. Take Kolbi Bernhardt of Tuktoyaktuk, who had pneumonia just weeks before she was supposed to head to Nuuk to compete in Futsal (page 62, “The Striker”). Or Jacob Peffer of Inuvik, who volunteered in Alaska and Africa before making the trip to Greenland to serve as a Youth Ambassador (page 58, “The Volunteer”). Or Daniel Melanson of Hay River, the second youngest of five siblings, whose competitive streak helped him land a spot on Team NWT Badminton for a second time (page 66, “The Competitor”). Or Joelle Archie of Aklavik, who practiced snow snake on the frozen Peel River over and over again to ensure she would defend her title from the 2014 Arctic Winter Games (page 70, “The Record Breaker”). Or Chris Stipdonk of Fort Simpson, who trained

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BASKETBALL: LIAM LAROCQUE

specifically for Arctic Sports’ most gruelling event – the knuckle hop – by hitting a heavy bag for months on end to build callouses (page 54, “The Knuckle Hopper”). Or Liam Larocque, a former East Three Eagle, who left Inuvik for Yellowknife last year so that he could train for basketball year round (page 50, “The Moose”). Then there’s Jacob Klengenberg and Lucy Ann Okheena of Ulukhaktok, who tried Snowshoe Biathlon for the first time last year, and then blew everyone away by their stellar performance at the trials in December. They trained for months in the darkness, and travelled the furthest of anyone on Team NWT to attend the Games (page 46, “The Ulukhaktumiut”). The beauty of the Arctic Winter Games isn’t confined to what happens between the opening and closing ceremonies. It is so much more than that. For many of the Inuvialuit athletes who travelled to Nuuk, their stories are only just beginning.

QUYANAINNI THANK YOU, Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison Editor-in-Chief


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LET THE ARCTIC WINTER GAMES BEGIN! 6 DAYS • 15 SPORTS • 2,000 GUESTS • 1,500 VOLUNTEERS • 1,155 ULUS AWARDED

THE VISION The Games unite Greenland around a central communal event celebrating sporting and cultural enjoyment. The Games generate pride and joy while developing social voluntariness and societal skills. The Games focus global attention on Greenland, strengthening ties with other Arctic nations.

THE VALUES Community

To partake in diverse, inclusive and colourful community activities across society and the Arctic region, where everyone can be part of a meaningful project that generates joy.

Curiosity

We are part of the Arctic community and are curious about each other’s similarities, differences and what we can learn from each other.

Courage

Through sport, culture and community we find the strength and courage to develop and set new goals.

THE HOSTS

1970 Yellowknife, NWT 1972 Whitehorse, Yukon 1974 Anchorage, Alaska 1976 Schefferville, Quebec 1978 Hay River/Pine Point, NWT 1980 Whitehorse, Yukon 1982 Fairbanks, Alaska 1984 Yellowknife, NWT 1986 Whitehorse, Yukon 1988 Fairbanks, Alaska 1990 Yellowknife, NWT 1992 Whitehorse, Yukon 1994 Slave Lake, Alberta 1996 Chugiak/Eagle River, Alaska 1998 Yellowknife, NWT 2000 Whitehorse, Yukon 2002 Nuuk, Greenland/Iqaluit, Nunavut 2004 Wood Buffalo, Alberta 2006 Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska 2008 Yellowknife, NWT 2010 Grande Prairie, Alberta 2012 Whitehorse, Yukon 2014 Fairbanks, Alaska 2016 Nuuk, Greenland/Iqaluit, Nunavut 2018 Fort Smith and Hay River, NWT


QUIZ How well do you know Greenland and the Arctic? 1. What animal is on Greenland’s coat of arms?

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2. What animal, representing fur-bearing animals, can be found on the Northwest Territories’ flag? 3. True or false: In Greenland, the ancient Inuit thought that the northern lights were their ancestors playing soccer with a walrus skull. 4. In which part of the Arctic did the people believe that the northern lights were walrus spirits playing with the skull of some unlucky human? 5. What is the capital of Nunavut called? 6. How many official dialects are there of the Greenlandic language? 7. How many First Nations languages are spoken in the Yukon? 8. The willow ptarmigan is the official state bird of which delegation? 9. What does ‘Kalaallit Nunaat’ mean? 10. Which delegation’s name means ‘the end of the world’? 11. True or false: It’s possible to drive all the way around Greenland. 12. In which countries do Sami people live? 13. Fill in the blank: More than __ per cent of Albertans are involved in volunteer work, and more than half of that is related to sports and recreation.

Join - Feel - Jump Join for Community, Feel for Curiosity and Jump for Courage.

ANSWERS 1. Polar bear 2. The white fox 3. True (at least according to the legend) 4. Nunavik (again, according to the legend) 5. Iqaluit 6. 3 - Thule, East Greenlandic and West Greenlandic 7. 8 8. Alaska 9. The land of the Greenlanders 10. Yamal 11. False 12. Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia 13. 80 per cent

THE SLOGAN

Join the conversation! #JoinFeelJump #AWG2016 Information courtesy of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee


THE DELEGATES

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TEAM ALASKA

Alaska is the largest of the American states and a founding member of the Arctic Winter Games. Alaska borders the Yukon and British Columbia to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Gold rushes, fisheries, forestry, copper strikes and oil rushes have all contributed to the state’s diverse economy and population. Alaska is one of the least populous of the states with fewer than 650,000 residents, of whom about 30 per cent are Aboriginal people. Team colours are blue and gold.

TEAM ALBERTA NORTH

Alberta is the southernmost participant in the Arctic Winter Games and stretches more than 1,200 km from the United States to its northern border with the Northwest Territories. Alberta is Canada’s largest producer of oil and gas and has approximately 50 per cent of Canada’s coal reserves. Agriculture is still a mainstay of the province, as are the forest production and pulp industries. Team Alberta North has participated in every Arctic Winter Games since 1986, and was admitted to the Games because of its close social, political and economic ties to Canada’s North. Team colours are blue and white.


TEAM NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

The Northwest Territories is a founding and permanent member of the Arctic Winter Games. In 2018 it will host the Arctic Winter Games in Fort Smith and Hay River. The NWT extends from the 60th parallel north and includes several large islands in the Arctic Ocean. Yellowknife, the capital city, is also known as the Diamond Capital of North America. More than half of the population are native Dene, Inuit (Inuvialuit) or Métis. In 1870, the area became Canada’s first territory, and in 1999 the former Northwest Territories was divided, creating the new territory of Nunavut. In 2016 team colours were grey and turquoise, representing the territory’s northern lights.

TEAM GREENLAND

Greenland is the world’s largest island. Two-thirds of the island is located above the Arctic Circle and approximately 80 per cent of its landmass is covered by ice. Transportation between the island’s towns is by sea or air, or even by dog sled. The population consists mainly of Greenlandic people, a mixed race that resulted from interaction between Inuit and Europeans. The residents now enjoy powers of self-government under Danish sovereignty. Their economy is based primarily on fishing and mining. Greenland first participated in the Arctic Winter Games in 1990, and became a permanent member in 1993. Team colours are red and white.


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TEAM NUNAVIK‑QUÉBEC Nunavik-Québec is also known as Arctic Québec. Nunavik is the region of Québec located above the 55th parallel. It is often included in the Arctic Winter Games due to the close cultural ties between its Inuit residents and those of Nunavut and Greenland. Inuit, and a small Cree population in the southern part of Hudson Bay, mainly inhabit the vast territory. Team Nunavik first participated in the Arctic Winter Games in 1972. Team colours are black and green.

TEAM YAMAL

Yamal is an Autonomous District (similar to a province or state) within the Russian Federation, making its first appearance at the Arctic Winter Games in 2004, although Russia has sent athletes and cultural delegates since 1990. Yamal is Russia’s most important source of natural gas, with more than 90 per cent of Russia’s natural gas being produced there. The region also accounts for 12 per cent of Russia’s oil production. The Nenets, Khanty and Selkup peoples are indigenous to Yamal. Team colours are white, blue and red.

