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Tusaayaksat magzaine / Summer/fall 2013 Relaunch double issue / $5


Towards Rebirth? the passion for

stories that need to be heard

Cut & Play Language Games

preserving culture and language


Sacred Places:

Whaling Camps


Do Try This At Home:

Launching our Northern Games Series!


ISR Graduates

Our Mission:


Tusaayaksat means “stories and voices that need to be heard”. We celebrate the Inuvialuit People, Culture and Heritage.

To empower, celebrate, Afraid Crying Happy communicate, heal and bond. To bring you the best coverage of our news, vibrant culture and perspectives.

Language feature 4 Inuvialuktun: Towards Re-birth? 21 Elders Win Awards for Language & Culture 22 The Elder and the iPad




Language game 26 Inuvialuktun Word Games









Find out about the language revival in the classroom.

News 114 Historic Devolution Signing 40 The Inuvik Tuk Highway 52 First Northern Games Summit @ East 3 35, 162, 98 News Blurbs

Kangiryuarmiutun, Siglitun & Uummarmiutun Dialect games

Special events 36 Inuvialuit Day 58 Pride and Joy – Aboriginal Day

71. 46.

Think you can easily bust-out a one Hand reach? learn how.

91. 80.

think life is hard now? Annie Emaghok takes us back in time.

Inspiring youth. inspiring stories. Get Psyched!

118. Aarigaa!!!!!! It’s graduation time!

When we say ‘island time’, we mean ‘island time’.

91 High School Graduations Inuvik Ulukhaktok Aklavik Tuktoyaktuk 112 The spirit of the drums 158 Joyful Oceans Day 97 Aurora College’s 2013 Convocation




Like the sea? Looove the sea? So do we (love the sea).

A momentuous gathering, stunning artworks. It’s the GNAF.


Love nature? Read on to unlock NorthWest Territories.

What’s your opinion on the inuvik tuk highway?

Northern games series 46 One hand Reach


Know what ‘devolution’ means? (It’s important). Check it out.

Hunters & trappers 54 From Across the Border 56 Local Observers Engaged in Paulatuk Beluga Monitoring

Our voices 100 Love: Interpreting Nature 62 John Stuart Jr. on Regional Youth Wellness 64 Breaking Through – Junior Rangers

Elder story 71 The Good Life – Memories of Imaryuk, Husky Lakes

Youth speak up 68 James Kuptana – My journey thus far 80 Living Her Life – Davonna Kasook 84 Stand Up Now – Caleb Lennie 88 Through her eyes – Haley Smith 90 Up & Up – Preston Dosedel 108 The moment that changed everything – Shayla Snowshoe

Culture feature 118 Sacred Places 130 An Education Outside 132 Aklavik’s Summer retreat 142 Fun times at Shingle Point 146 Billy Joss Open 150 GNAF 25th Anniversary

On the Cover:

Jolena Jacobson (Inuvik) is a 3 year old fan of the Inuvialuktun App. She aces the App’s quizzes, especially the ones on butterflies. Jolena’s mummy, Marie is part of the team who created this App!


On the Back Cover:

Kyle Kuptana has been playing Northern Games since he was very young, and represented the NWT in national and regional competitions, bringing back many medals! Like all Northern Games athletes, his emphasis is on friendship and helping others – he volunteers to help more youth learn and play the games.



Haley Smith

James Kuptana

Published quarterly by ICS at Box 1704, 292 Mackenzie Rd, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, X0E 0T0. This is a special DOUBLE issue! Contact us at +1 867 777 2320 or ics@northwestel.net


Publisher Inuvialuit Communications Society Editor Zoe Ho Art Creative Director Zoe Ho Art Director/Designer Marten Sims


40 & 62.

Shayla Snowshoe

Kayla HansenCraik

David Stewart

Editorial Team Writer/Photographer Zoe Ho Writer/Photographer David Stewart Inuvialuktun translatorS Albert Elias & Lillian Elias Contributors Adam Kudlak, Haley Smith, James Kuptana, Kayla Hansen-Craik, Paden Lennie, Albert Elias, Jen Lam, Nick Westover, Shayla Snowshoe, Peggy Jay. Proofreader Marie Jacobson Special Thanks to Peggy Jay, Donald Kuptana, James Day, Kyle Kuptana, Adam Kudlak, Lisa Loseto and ICRC.