TEAM SAPMI

The Sami are the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia, representing around 100,000 people. They first participated in the Arctic Winter Games in 2004. The Sami people are spread across four countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The Sami speak as many as nine distinct dialects, only one of which is spoken in all Scandinavian countries. Team colours are red, yellow, blue and black.


TEAM NUNAVUT

Nunavut is Canada’s newest territory, created from the division of the Northwest Territories in 1999. It has been a permanent member of the Arctic Winter Games in its own right since 2002. Like Greenland, some of the islands in Nunavut are covered by permanent ice caps, and no trees grow there due to the low temperatures. The territory’s name means “Our Land” in Inuktitut, and the territory was created in an effort to address the desire for the Inuit to have control over their traditional way of life. More than 80 per cent of its inhabitants are Inuit. Team colours are red, yellow and blue.

TEAM YUKON

Yukon is a founding member of the Arctic Winter Games and has participated in every Arctic Winter Games since their inception in 1970. Mining is the leading economic activity in the Yukon, and gold is still being discovered in large quantities. About 20 per cent of Yukon’s population is of native descent, and about 70 per cent of the territory’s population resides in the capital city, Whitehorse. Yukon is world famous for its spectacular wilderness scenery. Team colours are black, red and white.

WITH FILES FROM FRAN HURCOMB AND THE ARCTIC WINTER GAMES INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE


THE HOST

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KALAALLIT NUNAAT

The Country of the Greenlanders


Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, which includes Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. However, Greenland is not part of the European Union, as it withdrew from the union on Feb. 1, 1985 following a referendum. Greenland has its own national flag, issues its own stamps and uses the Danish krone as currency.

Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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boriginal people from North America settled in Greenland over 4,500 years ago. Since then, several Aboriginal groups have inhabited the country. Around 1,000 years ago, Greenlandic ancestors from the Thule Culture settled in northern Greenland, while Scandinavian Viking settlers arrived in southern Greenland. Today the country is called Kalaallit Nunaat, which means “The Country of the Greenlanders� in Greenlandic.

In 1979, Greenland was granted home rule. In June 2009, a bill on self-government was passed following a referendum on Nov. 25, 2008. Self-government was established on June 21, 2009, 30 years after the introduction of home rule.

Information provided by Statistics Greenland


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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HOW BIG IS GREENLAND? Greenland is 2,166,086 square kilometres, making it the largest island in the world!

WHAT IS THE CLIMATE LIKE IN GREENLAND? The climate ranges from subarctic to Arctic. Greenland experiences cool winters and cold summers. The mean temperature does not normal exceed 10 degrees Celsius.


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON ANIMALS IN GREENLAND? Fish, seals, walruses, whales, polar bears, foxes, wolves, reindeer, muskox, snow hares and over 50 species of birds. Livestock in southern Greenland include sheep, reindeer, cows, horses, dogs and fowls. In northern Greenland, sled dogs are often used for hunting and fishing.

WHAT IS THE POPULATION OF GREENLAND? 55,847


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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WHAT IS THE CAPITAL OF GREENLAND? Nuuk

WHAT IS THE POPULATION OF NUUK? 17,316

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A GREENLANDER? 73.7 years (women) and 69.1 years (men)


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

WHAT LANGUAGE DO THEY SPEAK IN GREENLAND? Greenlandic (Kalaallitsut) and Danish

WHAT DOES THE GREENLANDIC FLAG SYMBOLIZE? Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

The flag symbolizes the sun descending on the horizon and the ice cap.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN INDUSTRIES IN GREENLAND?

Fish processing (mainly prawns and Greenland halibut), traditional arts and crafts, hides and skins, small shipyards and mining


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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A portrait of Ulloriaq Kreutzmann from Sisimiut, Greenland.


Pioneering people How Greenlanders think, live and act outside the box Words by Mia Chemnitz

I believe that it is human nature to put things and people into boxes, where we feel they fit in, where they belong. It creates a system in our head, and that system helps our understanding of the world. If we take a look into the box where we keep the Greenlander, what most people will see is a person with dark hair, dark skin, narrow eyes — and ideally this person would be sitting on a dogsled dressed in traditional Inuit clothes. What a few might see in this box is me — a red headed, freckled girl — but to most people that box is still very small.


Arctic Winter Games athletes having fun in the urban spaces of Nuuk, Greenland.

When I started my education in Denmark, this became very clear to me. Every day I was told that I don’t look Greenlandic. My new classmates demanded an explanation as to why I have red hair, speak Danish fluently, but still call myself Greenlandic. They were looking for a box to put me in, and in their heads I fit much better into a Danish box. So whenever I mentioned that my grandmother is from Denmark, they would desperately cling to that statement. Then they were happy, because now their system was up and running again. What they forgot when they put me in their Danish box was that it is only my grandmother who is not from Greenland. The rest of my family is Greenlandic as far back as we know. Luckily, I was quick to mess up their system again when I told them that my Danish grandmother is darker than me, and that I got my red hair from my Greenlandic father. I am not trying to remove the box system. I don’t think that’s realistic. It is a natural thing that we all do. But every now and then it would be nice to re-evaluate these boxes. A survey done last year showed that the average Greenlander is one quarter Danish. That survey was about our biology. What we are in flesh and blood. What about how we see ourselves? I believe that there can be a big difference between what biology says and what our true cultural identity is. Is it your genetics that let you be Greenlandic? Is it the fact that you use your eyebrows instead of words to answer questions? Is it the language that gives you the right? Or is it your will to move this country forward? Although the debate about who gets to call themselves a real Greenlander has existed for at least as long as I’ve lived, it is still a sensitive subject to many locals.

Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Passengers and driver on a dog sled near Sisimiut, Greenland.

Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Three young people in the sunset in Ukkusissat, Greenland

Dog sledder Navarana Lennert from Sisimiut with one of her dogs in downtown Sisimiut, Greenland.


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

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Culture is ever changing. One can choose to hold on to the same old system—and sometimes desperately fight the changes—or one can embrace the changes.

Portrait of a snowboarder from Nuuk, Greenland.

A couple of years ago a picture was taken of me that ended up on the cover of a magazine called Greenland Today. It showed a photo of myself, a red headed, freckled girl, with the headline “Who is Greenlander?” Everyone around me thought that it was pretty cool I made the cover, but after a little while someone made me aware that this combination - a girl with red hair and the word ‘Greenlander’ started quite the debate. I think that was maybe because it caused a mess in some people’s boxes. The history of Greenland has shaped us into a multicultural society, and that shapes culture. A culture that doesn’t move, doesn’t evolve, is a sad thing. In this country we have had Vikings, we have been a colony and we have had whale hunters from all over the world hunt in our seas. All of this has had an influence on us. We have become a multicultural society, with all that comes with it. We have become a nation where some young people speak three languages like it’s the most natural thing in the world. So if the picture of the Eskimo in his fur jacket had been reality today, it would have meant our culture stood still for several centuries. Culture is ever changing. One can choose to hold on to the same old system – and sometimes desperately fight the changes - or one can embrace the changes. Very few former colonies have managed to hold on to their own country and their own language. We have. So that’s why I think that it’s a shame to hold on to the present box system. I don’t think it’s going to help us move forwards. If we can just update the boxes, make them a little bigger or round off the edges, then maybe we can find room for diversity. I want to encourage you – us – to keep our Northern culture alive while also welcoming new culture – while we work our way towards an independent and stereotype-free Greenland.


Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Locals on a harbour bench in Uummannaq, Greenland.

Ice in Kulusuk harbour in East Greenland.