Jen Lam

118 & 134.

Cheong Kam & Pennie Lou

Business Office Inuvialuit Communications Society Board of Directors: President, Inuvik Lucy Kuptana Vice President, Sachs Harbour Donna Keogak Aklavik Director Colin Gordon Uklukhaktok Director Joseph Haluksit Treasurer, Tuktoyaktuk, Director Debbie Raddi Paulatuk Director Millie Thrasher Executive Director Tony Devlin Office Manager Roseanne Rogers



Paden Lennie


Albert Elias

Finance officer Cheryl Williams Advertising Zoe Ho Subscriptions Roseanne Rogers Email subscriptions to icsfinance@northwestel.net +1-867-777-2320 Funding made possible by Canadian Heritage – Aboriginal Peoples Program Inuvialuit Regional Corporation GNWT (Education, Culture and Employment) Get social Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and tusaayaksat.ca

54 & 64.

Adam Kudlak

148 & 158.

Peggy Jay

Nick Westover

Qanuq itpit! Hello! You have in your hands a blockbuster issue of Tusaayaksat – two issues in one - with a new look and tagline “Stories that need to be heard” to better reflect our unique and sacred mission. Lillian Elias, our respected elder interpreter has revealed a clearer meaning on “Tusaayaksat”. Whilst on the surface it’s “Something to hear about” - in reality it expresses an urgency of voices that should to be listened to – it’s rare in the world today to see stories in the media that are not motivated by profit, and minority voices such as the Inuit/ Inuvialuit in Canada do not have the vast platforms other groups might have. Here, in your hands are the voices and hearts of Inuvialuit, a collection over Spring, Summer and the Fall of our moments of achievement (Graduation in the ISR, pg 91), young people who’ve bravely bared their hearts to encourage others (Youth Stories, pg 68, 108, 142), celebrations of our unique ways of life (Sacred places, page 118), culture (From Across the Border, page 54), artistry (GNAF, pg 152) and viewpoints (The Inuvik Tuk Highway, pg 40). There is so much more in here - but it all fits well with Tusaayaksat’s refocused mission - To celebrate Inuvialuit people, culture and heritage. To empower, heal and bond. To be a forum for stories and voices that need to be heard. Kylik Taylor shared his observation that Inuvialuit pride is growing over the past decade, as lost traditions are celebrated in our media. “Not everyone has access to the elders, and as we watch and hear why community traditional hunts work and how our elders respected the animals, it makes us understand and feel proud of the culture here. We no longer hide who we are and there is meaning behind our traditions.”

Our story Inuvialuktun: Towards Re-birth? is one such story, we hope these passionate language workers, with their funny and hopeful stories, can convince you to join them in reinvigorating the language. Have fun trying the language games with your children, and of course, download the Inuvialuktun App! We are excited to launch here our first instalment of the Northern Games Series – now you can try the One Hand Reach with expert instructions at home! We go deeply into the heart of what truly matters to the Inuvialuit and we welcome you on this journey with us. As always, thank you to all the people who’ve contributed so kindly to help make this possible.

Quyanainni Thank You, Zoe Ho, Editor



Towards Rebirth?

Words and photos by Zoe Ho & David Stewart

Part 1

Language revival is happening within and outside of classrooms, and is a growing force that defies the common perception of Inuvialuktun being a dying language. Tusaayaksat speaks with passionate language teachers, from the first generation to the youngest, to find out what’s really happening with Inuvialuktun.

Shame Were you allowed to speak your language when you went to school?

Emma: No no no, Gee there were dangers! They really scolded us when we speak our language, punish! (raises her fist)

Teacher assistant Priscilla Haogak from Sachs Harbour is on practicum in Inuvialuktun Immersion (kindergarten) in Inuvik. She is rare in her generation, with her ability to speak and understand the language.


Children making beluga whales with paper bags in class.


always wondered why people my parents’ age didn’t speak Inuvialuktun to their kids. The only time they ever did it was if they wanted to speak in secret, like if they were arguing,” says Donna Johns. “In my mum’s day in residential school, they were beaten for speaking their language.” Donna remembers her stomach dropping when she sensed herself losing her language. She was seven and had just returned to her grandmother Maggie Allen in the summer, after her first year of residential school. “I’d never forget... we heard a boat coming from a long distance, and that meant visitors were coming, so we always put on a tea kettle, warm up the soup, set up table... she asked me [in the language] to fill up the kettle and put it on the stove, and I was just stunned for a second. She looked at me with really sad eyes, I’d never forget that. And she asked me in Inuvialuktun, ‘Did you already forget your language?’ I understood that part.”

Priscilla Haogak, teacher assistant helps student Sara Anderson put the finishing touches on her paper bag beluga whale. Today, Donna is an Inuvialuktun teacher at East 3 Elementary School in Inuvik and very much part of the force fighting for the survival of the language. She assisted teachers Sandra Ipana and Clara Day for ten years, before becoming a teacher three years ago. A talented artist, she creates teaching materials that reflect her love of her land and culture. “I always tried to do illustrations with meaning from our culture, our style of clothing, our colour of skin, the way kids fixed their hair,” she says. Like many Inuvialuktun teachers of her generation, she is not fluent in the language, and learns as she teaches. She at first feared teaching. “But when Clara had a heavy workload – I’d say just work at your computer and let me teach the class. I found that I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.” Since then, Donna has upgraded her teaching credentials, and makes the best of having Mary Allen, an elder advising her in the classroom. “When I don’t pronounce things right, she would tell me,” she says.

We have to stop telling ourselves the language is dying. The language is dying, but we are moving forward however we can. – Anna Pingo

The State of the Language

“Inuvialuktun, one of eleven official languages in the Northwest Territories is made up of three distinct dialects Uummarmiutun, Kangiryuarmiutun and Siglitun. It is written in Latin alphabet and has no tradition of Inuktitut syllabics. Inuvialuktun came about as part of the unification of diverse Inuit groups under the Inuvialuit land claim. A whale display by former Aboriginal Languages Teacher Trainee, D. Marie Jacobson, who emphasizes an Inuvialuit perspective when creating materials for the children.

The three dialects of Inuvialuktun are:


Inuinnaqtun is sometimes classified as Inuktitut. It consists of 4 subdialects: Kangiryuarmiutun (spoken in Ulukhaktok), Coppermine, Bathurst, Cambridge.


It was once believed that the Siglitun dialect was extinct, but it is the traditional language of the Siglit, and spoken by people in Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Tuktoyaktuk.


The dialect of the Uummarmiut, is essentially identical to the Inupiatun dialect spoken in Alaska and so considered an Iñupiaq language. It has conventionally been grouped with Inuvialuktun because it’s spoken in Canada. Uummarmiutun is found in the communities of Inuvik and Aklavik. Courtlyn Clark and Green Lee Francey use play dough to make ocean creatures related to whaling season. Inuvialuktun, with its three dialects – Uummarmiutun, Kangiryuarmiutun, and Siglitun – is in peril with a majority of native speakers passing away and English being the main language for education and communication in the ISR. According to studies by ICRC, only 10% of an estimated 4,000 Inuvialuit speak any form of traditional language, and only about 4% use it at home. (see ‘The State of the Language” in the column to the right). Anna Pingo, Inuvialuktun teacher at East 3 Secondary School has a similar experience to Donna. She came into teaching as an assistant, and found her passion. Obtaining her Bachelors in Education, she came back to the school as a teacher and found ways to work around her lack of fluency. She is so fervent about being able to converse in the language that she even began praying for divine assistance a few years ago.

Before the 20th century, the ISR was primarily inhabited by Siglit Inuit who spoke the Siglitun dialect, but in the second half of the 19th century, their numbers were dramatically reduced by the introduction of new diseases by Tan’ngit (outsiders such as explorers and fur traders). Inuit from Alaska moved into traditionally Siglit areas in the 1910s and 20s, enticed in part by renewed demand for furs from the Hudson’s Bay Company. These Inuit are called Uummarmiut– which means people of the green trees – in reference to their settlements near the tree line. The two communities are thoroughly intermixed these days. The Inuvialuktun dialects are now at great risk of fading out of use, as English has become the common language and native speakers are passing away. According to the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), only some 10% of the roughly 4,000 Inuvialuit speak any form of traditional language, and only some 4% use it at home.* With the large numbers of non-Inuit living in Inuvialuit areas and the lack of a single common dialect amongst the already reduced number of speakers, the future of the Inuvialuktun is greatly threatened, and requires sustained and directed efforts if it is to survive. *Aboriginal Languages Initiative Evaluation - Site Visit - Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), Inuvik N.W.T.”.Department of Canadian Heritage. 15 April 2003. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008 Extracted and edited from Wikipedia.