CULTURAL EVENTS

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Hay River Mayor Brad Mapes and Fort Smith Mayor Lynn Napier-Buckley at the closing ceremonies. Brad and Lynn’s communities will both host the 2018 Arctic Winter Games when they return to the NWT.

Malu Rohmann, a singer-songwriter from Copenhagen, performs at the closing ceremonies.


Photo by Thorsten Gohl

JOIN FEEL JUMP The celebration of northern cultures is as integral a part of the Arctic Winter Games as the sports themselves. This year, Nuuk was host to a variety of cultural events, performances and workshops that reflected the traditional and modern cultures of the Arctic. The Double Treble Fiddlers – two sets of twins from Yellowknife – were among Team NWT’s cultural ^ delegates. Aarigaa!

Photos by the Arctic Winter Games International Committee


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The Small Time Giants close out the Arctic Winter Games amid showers of confetti.


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Dancers from Nuuk perform for the crowd.


Cultural delegates of the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.


Photo courtesy of Sport North Federation

THE HISTORY

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The birth of the Games HOW THE SUCCESS OF THE 1970 ARCTIC WINTER GAMES IN YELLOWKNIFE LED TO 46 YEARS OF COMPETITION AND FRIENDSHIP Excerpt from “Inspired by Dreams: Twenty Arctic Winter Games” by Fran Hurcomb

O

ften, the journey from the conception to the realization of a dream is a long and difficult one. This was certainly true of the birth of the Arctic Winter Games.

The idea originated with Commissioners Stuart Hodgson of the NWT and James Smith of the Yukon, and Bud Orange, Member of Parliament for the NWT, while they watched the first Canada Winter Games in Québec City in 1967. In sport after sport, northern athletes were defeated by more experienced and better funded southern teams. The concept of an event featuring strictly northern athletes grew from an idle comment into a great idea. A phone call to the Alaska State Governor, Walter Hickel, got a very positive response. By the spring of 1968, the Arctic Winter Games Corporation had been formed, uniting the three jurisdictions in an athletic and cultural alliance that still stands strong almost 40 years later.


Yellowknife was chosen to host the first AWG in 1970, in part to help celebrate the centennial of the NWT that year. It was proposed that the Games would take place every two years, with locations changing among participating contingents. Leaders in the Mackenzie Delta agreed to send cultural delegates to demonstrate traditional Arctic Sports as well as dancing and drumming. Billy Day agreed to put together a group of drummers and dancers, and Edward Lennie became the coach for Arctic Sports. In mid-February, only three weeks before the start of the games, the Canadian Government announced that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau would be in Yellowknife to open the Games. As the countdown to the Games progressed, Yellowknife took on a carnival atmosphere. More than 500 volunteers spent the last frantic days copying, painting, stapling, typing, hammering, baking and sewing. Whatever was needed was done. Finally, on March 8, 1970, the 760 athletes and coaches began to arrive at the Yellowknife airport, where they were welcomed by cheering Yellowknifers. The next afternoon, under clear blue skies, they marched through the streets of downtown Yellowknife behind a colour guard that included Yellowknife Army cadets, the RCMP and the Alaska State Police. Thousands of spectators cheered them on. The parade wound its way to Petitot Park, where Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau lit three torches carried by young athletes from the three teams. Holding the torches high above their heads, they ran across Frame Lake and lit the Arctic Winter Games torch. The first Arctic Winter Games had begun.

Photo courtesy of D. Paterson/Health and Welfare Canada

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Photo courtesy of D. Paterson/Health and Welfare Canada

Photo courtesy of Sport North Federation


Photo courtesy of NWT Archives/Sport North Federation (N-1991-060: 0050)

Photo courtesy of NWT Archives/Sport North Federation (N-1991-060: 0041)

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Photo courtesy of NWT Archives/Sport North Federation (N-1991-060: 0041) Photo courtesy of NWT Archives/Dept. of Public Works and Services (G-1990-007: 006)

With the opening ceremonies completed, spectators settled in to watch the demonstrations of the traditional Arctic Sports. Games like the high kick, rope gymnastics and harpoon throwing fascinated the spectators, including Trudeau who tried his hand, or perhaps foot, at the high kick. Very few outsiders had ever seen any of these games before and they were fascinated by the skill and dexterity required. Mickey Gordon of Inuvik set the first AWG high kick record with a kick of 77 inches. Except for the harpoon toss, these events took place inside the Gerry Murphy arena, where more than 1,000 people cheered and clapped while competitors, as well as the Inuvik Drummers and Dancers, shared their culture. These Arctic Sports, which had originally been scheduled for only the first day of competition, proved so popular that the participants were asked to repeat their demonstrations for the next three days. When all was said and done, the first Arctic Winter Games were not about winning ulus. These Games had accomplished exactly what they set out to accomplish. They gave northerners a chance to meet other northerners, hone their athletic skills, and enjoy participating in a sport in a friendly, northern environment. Within a day or two of beginning, the first AWG was being declared a “smashing success” and, when the Games torch was extinguished, all the talk was about the next Games…“Just wait till ’72 in Whitehorse.”


THE PARTICIPANTS

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Dene Games Team NWT collects 14 medals in five different Dene Games events Photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison and the Arctic Winter Games International Committee


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W

alking into GUX School during Dene Games competition was a sight to be seen. In the centre of a large glass atrium, kneeling atop bright yellow and blue mats, was the centre of the action: hand games teams from across the circumpolar world trying to outwit each other, while a loud chorus of drummers surrounded them, filling the hall with a beat that echoed through the streets of Nuuk. At the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, Dene Games competitions were held in four categories: junior male, open male, juvenile female and junior female. Athletes competed in storied events such as the finger pull, snow snake, stick pull, pole push and hand games. In each class they were also awarded allaround ulus based on results from the individual events. The competitions were held at USK School, GUX School and outside of AHL School.

Team NWT brought home four team ulus and 10 individual ulus. The junior male team won bronze in hand games; the junior female team won gold in pole push; and the juvenile female team won bronze in hand games and gold in pole push. Dalton Beamish of Fort Smith won gold in finger pull; MiyahMae Stewart of Fort Smith won bronze in finger pull; Kendall Archie of Aklavik won bronze in snow snake; Cassandra Paul of Aklavik won gold in snow snake; Izzy Heron of Fort Smith won silver in snow snake; Joelle Archie of Aklavik won gold in snow snake and silver for all-around junior female; and Kayleigh Hunter of Fort Resolution won gold in finger pull, bronze in snow snake and silver for all-around juvenile female.


“


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Ko, Madi Fraser, Austen Hart, Taylor Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

One Foot High Kick Open Female

One Foot High Kick Open Male

Gold Silve Bronze

Two Foot High Kick Open Male

Gold Silver Bronze

Arm Pull Junior Male Panika, Dennis Fobe, Payton Thrasher, Payton

Arm Pull Open Female Olesen, Nadja Cumberbatch, Deseray Selina, Britney L

Brønlund, Milka Josenius, Cecilia Josefsen Mannuk, Mina Anna Opik

Gold Silver Bronze Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Nielsen, Nuka Mark Ketwa-Driefer, Toke Jean, Simon

Gold Silver Bronze

Greenland Greenland Alberta North

Hegelund, Pilunnguaq Gold Petersen, Miinannguaq Søholm Silver Turcotte, Kennedy Bronze

Singles Juvenile Male

Singles Juvenile Female Greenland Greenland Alberta North Patel, Dhruv Berthelsen, Angutivik Quan, Aaron

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze Ketwa-Driefer/Nielsen Jean/Walisser Cookie/Kyak-Sudlovenick

Gold Silver Bronze

Brønlund/Josefsen Mannuk/Nakashook Quan/Turcotte

Doubles Junior Female Greenland Nunavut Alberta North Greenland Alberta North Nunavut

Josefsen/Nielsen Brønlund/Ketwa-Driefer Turcotte/Jean Greenland Alberta North Nunavik Québec