Mrs. Ipana’s Inuvialuktun Immersion Kindergarten class - the children love the engaging lessons, games and cultural activities and speak Inuvialuktun naturally with teacher assistant (Priscilla Haogak), elder teacher (Naanak Emma) and Sandra Ipana.


When I went home (from residential school) in the summertime and at Christmas I was careful to only speak Inupiatun, even though the rest of the year I only spoke English at school. – Lillian Elias

Lillian Elias and Marie Jacobson are both passionate about language. Lillian hopes Marie can be her language apprentice.

Part 2

“I am going to believe in my prayer that I’ll learn my language and I’ll be able to speak with the elders,” she said. As she describes her first dream, her voice becomes even softer and the fragility has a moving quality. “I dreamt about Emmanuel Felix. ‘Emmanuel, you are speaking to me in Inuvialuktun! I can really understand you...’ He grabbed my hand and we started walking... as we did, there were elders all around and they were all speaking in the language and I could understand them,” she said. Her aunt, Agnes White later told her that it was appropriate to have Emmanuel

appear in her dream, he was a well known defendant of Inuvialuit language and culture. Whether the effect was subliminal or celestial, the dreams allow Anna to know that the language is within her, and she even jokes that she becomes annoyed if her husband interrupts these language lessons when he wakes her sometimes. “We have to stop telling ourselves the language is dying. The language is dying, but we are moving forward however we can,” she said.

Connecting What made you keep your language?

Emma: Well when we get home we have to think of our grandparents. They wouldn’t understand us in English... our elders too... they don’t understand a word in English. Nowadays, when you go to the elders program you can find people to speak in Inupiatun. “It’s scary knowing that there are so few Elders left to rely on... what happens when they are all gone?” says Marie Jacobson, former ICRC language consultant. “I know Lillian feels the same predicament.” She is speaking of Lillian Elias, an elder recognized as a great proponent for language (see story ‘The Elder and the Ipad’ on pg 22). To Lillian, language means identity and selfsufficiency. “My grandmother Alice Annaqtuuq (Sivuluak), when we moved to Inuvik, the first thing she told me was not to forget my language. It belongs to me and I am who I am with my language, my tradition and culture. She told me in Inuvialuktun and that empowered me – this is what I’m going to work on, to keep my language. ” “I am really one of the fortunate people that still has my language today. Long ago when I first came to Inuvik a lot of us couldn’t go uptown with bushy hair and dirty clothes. Most people had running water but we lived in frame tents with cardboard paper around it, at the edge of town for three or four years. Trying to get yourself cleaned up to go to school was really hard without a shower. You just had a bath once a week on Saturdays with all the kids and had to haul lots of water.”

“But after a while I changed my mind and thought what am I doing? Who tells me how to live? Who tells me how to talk? Who’s telling me what to do in my life? I’m living how they want me to, not how I want to. So that’s when I stopped and thought OK here I come!” She laughs. Lillian says having the connection to her family and culture made her strong. “When I think back now we didn’t have the fancy blankets that we have today... we didn’t have money to change it but it didn’t mean anything to me. We had caribou skins for a mattress even in the winter time. I felt rich because there was family around all the time. Today I see a lot of people that do not have that type of support. A lot of us learned how to cope and yet a lot of us couldn’t cope because even in school we were mistreated.” “In this world there are a lot of people that look down on you and say ‘I don’t want to be with that person because they are not well off enough.’ That’s not what our grandparents taught us. I taught what they taught me to my students, there is no one that is better than you and you are not better than anyone in this world,” she said.

Part 3


Baby steps How did you become a teacher in the school?