North Patel/Quan Berthelsen/Langholz Audla/Kavik

Hegelund/Søholm Petersen Thakore/Turcotte Kiatainaq/Simiunie

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Doubles Juvenile Mix

Team Alaska Team NWT Team Nunavut

Doubles Juvenile Male Alberta Greenland Nunavut

Hegelund/Langholz Patel/Turcotte Berthelsen/Petersen

BASKETBALL Junior Female

Alaska Northwest Territories Nunavut

Gold Silver Bronze

Greenland Alberta North Greenland

Doubles Juvenile Female

Doubles Junior Mix Greenland Greenland Alberta North

Doubles Junior Male

Gold Silver Bronze

Alberta North Greenland Alberta North

Singles Junior Male

Greenland Greenland Nunavut

Singles Junior Female

BADMINTON

Greenland Nunavik Québec Northwest Territories

Nunavut Yukon Northwest Territories

Alaska Northwest Territories Yukon

Alaska Alaska Northwest Territories

Alaska Alaska Yukon

Alaska Alaska Yukon

Yukon Alaska Northwest Territories

Alaska Yukon Alaska

Alaska Yukon Alaska

Alaska Alaska Yukon

Yukon Alaska Alaska

Alaska Northwest Territories Alaska

Yukon Alaska Alaska

Alaska Alaska Yukon

Team Yukon Team Alaska Team NWT

Bierma, Josh Steiner, Matthias Joseph Adel, Aidan

Kilby, Elizabeth Wilson, Helen Chipesia, Julienne

Jones, Dylan Moos, Jacob Wesley Wilson, Bruce

Sam, Carolyn McLeod, Erin Skye Kitchen, Marika

Adel, Aidan Jones, Cole Steiner, Matthias Joseph

Wilson, Helen Porter, Veronica Kilby, Elizabeth

Jones, Dylan Wilson, Bruce Moos, Jacob Wesley

McLeod, Erin Skye Sam, Carolyn Kitchen, Marika

Adel, Aidan Jones, Cole Bierma, Josh

Wilson, Helen Chipesia, Julienne Kilby, Elizabeth

Wilson, Bruce Moos, Jacob Wesley Jones, Dylan

Sam, Carolyn McLeod, Erin Skye Kitchen, Marika

Gold

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

2.5 km Mass Start Juvenile Female

2.5 km Mass Start Juvenile Male

3.0 km Sprint Junior Female

3.0 km Sprint Junior Male

2.0 km Sprint Juvenile Female

2.0 km Sprint Juvenile Male

5.0 km Individual Junior Female

5.0 km Individual Junior Male

3.0 km Individual Juvenile Female

3.0 km Individual Juvenile Male

3 x 2.0 km Relay Junior Mix

3 x 2.0 km Relay Juvenile Mix

Alberta North Northwest Territories Alaska

Greenland Nunavik Québec Alaska

Northwest Territories Nunavik Québec Alberta North

Nunavut Nunavik Québec Alaska

Northwest Territories Alaska Alberta North

Alaska Yukon Nunavut

Nunavik Québec Alberta North Nunavik Québec

Yukon Nunavut Alaska

Nunavik Québec Yukon Alaska

Alaska Nunavut Nunavut

Northwest Territories Northwest Territories Northwest Territories

Alaska Alaska Nunavut

Northwest Territories Yukon Northwest Territories

James, Tim Willie, Curtis Daniel Vanlandingham, Brandon Scott

Ladouceur, Alice Archie, Holly Randazzo, Autumn Maria

Team Greenland Team Nunavik Québec Team Alaska

Team NWT Team Nunavik Québec Team Alberta North

Team Nunavut Team Nunavik Québec Team Alaska

Team NWT Team Alaska Team Alberta North

Strick, Robert Charles O’Brien, Tyler Willie, Lionel Enoogoo

Angnatuk, Sarah Neesotasis, Starr Thomassie, Saviluk

Dendys, Jedrek Willie, Curtis Daniel James, Tim

Weetaluktuk, Penina McGinty, Maureen Wilmarth, Misty May

Dewberry, Kayleigh Naqitaqvik, Tom Levi, Thomas

Paul, Cassandra Heron, Cassandra Hunter, Kayleigh

Glenzel, Ryan James, Ryan Willie, Curtis Daniel

Archie, Holly Primozic, Sarina Archie, Kendall

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

All Around Juvenile Female

All Around Junior Male

All Around Junior

Pole Push Open Male

Pole Push Juvenile Female

Pole Push Junior Male

Pole Push Junior Female

Stick Pull Open Male

Stick Pull Juvenile Female

Stick Pull Junior Male

Stick Pull Junior Female

Snow Snake Open Male

Snow Snake Juvenile Female

Snow Snake Junior Male

Alaska Nunavut Alaska

Snow Snake Junior Female

RESULTS

Yukon Alaska Northwest Territories

Team Alaska

4.0 km Mass Start Junior Male

Alaska

4.0 km Mass Start Junior Female

BIATHLON – SNOWSHOE

AWG 2016 NUUK ARCTIC SPORTS Alaska Alberta North Alberta North Day, Underwood Tanuyak, Dion Meask, Clayton Gold Silver Bronze

One Foot High Kick Junior Female

Northwest Territories Nunavut Alaska Curtis, Melanie Cumberbatch, Deseray Ridley, Autumn Apok Gold Silver Bronze

One Foot High Kick Junior Male

Alberta North Nunavik Québec Alaska Ivanoff, Makiyan Jay Bell, Drew Fisker, Tonny

Day, Underwood Meask, Clayton Gruben, Brayden Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Alaska Nunavut Greenland Ko, Madi Johnson, Terry O’Donovan, Fayne

Two Foot High Kick Junior Female Alaska Alaska Yukon Northwest Territories Alaska Northwest Territories

Ridley, Autumn Apok Vaska, Amber Jeannine Curtis, Melanie

Gold Silver Bronze

Two Foot High Kick Junior Male

Alaska Alaska Alberta North

Hanson, Nick Ivanoff, Makiyan Jay Fisker, Tonny

Two Foot High Kick Open Female

Alaska Alaska Greenland Gruben, Jemra Ko, Madi Johnson, Terry

Alaskan High Kick Junior Female Northwest Territories Alaska Alaska Gold Silver Bronze

Alaskan High Kick Junior Male Tanuyak, Dion Asicksik, Brandon Charles, Murphy

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Nunavut Alaska Alaska

Ridley, Autumn Apok Meckel, Erica Curtis, Melanie

Alaskan High Kick Open Female Alaska Alaska Alberta North

Jakobsen, Bent Ivanoff, Makiyan Jay Day, James

Alaskan High Kick Open Male Greenland Alaska Northwest Territories

Gold Silver Bronze

Kneel Jump Junior Female

Poulter, Robyn Hapanak, Lyla-Marie Taliruq Johnson, Terry

Gold

Yukon Nunavut Alaska

Day, Underwood

Kneel Jump Junior Male Northwest Territories


AKSAT PRE Y A

TS N SE

T U SA


THE ARCTIC WINTER GAMES

Photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison, Thorsten Gohl and the Arctic Winter Games International Committee


Charles, Murphy Meask, Clayton Gold Silver Bronze

Silver Bronze

Greenland Yukon Yukon

BIATHLON- SKI

McMullen, Zanden Nikolas Hupé, Aidan Champagne, Romeo

Slettemark, Ukaleq Sellars, Dana Jamie Goodwin, Bronwyn

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Junior Male

Alaska Alaska Vaska, Amber Jeannine Ridley, Autumn Apok Wilson, Julianne Gold Silver Bronze

Alaska Yukon Yukon Gilliland, Grace Peters, Maria Margaret Esther Hildes, Micah Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Alaska Alaska Alaska Fisker, Tonny Bell, Drew Worl, Kyle Gold Silver Bronze

Alaska Yukon Yukon Adel, Liam North Goldhawk, Kieran Hoogendorn, Wilson

Team Alaska Team NWT Team Yukon

Greenland Nunavut Alaska Wille, Tittu Longortov, Denis Jakobsen, Bent Gold Silver Bronze

Yukon Alberta North Alaska

Alaska Northwest Territories Yukon

Greenland Yamal Greenland Jacobson, Matt Bell, Drew Jakobsen, Bent Gold Silver Bronze

Head Pull Open Male

One Hand Reach Open Male

Airplane Open Male

Kneel Jump Open Male

Kneel Jump Open Female

Yukon Nunavut Greenland Tonny Fisker Drew Bell Ittukusuk Heilmann

Slettemark, Ukaleq Goodwin, Bronwy Darrow, Eloise

Gold Silver Bronze

4.0 km Sprint Juvenile Female

7.5 km Individual Junior Male

7.5 km Individual Junior Female

5.0 km Individual Juvenile Male

5.0 km Individual Juvenile Female

Greenland Nunavut Greenland

Knuckle Hop Open Male Greenland Yukon Alaska Gold Silver Bronze

Stipdonk, Christopher Daniel Gold Worl, Kyle Silver Hanson, Nick Bronze

McMullen, Zanden Nikolas Littlefair, Spencer Michaelson, Ben

Alaska Yukon Alaska

Goldhawk, Kieran Stiassny, Peter Adel, Liam

Gilliland, Grace Peters, Maria Margaret Esther Trowbridge, Bianca

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Alaska Northwest Territories Alberta North

Team Alaska Team Yukon Team NWT

Team Alaska Team NWT Team Alberta North

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

3 X 4.5 km Relay Junior Mix Alaska Yukon Northwest Territories

3 X 3.0 km Relay Juvenile Mix

7.5 Mass Start Junior Male Alberta North Alaska Yukon

7.5 Mass Start Junior Female

5.0 km Mass Start Juvenile Male

5.0 km Mass Start Juvenile Female

6.0 km Sprint Junior Male

6.0 km Sprint Junior Female

4.0 km Sprint Juvenile Male

Alaska Northwest Territories Alaska

Northwest Territories Alaska Alaska

Sledge Jump Junior Female Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Malygina, Iluliia Chernilevskaia, Margarita King, Emily

Gilliland, Grace Peters, Maria Margaret Esther Trowbridge, Bianca

Yamal Yamal Yukon

Sledge Jump Junior Male Alaska Yukon Alaska

Hodge, Zachary Amossen, Paalo Somera, James

Gold Silver Bronze

Alberta North Greenland Alberta North

Sledge Jump Open Female

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Adel, Liam Goldhawk, Kieran Sennett, Daniel

Bengts, Stacie Curtis, Melanie Cumberbatch, Deseray Yukon Alberta North Yukon

Northwest Territories Alberta North Nunavik Québec

Sledge Jump Open Male

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Slettemark, Ukaleq Wuttig, Hanna Alyse Sellars, Dana Jamie

Khudi, Sergei Longortov, Denis Wohlgemuth, Ethan Greenland Alaska Yukon

Yamal Yamal Alberta North

Triple Jump Junior Female

Gold Silver Bronze

Ko, Madi Gold Chernilevskaia, Margarita Silver Hapanak, Lyla-Marie Taliruq Bronze

Triple Jump Junior Male

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

McMullen, Zanden Nikolas Michaelson, Ben Wallace, Donovan

Alaska Yamal Nunavut Hodge, Zachary Rich, Mekhai Thrasher, Joe

Alaska Alaska Alberta North

Alberta North Alaska Northwest Territories Cumberbatch, Deseray Curtis, Melanie Meckel, Erica

Triple Jump Open Female Nunavik Québec Alberta North Alaska

Gold Silver Bronze

Triple Jump Open Male

Bell, Drew Khudi, Sergei Fisker, Tonny

Gold Silver Bronze

Nunavut Yamal Greenland

Tourangeau, Maddy Albisser, Anisa O’Donovan, Fayne

Arm Pull Junior Female Alberta North Yukon Yukon

Northwest Territories Yukon

DENE GAMES

Team NWT Team Yukon

Silver Bronze

Northwest Territories Alaska Nunavik Québec

Alaska Nunavik Québec Alberta North

Hunter, Kayleigh Thomassie, Saviluk Stewart, Miyah-mae

Gold Silver Bronze

Beamish, Dalton Kenneth Gold Vanlandingham, Brandon Scott Silver Emudluk, Jimmy Bronze

Randazzo, Autumn Maria Forrest-Hubloo, Aani Ladouceur, Alice

Gold Silver Bronze

Finger Pull Junior Female

Northwest Territories Nunavik Québec Northwest Territories

Martin, Chris Kruse, Edvard Strick, Robert Charles

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Nunavik Québec Greenland Alaska

Team Yukon Team Alberta North Team Alaska

Hand Games Junior Female

Finger Pull Open Male

Finger Pull Juvenile Female

Finger Pull Junior Male

Yukon Alberta North Alaska

Yukon Nunavik Québec Northwest Territories

Team Nunavik Québec Team Alaska Team NWT

Team Yukon Team Nunavik Québec Team NWT

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Hand Games Junior Male

Nunavik Québec Alaska Northwest Territories

Team Yukon Team Alaska Team Greenland

Hand Games Open Male

Hand Games Juvenile Female

Yukon Alaska Greenland

Northwest Territories Greenland Alberta North

Greenland Alaska Yukon

Alaska Alberta North Northwest Territories

Sápmi Yukon Greenland

Alaska Alaska Alaska

Nunavik Québec Northwest Territories Nunavik Québec

Team Alaska Team Greenland Team Yukon

Team NWT Team Greenland Team Alberta North

Team Greenland Team Alaska Team Yukon

Team Alaska Team Alberta North Team NWT

Team Sápmi Team Yukon Team Greenland

Strick, Robert Charles Dewberry, Drew Standifer Jr, Randy

Angnatuk, Sarah Hunter, Kayleigh Thomassie, Saviluk

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Gold Silver Bronze

Juvenile Male

Juvenile Female

Junior Male

Junior Female

Intermediate Female

FUTSAL

All Around Open Male

Alaska Greenland Yukon

For full results from every sporting category, visit www.awg2016.org

Northwest Territories

Greenland

Alberta North

Yukon

Alaska

6

16

39

29

23

83

9

18

12

23

32

41

67

4

6

25

23

19

27

36

66

8

19

21

49

51

81

88

100

216

TOTAL

Nunavut

6

7

1

SILVER BRONZE

Nunavik Québec

8

5

GOLD

Sápmi

2

FINAL MEDAL COUNT

Yamal


Arctic Sports

Team NWT brings home 11 ulus from Nussuaq Gym Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

BY LINE

Underwood Day of Inuvik led Team NWT’s Arctic Sports team with gold ulus in the one-foot high kick, two-foot high kick, kneel jump and for all-around junior male. “I really like competing,” he says. “When I’m in competition there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”


42

THE

TEAM BRITNEY SELINA Open Female

SOPHIE STEFURE Open Female

JEMRA GRUBEN Junior Female

JIMMY KALINEK Coach/ Open Male

OLIVIA INGLANGASAK Junior Female

JOE THRASHER JR. Junior Male

DORA HANSEN Junior Female

UNDERWOOD DAY Junior Male


YVONNE DOOLITTLE Coach

CHRIS CHURCH Open Male

JAMES DAY JR. Open Male

CASSANDRA KUPTANA Junior Female

ROBIN RADDI JR. Junior Male

DAWSON ELIAS Junior Male

BRAYDEN GRUBEN Junior Male

CHRIS STIPDONK Open Male

AGNES KRENGNEKTAK Junior Female Missing from the team photos is Stacie Bengts


44

A

rctic Sports are arguably the defining event of the Arctic Winter Games, and in Nuuk this past March it was no different. For five days, spectators and dignitaries from all over the world – including Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark – filled Nuussuaq Gym to watch the unique sports of strength, flexibility, endurance and pain. Arctic Sports competitions were held in four categories: junior male, junior female, open male and open female. All athletes competed in one-foot high kick, two-foot high kick, Alaskan high kick, kneel jump, sledge jump and triple jump. Junior men and women competed in the arm pull, and open men compete in the airplane, one hand reach, head pull and the grueling knuckle hop. In each class they also awarded all-around ulus based on results from the individual events. A total of 35 gold ulus were awarded at Arctic Sports.