Emma: I started teaching with Mike Yip, not with the language, but just by a machine. The English goes in but the Inuvialuktun comes out. UVva (here), II (Yes), QUYANAINNI (Thank You), only small words, and the numbers one, two, three, four, five. That’s when we first started. Anna and Donna both overcame their shyness to help students gain their courage to speak the language. Students sometimes hold back from speaking for fear of being made fun of by the others. “Inuvialuktun language is very hard, especially all the guttural sounds, throat sounds, it’s a hard language and some of the words are quite long, even just a one or two word sentence,” says Donna. “When we sing songs it’s easier to pick up the language. You’re enjoying the song so much you don’t even know you are learning the language. Sometimes I bring my guitar in here, I close the door and we just sing and sing and sing,” says Donna.

Mrs Ipana and kindergartener Elexis working on sentences describing the season and weather that day.

Anna walks around the classroom singing a Celine Dion song in French, then reminds her students that “I don’t even know how to speak French. That’s the power of song. If you listen to our Inuvialuktun songs you will be able to learn through the power of song.” Anna also memorizes the students’ Inuvialuk names and uses that for roll call, instead of the English names on attendance sheets provided by the school. “I ask them ‘Who are you named after?’ and to share stories of the strengths of people they are named after.” She used to be ashamed of her Inuk name ‘Ahanahuniak’, but when she learnt that her father named after her grandmother who was an excellent storyteller, she embraced his desire for her to inherit that trait.

Two students Naomi Haogak and Courtlyn Clark enacting a phrase from the Inuvialuktun App - “I hug her.”

Part 4

Zoey Petrin having fun with seashells, part of the curriculum to introduce children to oceanic creatures from beyond the ISR.

Teacher Verna Arey from Aklavik says, “The key to fluency is repetition. Children remember the language when we repeat the lessons in the classroom. The adults are always amazed when children understand someone in the community speaking Inuvialuktun.”

Losing voice Children speak well at first then seem to forget the language as they grow older. Where is the gap?

Emma: They have a really hard time, hard time, hard time. Because they don’t hear the language at home. They hear it in the school, they go home and they hear nothing. The parents don’t speak it. The only place they hear the language is at the school. That’s why they don’t learn. Inuvialuktun is now taught in all the grades from kindergarten to high school, and language classes are implemented in Aboriginal Headstart programs.

very fortunate to have community members and community leadership who recognize the importance of preserving the language, who will fight for language revitalization.

To succeed, programming has to compete with the seduction of modern technologies and entertainment, and this summer the first Inuvialuktun language App was launched. It became an immediate hit in Inuvik and in the smaller communities. (See story ‘The Elder and the iPad’ on pg 22.)

She also emphasizes that finding new ways to “transfer knowledge from elders to adults and youth” in “fun, interesting settings is a great start to help overcome language barriers.

Emily Kudlak, IRC Ulukhaktok language officer says, “Although the Inuinnaqtun language is struggling in Ulukhaktok we are

“Promoting and recognizing existing language speakers encouraging them to speak will help strengthen the language,” she added.


Priscilla Haogak from Sachs Harbour is pursing a degree in Education – her practicum as Mrs. Ipana’s teacher assistant has allowed her to discover her strengths and to work with elders who speak the language fluently.


Part 5

Sharing a meal at Emma Dick’s (far left) fish camp, where we visited to interview her about language with Marie Jacobson (2nd left) and Lillian Elias (far right). They are all passionate about the language. Sarah Tingmiak (second from right) is a passionate teacher of Inuvialuit culture, passing on drum dancing to youth.

Trying to remember How does it feel to be one of the few people who speak the language?