Underwood Day, 15, brought home four of Team NWT’s 11 ulus at Arctic Sports, winning gold in the one-foot high kick, two-foot high kick, kneel jump and for all-around junior male. “I got into Arctic Sports mostly because of my big brother James,” he says. “He really pushed me into doing the games. I guess I just kept practicing, and it’s really something I like to do. It keeps me in shape. It’s part of my culture.” This was Underwood’s first time at the Arctic Winter Games. His goal, he said, was to have fun, set new personal records and meet new people. The ulus were just the icing on the cake. “I really like competing,” Underwood says. “When I’m in competition there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. It puts me in such a good state of mind that I’m doing something that I love to do with other people that share the same mindset.” He hopes to one day teach Arctic Sports so that he can pass on the Inuvialuit tradition like his older brother James – and his advice for youth interested in


getting involved is simple. “Practice a lot, try your best and, when the time comes, give it your best shot and have fun,” he says. “Just go out there and try your best, make new friends and try to set records for yourself.”

It’s just really great, knowing that I don’t have to be first. I don’t have to win. It’s not about winning. There’s not one leader on the team. We’re all leaders in our own way.” —Underwood Day

In addition to Underwood’s four gold ulus, Team NWT’s Arctic Sports team raked in another seven ulus. Brayden Gruben won bronze in the two-foot high kick; Jemra Gruben won gold in the Alaskan high kick; James Day Jr. won bronze in the Alaskan high kick; Chris Stipdonk won gold for knuckle hop; Stacie Bengts won gold for sledge jump; Joe Trasher Jr. won bronze in triple jump; and Britney Selina won bronze in arm pull. “It’s just really great, knowing that I don’t have to be first. I don’t have to win. It’s not about winning,” Underwood says of the inclusive and supportive atmosphere of Arctic Sports. “There’s not one leader on the team. We’re all leaders in our own way.”


46

THE

ULUKHAKTU


U MIUT

Lucy Ann Okheena and Jacob Klengenberg were Team NWT’s only competitors from Ulukhaktok. “You have to keep yourself calm, know where you’re from, know what you’re doing and have fun,” says Jacob of competing in the Snowshoe Biathlon at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison

Jacob Klengenberg and Lucy Ann Okheena travelled further than anyone else to represent Team NWT at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.


48

S

ports can take you anywhere you want to go – just ask Jacob Klengenberg and Lucy Ann Okheena of Ulukhaktok. Before the two teenagers travelled to Nuuk to compete in Snowshoe Biathlon for Team NWT, they had never left the country.

Now, back at home with stamps in their passports and memories to last a lifetime, they say they are glad they stepped outside their comfort zone and proved that you don’t have to be from a big community to make it big at the Arctic Winter Games. Both raised in Ulukhaktok and students at Helen Kalvak School, Jacob, 16, and Lucy Ann, 13, were underdogs at the territorial trials in Hay River in December. Although Jacob had been hunting for much of his life, Lucy Ann hadn’t even shot a gun until she took a biathlon class eight months prior. That was when Pat Bobinski of the NWT Biathlon Association visited their community to teach a course on the sport in April 2015. Over eighty students were taught the rules of biathlon and the basics of shooting, and school principal Richard McKinnon says Jacob and Lucy Ann took to the sport easily. “They stood out pretty much right away,” he says. For the next seven months they trained, first with Richard and then with Duncan Marsh, a local RCMP officer, and his wife Kelly, a teacher at the school. Once they made the team in Hay River, they took their training to the next level. They trained six days a week, running and practicing shooting during lunch hours and working out with Kelly on Saturdays. They changed their diets, eating only healthy, fuel-building food, and honed their shooting skills. “They took it very seriously,” Richard says.


On the track in Nuuk, Lucy Ann was a fierce competitor. In one race, she finished five seconds behind third place. She pushed herself so hard that she injured herself, and was forced to sit out the rest of competition. “I was nervous, but I had fun,” she says. “Even if you’re nervous, you should still try. It was exciting. I got to meet a lot of new friends.” Lucy Ann couldn’t hide the disappointment on her face of having to miss out on races, but the shy teenager still rallied behind her teammates and cheered them on from the sidelines. Later in the week, when she couldn’t compete with her relay team, she acted as assistant coach, leading them to a silver ulu. Jacob brought home a bronze ulu with his relay team, and says the Arctic Winter Games were an unforgettable trip. “It was very exciting and I had a great experience,” he says. Jacob also had the honour of being named Team NWT’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. His biathlon team was stranded in Kangerlussuaq so he had to go it alone, but he says it was an unforgettable experience. “I was pretty shocked and a bit nervous, but I had fun,” he says. Richard says that Jacob and Lucy Ann have inspired countless Ulukhaktok youth to get involved in sports and train for competitions outside of the community. “They wouldn’t tell you this because they’re so humble, but they really have become role models,” he says. “They’re both excellent students. They’re very driven and goal oriented.” Jacob and Lucy Ann both plan on competing in the 2018 Arctic Winter Games. Lucy Ann says she wants to improve on her shooting skills, while Jacob says he wants to improve his running times. The one thing they know for sure is wherever biathlon takes them, the community of Ulukhaktok will be at home, cheering them on.


50

THE

MOOSE Liam Larocque helps bring home a silver ulu for Team NWT Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


Liam Larocque played a key role at the Arctic Winter Games as centre for Team NWT’s junior boys’ basketball team. “He’s a great role model for the community of Inuvik and all the basketball players across the NWT,” says coach Aaron Wells.


52

B

orn and raised in Inuvik, Liam Larocque made the move to Yellowknife last year to join the NWT Junior Men’s Basketball Program. The youngest of eight brothers and sisters, the 17-year-old traded in his East Three Eagles jersey to play high performance basketball in the capital under coach Aaron Wells.

“He’s a tremendous athlete and one of, if not our best player on the team right now,” says Aaron. “He made the move this year and he has skyrocketed in his development steadily. He’s grown even more, his footwork has improved and his shot has improved. He’s just developed into quite a tremendous player.” Liam’s Team NWT basketball team, defending their title from the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, came home from Nuuk with a silver medal. “I think we could have won gold, but it’s pretty good for most of our first times at the Games,” Liam says. The disappointment of coming second isn’t the memory that will stick with him, he says, but the bond he formed with his teammates. “It was pretty fun, just playing at a high level and playing with a great group of guys,” he says. “Just bonding with my team and getting to know them a lot better. That’s what I’ll remember.”

Liam was one of only three athletes from outside Yellowknife on the Arctic Winter Games team, but you wouldn’t know it on the court. That is partly because of his decision to move to the capital last summer and join the high performance program, which brings together the best basketball players in Grade 9 to 12 from St. Patrick High School, Sir John Franklin High School and across the territory. They practice year‑round, sometimes five days a week, play in the men’s league to improve their game, and travel to tournaments outside the territory. “I just wanted to get better,” Liam explains of his decision to make the move. He now lives with his older sister Kyla, who he says is a great influence on him. “She pushes me to be good in school and encourages me to play hard in basketball,” he says. On the court, Liam dominates – not just for his size, but for his leadership, and the skills he has honed since moving to Yellowknife. “He’s a good leader. He’s very vocal. He works well with everyone on the team, he has a good basketball IQ and he picks up concepts very easily,” says Aaron. “He’s not afraid to help out his teammates who are struggling with picking up concepts.” His teammates call him Moose, a nickname he acquired while playing volleyball at East Three Secondary School in Inuvik. He was attempting to block a spike, and a teammate commented that his large hands resembled a moose rack. The name stuck. When his teammates called out “Moose!” on the basketball court in Nuuk, some opposing teams mistook it for the name of a secret play. Liam was in Grade 12 at St. Patrick High School last year, but hopes to return in the fall to complete upgrading and compete in another season with the NWT Junior Men’s Basketball Program. Afterwards, he plans on pursuing a career in the trades, although college coaches down south have expressed interest in him trying out for their teams. Next summer he will represent the Northwest Territories at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. “He’s a tremendous player, and I hope other kids in the territory really see what he’s done and accomplished, and choose to pursue the same path he has,” says Aaron. “He’s a great role model for the community of Inuvik and all the basketball players across the NWT.”


54

THE KNUCKLE HOPPER

How a first timer went on to win gold in one of the Arctic Winter Games’ toughest events Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


Chris Stipdonk of Fort Simpson won a gold ulu in knuckle hop after hopping 179 feet 9 inches.


56

C

hris Stipdonk attended the 2016 Arctic Winter Games as a member of the Arctic Sports team, but there was never any doubt in his teammates’ minds that he was there for one thing and one thing only – to win a gold ulu in knuckle hop.

“I’ve never witnessed that before in my life,” says Steve Cockney Sr., who attended the Team NWT Arctic Sports trials in Inuvik. “He was really something to see. He was right on the start line there, and as soon as we said go he was gone. I just about had to run after him! He took off like a bat out of hell. It really caught us by surprise.” Although that was the first time Cockney, an Arctic Sports veteran, had ever met or even heard of Chris, his success at the trials – which earned him a spot on the team – was no fluke or accident. In fact, he had been training for that moment for well over a year, lifting weights, doing gymnastics, running, and then later hitting a heavy bag with boxing gloves on to build callouses, doing thousands upon thousands of pushups and practicing the knuckle hop with boxing gloves on to get used to the motion and technique, the timing and rhythm, while saving his knuckles for competition. “Just like all the other Arctic Sports events, if you want to do well you need to practice and have good technique. You don’t get lucky at Arctic Sports. You don’t win by chance. You need to put the time in to do well,” explains Chris. “It’s not like soccer, for example, where you kick a ball and all of a sudden it goes in the top corner and you win the game. It doesn’t happen in Arctic Sports. You can either do it or you can’t. And that’s kind of the way it is.”

Chris is a natural athlete, having competed in three prior AWGs in three separate events: soccer in 2000, badminton in 2002 and snowshoeing in 2004. He was raised in Fort Simpson and now lives there with his wife and two children, who all travelled to the Games to support him and watch him achieve a lifelong goal of winning an ulu. “I wanted to go to the Arctic Winter Games again. I knew what my strong and weak events were, and knuckle hop was a strong one for me. I really wanted an ulu, so I thought this was a good chance to get one,” he says. “Knuckle hop is a tough event. It’s physically tough. It’s mentally tough. You know it’s going to be a rough one minute. I think I was hopping for 70 seconds. You’ve got to accept that it’s going to be a really tough minute. What I do is I kind of brace myself, and tell myself, I don’t want to be sitting on those stands ten minutes from now going, ‘Oh, I wish I tried a little bit harder. I wish that I’d done two more hops.’ So before I hop I think of that. Are you willing to accept the costs for the benefit?” It paid off for Chris, who won gold and was shy of the world record by a mere 12 feet. His competition was stiff too – in second place was Kyle Worl, son of Rodney Worl, who has held the knuckle hop world record of 191 feet 10 inches since 1988. “Twelve feet from that world record isn’t very many seconds, it isn’t that many more hops, so it was a little bit humbling to me to come just short of that,” he says. As for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games? Chris says not to count him out just yet.

Just like all the other Arctic Sports events, if you want to do well you need to practice and have good technique. You don’t get lucky at Arctic Sports. You don’t win by chance. You need to put the time in to do well. It’s not like soccer, for example, where you kick a ball and all of a sudden it goes in the top corner and you win the game. It doesn’t happen in Arctic Sports. You can either do it or you can’t. And that’s kind of the way it is.” —Chris Stipdonk


58

THE VOLUNTEER

Jacob Peffer, 24, has represented the Northwest Territories around the globe as a volunteer Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


Jacob Peffer, left, with a Greenlandic volunteer at the Snowshoe Biathlon track in Qinngorput.


60

V

olunteering has taken Jacob Peffer, 24, to British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Alaska and even as far as Botswana. His latest trip, to volunteer as a Youth Ambassador at the Arctic Winter Games, is an experience he says he will never forget.

“It’s an opportunity to travel with NWT youth volunteering all over the country,” he says of the Northwest Territories Youth Ambassador program. Jacob first joined the program in 2012 to try something new, he says. Before graduating from East Three Secondary School in 2013, he had volunteered with Northern Youth Abroad, travelling to Surrey, BC and Botswana in southern Africa. He says he always loved volunteering, so wanted to continue it once he had completed school. Jacob and his fellow Youth Ambassadors spent 10 days in Nuuk, arriving before the giant snowstorm that led to a delay in the Games, and leaving well after the athletes headed home. Funnily enough, the snowstorm that delayed the Games was a highlight of his trip. “It’s different because there’s no willows or trees there to block the wind, so it’s ten times windier, but also warm,” he explains. Although the storm lasted two days, it didn’t stop Jacob and his fellow Youth Ambassadors from roaming Greenland’s capital. “We went exploring and went for breakfast, because we were all starving kids,” he says with a laugh.

This was Jacob’s second time volunteering at the Arctic Winter Games, the first time being in 2014 in Fairbanks, Alaska. This time around, Jacob was placed at Ski and Snowshoe Biathlon where he handed out blankets and water to athletes, was a timekeeper and acted as MC for the events of the day. He often volunteered with local youth from across Greenland, learning about other Northern cultures and communities, and helping out wherever needed. “I’d love for other youth to get involved in volunteering,” Jacob says. “It’s great experience and it keeps you out of trouble. You can do good for your community. You can get recognized. There’s a whole number of benefits to volunteering.” One of Jacob’s mentors, Debbie Karl of Inuvik, says that volunteering has had a huge impact on his life, and helped him to achieve success against all odds. “Youth Ambassadors has been an incredible experience and I believe his two years in the Northern Youth Abroad program prior was the real beginning,” she says. “He has overcome and worked through some things in life and come such a long way.” Jacob says he will continue volunteering, and looks forward to travelling to Winnipeg next summer for the Canada Summer Games.


62

“She’s almost peerless in the Delta,” says coach Colin Pybus of Kolbi Bernhardt’s skills on the soccer and futsal pitch. “She’s a shining example of a youth in the North and what’s possible.”


THE

STRIKER How one of Mangilaluk School’s star soccer players made it to the world stage Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


64

Just keep trying and don’t give up. Even though you’re from a small community, you still can make a change in your life.” —Kolbi Bernhardt


A

t the Futsal hall in Nuuk, Kolbi Bernhardt was an unstoppable force. Although the 16-year old from Tuktoyaktuk only started playing soccer at the age of 12, she had quickly made a name for herself playing with the boys’ team at Super Soccer for the past two years, and, keeping with her reputation, never lagged behind the play in Greenland. The only difference between her and her teammates was that in the weeks leading up to the Arctic Winter Games, she wasn’t in Yellowknife practicing alongside them, but up North recovering from pneumonia. “My goals were to try and win and have as much fun as I can with the team, and get to know the team more, because I didn’t really practice with them much,” Kolbi says of her experience in Nuuk. “I couldn’t really work out much before I left because of the pneumonia.” Luckily, her team gathered in Yellowknife a week before the Games to practice and get to know one another. Kolbi was one of only three players from outside the capital, so they had a week to mesh as a team. This was also the first Arctic Winter Games that featured futsal, which is very similar to soccer but has a heavier ball, with less of a bounce, so the team had to practice with that in mind as well. In Nuuk Kolbi’s team beat Greenland, one of the favourites to win, but then lost to them in the finals for third place. “We really wanted third place. We wanted that ulu,” she says. “But beating Greenland was definitely a highlight. It is their hometown where we were playing. That’s their sport.”