Emma: Me and Sandra always talk. That’s why she always asks me to come to work. So she can ask me to talk Inupiatun. She doesn’t want to forget the language. Sandra Ipana’s kindergarten immersion class is filled with sunshine as we entered. She and elder Emma Dick are speaking Inuvialuktun with the group, and the children are answering in unison. Together they go through the day of the month, day of week, the weather, and vocabulary associated with the summer season. The children call Emma ‘Naanak’ (grandmother). The elder is sitting in a lazyboy chair purchased just for her leg pain and for her retirement. Seeing the children fluent with Inuvialuktun, understanding and answering with a flowing sing-song enthusiasm, Emma is smiling as if they are all her grandchildren. We wonder if Inuvialuktun is truly on its last breaths as commonly reported. It is activity time. The children are enjoying themselves, making belugas out of white paper bags and pipe cleaners, drawing on eyes and fins. “The Inuvialuit were seasonal people, so ICRC sets up the curriculum to go along with the seasons. Today we have all kinds of centers set up with activities related to things that live in the water, and we try to go beyond Inuvik so the kids know about other animals around the world too,” says Sandra. Besides teaching in classrooms during the school year, teachers and cultural workers also take youth out on the land for immersive experiences. These programs are funded by the community corporations.

“There is Summer camp, Whaling camp, Berry camp, and Fish camp,” said Sandra, “For whaling, the boys go out hunting, they are all Inuvialuit. Junior takes them out, they bring in the whale, and us girls we are all waiting for them at the beach. They help us to pull it out, butcher it, and we get them working, packing, laying out all the maktak. We teach them how to cut the blubber up and keep clean around our camp, this is food that we are going to eat, we have to treat everything with respect and cleanliness.” “They have to make sure they don’t bring any distracting electronics, no junk food, so that at least for the camp their whole focus is on what we are going to teach,” she said. “They are here not just to play on the beach – it’s experiences, involving them in everyday life.” “At my whale camp, all over the walls, I’ve taped up language materials – it’s like a big school room. So there’s numbers and colours, like aquvittin (sit down), makittin (stand up). It’s the same at Reindeer Station and when we go to Panigavluk’s (Lillian’s) camp we wrote it all up for the kids so they could always see it. When she asks them something if they don’t know how to answer then they could take a look and answer. So it’s like they are reading it, and studying it.”

Where else in the world would you find a classroom where muskrats are cleaned and cooked, where geese are plucked and prepared, and where sewing is taught with traditional materials like moose hide and fur?

Inuvialuktun calendar and weather charts – the Kindergarten students are able to describe fluently daily weather and speak in simple phrases.

Challenges today Have you ever felt caught in between?

Emma: Well the young people can’t speak anymore. When you speak Inupiatun they seem not to care. They don’t listen. Teacher Donna Johns teaching the sounds of Inuvialuktun language. Breaking down the sounds makes it easier to remember, she says.

“Priscilla Haogak from Sachs Harbour is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Education with the intention to become a language teacher. She is currently on practicum as a teacher’s assistant in Sandra’s class. Priscilla is one of the few in her generation that speaks and understands Inuvialuktun. She remembers finding a flyer and sounding the words out as her mother corrected her pronunciation years ago. “For some innate reason it sparked an interest in me to learn more.” “As far as my generation goes we were all taught it in school, and our grandparents spoke it at home, our parents knew it but they rarely spoke it – some of us are afraid to speak it, I’m not fluent but I wished I knew more.”

ICS producer David Stewart filming as Donna Johns teaches language to the elementary grades, for a show reflecting local concern for the survival of Inuvialuktun.

I always told my students if I could speak Inuvialuktun fluently I would never speak a word of English again, that’s how powerful it feels for me. – Priscilla Haogak

Priscilla is tech savvy, and Sandra is amazed at how quickly she is able to prepare lessons, even on her iPhone, or to create materials by searching on the Internet. “She shared videos of Sachs Harbour on the smartboard of how they get geese – kids like Lucas Pokiak and Dexter that go hunting, it’s so part of their life, you should have seen the excitement! They just got excited,” she says. “I was going through my cupboard and I said ‘Look, at my essay – it was all handwritten, twenty something years ago. Honestly... and no mistakes too otherwise you’d have to re-write the whole...’ We started talking about how things have changed... for the good. If we use technologies for the good of the language, and for all people, Inuvialuit and Gwich’in alike, it benefits us.” “Our language and culture is coming back more and more,” says Priscilla, “At some point we say ‘oh my God it’s going to die’ but having classes like Ilihauri’s (Sandra’s) class, and having the culture camps, there is renewed hope amongst our Inuvialuit people to want to learn, and to want to speak more. Especially with this Inuvialuktun app, it’s what the newer generations are used to. It’s no more writing on the chalkboard, cutting and pasting by hand to make your own material. It’s a whole new world, and hopefully that [younger] generation can take that concept and run with it, make it work for themselves,” said Priscilla.

Part 6


Inuvialuktun teaching materials created by Donna Johns and Marie Jacobson.

Part 7


Bridging two worlds How do you go between the two languages, is it like two worlds?

Emma: Sometimes when I talk it’s not as smooth as it used to be with my mother. My mother and I used to talk and tell stories in Inupiatun all the time. My grandmother too, I had to interpret for her. I used to interpret for her when she went to the doctor and the government offices. The language teachers recently attended an Indigenous Language Conference in Arizona, and were impressed by how language is fully integrated into their school systems. Donna says, “[The Navajo] opened up their schools into full [Navajo immersion]... really immerse the kids in their language, everything from Math and Science and Language Arts, everything was taught in the language. And because the kids didn’t feel like a minority they talked about how their self-esteem picked up... one of the immersion subjects is a boy who could not speak a word of Navajo language, he could hold a full conversation a year later.” Donna finds that youth nowadays “are not as shy to speak, and I get some comments from parents that they are bringing the language home, and teaching their parents whatever they learned.”

Helen Kitekudlak, language teacher from Ulukhaktok.

Language is also about sovereignty, especially when it comes to elders voicing their opinions at public meetings about decisions that impact Inuvialuit lifestyle and future generations. “When speaking our language... we understand and communicate better than when we use English. In Inupiatun what you say is much funnier or the meaning is different, really different. A lot of times when you go to meetings we just sit there. We aren’t the type of people that ask lots of questions. But if you had someone there that can translate all those things that are important into Inupiatun then you’d get more questions and answers from the people because they would understand better,” says Lillian. “Today I wouldn’t want to say that my language is dying because I’m still here still speaking it. I’m determined to keep it going as far and as long as I can.”

Anna Pingo, East Three Secondary School Inuvialuktun teacher. Behind her is a painting by former student Karis Gruben.

Elders win Awards for Cultural and Language Preservation Words by Zoe Ho Photos courtesy of Robert Wilson/ECE Lillian Elias (Inuvik) and Jean Harry (Sachs Harbour) were awarded the Minister’s Cultural Service Awards last October, in honour of their commitment to celebrating and preserving culture and language. The elders were two out of five residents and organizations in NWT to be honoured by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) at the ceremony in Yellowknife. Jean Harry also received the Minister’s choice award for helping younger generations learn their language over many years. In January this year, Lillian Elias was also honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal– she is one of 33 men and women recognized by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

Jackson Lafferty, Minister of ECE posing with Lillian Elias and her Minister’s Cultural Service Awards.

Jackson Lafferty, Minister of ECE with Jean Harry, who was awarded Minister’s Choice award at last October’s Minister’s Cultural Service Awards in Yellowknife.

NWT’s cultural ambassadors are inducted into the Minister’s Cultural Circle in Yellowknife on Oct. 17. Back row: Sam Mantla Jr., representing the Tlicho Imbe Program, Minister of ECE Jackson Lafferty and Melaw Nakehk’o. Front row: Doris Taneton, Lillian Elias and Jean Harry.


Lillian Elias and Marie Jacobson representing ICRC on Inuvialuit Day – having fun as they announce the new Inuvialuktun App on stage.

Marie Jacobson demonstrating the App in the IRC lobby. A curious boy tries the game.

Lillian Elias, and ITK President Terry Audla – this January she was honoured at ITK in Ottawa with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her exceptional contributions to Inuit and Inuit society. (ITK photo)

The Elder & the iPad “We were the first to bring a caribou into the school. I’m sure the students remember us bringing that big caribou in... head and legs sticking right up!” laughs Lillian Elias. “When we first started cutting it up my students wouldn’t touch it. They were saying ‘Ooo look at all that blood, look at all that hair!’ They were so scared. Well we left it at that. I got William Apsimik to make a drymeat rack in the Home Ec. room. The next day I notice little bits of drymeat missing from the rack... I said ‘who’s been taking the dry meat!?’ ‘I took some,’ they said.” “If you like to eat it then next time you have to help cut it up, you need to learn. Someday you might get a caribou and you’re going to have to cut it up yourself. A few months later we have no caribou meat left. Another caribou is brought into the school, Liz and I sat back and watched our students cut it up. It was so nice we just told them where to cut it, they were so excited they had hair all over, blood on their hands and arms. Everyone wanted to get at it, holding the skin, helping each other... it was the happiest time in my classroom. When I saw that happen I knew there’s nothing impossible with the language today,” she says.