Kolbi grew up in Tuktoyaktuk, where she would practice soccer under the guidance of Gloria Elias during the school year, and play soccer at the reservoir during the summer months. “I just kept going at it until it became a hobby, and I got better and better as I practiced,” Kolbi explains. Colin agrees. “She’s grown as a soccer player, she’s grown as a person, but mainly what’s truly helped Kolbi is her ability to get involved outside of the community,” he says. That includes the Super Soccer tournaments in Yellowknife, and competing at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina. This year was Kolbi’s first and last Arctic Winter Games – she will be too old to compete in the intermediate division again in 2018 – but she says she is happy she got to experience them at least once. “I definitely enjoyed it. I loved going to a different country,” she says. Kolbi’s soccer days aren’t over though. The next Canada Summer Games will be held in 2017 in Winnipeg, and she hopes to make the team. Kolbi moved to Inuvik in February, and will complete Grade 12 at East Three Secondary School next year. “She’s a fantastic person. She’s a leader in the school already,” says Colin. “She’s kind, she’s caring towards others and she’s very academically inclined. The doors are just going to fly open for her as she carries on.” And Kolbi’s advice for youth growing up in the Delta? “Just keep trying and don’t give up. Even though you’re from a small community, you still can make a change in your life.”


66

THE

COMPETITOR DANIEL MELANSON FACES OFF AGAINST SOME OF GREENLAND’S FIERCEST BADMINTON PLAYERS Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


Hay River’s Daniel Melanson represented Team NWT Badminton at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.


68

I’ve always been a go‑getter. I never feel down about losing or messing up. I’ll always do better next time.” —Daniel Melanson


I

t’s not every day that you see an Inuvialuk youth competing in badminton on the world stage – but then again, Daniel Melanson isn’t your typical 18 year old.

Born in Inuvik, Daniel grew up all over Canada, moving to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and Moncton, New Brunswick, before finally settling in Hay River with his family. “Growing up, I just played every sport I could. It was always something I liked doing,” he says. As the second youngest of five siblings, Daniel said he has always been a competitive person. He first tried badminton in Grade 8 and admits that at the beginning he “wasn’t the best around.” Never willing to settle for less, Daniel and his friend, Elliot Pinto, became informal training partners. “We wanted to see who could be better,” he says. In 2014 he competed at the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, placing fourth and fifth in mixed doubles and singles, and winning a bronze ulu for doubles. In Nuuk he didn’t medal, but placed fourth once and fifth twice. “I was just hoping to do my best,” he says. “It’s still an experiencing going to multiple Games. You learn something new every time. In Nuuk I saw a lot of my weaknesses, where I was struggling in badminton and how I could improve.”

In the months leading up to the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, Daniel followed a training regimen from his Team NWT Badminton coach Julie Jeffery. His focus was on cardiovascular training and shot placement, so he did a lot of running, shuffling and jumping in the gym. “Mentally, I feel like I’m pretty strong. I’ve always been a go-getter. I never feel down about losing or messing up. I’ll always do better next time,” he says of the mental aspect of the game. “Badminton is a very precise sport. It’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s not really like basketball or hockey. You can play as a team, but there’s also a singles aspect there where it’s just you on the court,” he says. Having recently completed Grade 12 at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, Daniel is heading off to start school at the University of Calgary this summer. He hopes to study kinesiology, physiology and biology, and complete a minor in education. “If you want to play sports, you have to really dedicate your time to it, and you can’t do any of that stupid stuff like drugs and alcohol,” he says.


70

THE

RECORD

BREAKER JOELLE ARCHIE BEAT THE SNOW SNAKE RECORD BY AN UNPRECEDENTED 80 FEET TO TAKE HOME TEAM NWT’S FIRST GOLD ULU – AND A WORLD RECORD – TO AKLAVIK Words and photos by Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison


Joelle Archie beat the Snow Snake world record of 214 feet 7 inches at the Arctic Winter Games, throwing 296 feet 11 inches.


72

Joelle Archie, right, with her Dene Games teammate Kendall Archie.


O

ne of the first ulus of the 2016 Arctic Winter Games went to Joelle Archie of Aklavik, who broke the world record for the Snow Snake by more than 80 feet to take home gold for Team NWT. “It was crazy,” Joelle says. “It was really great. It was really awesome.” Joelle’s gold ulu, and her new record, was no fluke. Now 17, she has been practicing traditional Dene Games for over five years. In the months leading up to the Games, she would head down to the ice road on the Peel River and practice with her friends – over and over and over again. “It’s like a spear. You have to hold it and you have to slide it on the ground, on the ice, and see how far you can throw it,” she says of the deceivingly simple game. Doing well at Snow Snake takes practice though, and breaking the record – by an astounding 80 feet – doesn’t happen every day. At the games, Joelle threw 296 feet 11 inches, beating the 2010 world record of 214 feet 7 inches. Joelle, who also won a gold ulu for Snow Snake at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, had a feeling she might

repeat her performance in Nuuk. “Lorna Storr, she just trained me a lot, gave me advice. Just practice and practice and keep practicing,” she says of her coach and mentor, also from Aklavik. “We just went out on the ice road and practiced over and over.” At the 2014 Games, in addition to her gold ulu in Snow Snake, Joelle was awarded a silver ulu for best all around female at the Dene Games. In Nuuk she did one better, receiving a gold ulu for Snow Snake, a silver ulu for best all-around female and a gold ulu with her team for Pole Push. “It was really great,” she says. “It was really amazing. I feel proud.” Joelle says that her community of Aklavik, always supportive, was a bit shocked at her record breaking Snow Snake throw. Joelle says she is already excited for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games, but that we will have to wait and see if she decides to compete again. In the meantime, she says one of her goals is to become a leader and teach Dene Games to youth in Aklavik, helping to carry on the tradition to future generations.


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GETTING ACTIVE

Whether you like traditional Arctic Sports like the arm pull and tug-of-war, or more ‘down south’ sports like soccer and badminton, there’s no shortage of ways to get active in the North this summer! Words and translations by ICRC Illustrations by Sheree Mcleod

INUINNAQTUN

1. Huliva?

2. Ayaraaqtuq.

3. Aqamaaktuq

4. Mukpaktuq.

5. Nuhiugautiyuq.

6. Annu.


GETTING ACTIVE inuvialuktun language games #8

SIGLITUN

1. Sumava?

2. Ayaraaqtuaq.

3. Muqpaktuaq.

4. Nuqirautiyuat.

5. Pirnirmiuttuaq.

6. Taptaaqtuat.


3. Muqpaktuq.

^ 4.Hangtilaaqhuting nuqitautiruat.

^ 5. Aqamauraqtut.

^ 6. Marauraqtut.

Answers

1. What is he/she doing? 2. He/she is doing string games. 3. He/she is playing soccer. 4. They are playing tug-of-war. 5. He/she is playing arm pull game. 6. They are playing the game of who can make each other laugh/who can keep a straight face.

2. Ayaqhaaqtuq.

1. Huliqiva?

UUMMARMIUTUN inuvialuktun language games #8

GETTING ACTIVE 76


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Tusaayaksat Magazine – Summer 2016  

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