Lillian Elias (center) recording for the Inuvialuktun App with Frank Elanik and Jonathan Amos. (credit: Thornton Media).

Frank Elanik, Jonathan Amos and Helen Kitekudlak (Ulukhaktok) recording for the Inuinnaqtun App

Kara Thornton of Thornton Media discussing App content with Emily Kudlak, ICRC Ulukhaktok Language Officer.


Lillian Elias is a masterful storyteller, with an infectious belly laugh that draws you right in. Fluent in both English and Inuvialuktun, recent recognition of her achievements include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the NWT Minister’s Cultural Circle award. She has dedicated over three decades of her life to teaching and promoting traditional Inuvialuit language and culture, and instead of slowing down as an elder, is more impassioned than ever to bring the language to a new generation. After retirement as a school teacher, she continues to teach night classes, drum dancing and sewing, sitting on local and NWT boards for education, language and seniors as well as advising on teaching and curriculum.

Jolena, 3 years old and Dylan Jacobson, 7 years old enjoying the Inuvialuktun games on the App. They also sing along to the Inuvialuktun songs, recording themselves with the App.

While her past students have had hands-on learning with a caribou in the flesh, students today have a new option. They can get their hands on an iPad or iPhone, where Lillian’s strong, joyful voice guides them through the Inuvialuktun App (Ummarmiutun version). The App was developed by Thornton Media and funded by ECE. There are language games, songs, quizzes and a recording function, where you can hear playback of yourself pronouncing the words to compare with Lillian’s pronunciation. When you get the answer right on a quiz, you hear “Ii (Yes)” and when the answer is incorrect, you hear “Naagga (No)”.

The response was very positive and the kids love it. We built the app to be intuitive so that people would not need directions to use it, they could easily figure it out themselves. – Don Thornton Don and Kara Thornton came to Inuvik to facilitate recording and content creation for the App with ICRC, working with Marie Jacobson, Emily Kudlak, Helen Kitekudlak, Lillian Elias, Frank Elanik and Jonathon Amos. Frank Elanik and Jonathan Amos were hired to increase youth involvement in the project. Marie Jacobson, former Inuvialuktun Language Consultant (ICRC) shared on the App creation process. “The youth did really well helping out. The process was quite informal with recording Lillian saying the words and phrases. So far they (Thorntons) have worked on over 175 languages. A film company came up to make a short documentary on the App so it was like an invasion of cameramen around us all week!” The beta version of the App was then tested at East 3 Elementary School’s Inuvialuktun classes. “The response was very positive and the kids loved it. We built the app to be intuitive so that people would not need directions to use it, they could easily figure it out themselves,” says Don Thornton. Marie says, “It’s so exciting to see the kids using it. We are moving on with the technology because that’s the direction things are going.” Children could not put the iPad down. “They made me say Ii (Yes) a lot,” laughs Lillian. “I haven’t touched an iPad in my life before. You see students on the computer all the time, it’s going to really work... I know this is going to help everybody.” At Aboriginal Day, Lillian had great news. “A three and a half year old heard her mum say, ‘I’m tired’ and she said, ‘No you should say “yararunga”!’ I was so excited I couldn’t sleep! I had to tell Marie right away,” she laughs. Emily Kudlak is now working on completing the Inuinnaqtun version of the App, with content customized to reflect the local dialect and community of Ulukhaktok. Beverly Amos is working on the Siglit version as well. Stay tuned!

Download the Inuvialuktun App for free at the iTunes store online. Screenshots from the App.

Inu via luk tun

Gam lang uagees


Based on ‘Feelings’ booklets published by ICRC / Illustrations by Marten Sims Game concept by Marten Sims & Zoe Ho


cut out the cards and play the memory game! (English translation on the back).

Kangiryuarmiutun Dialect

Mihingniutit Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Emily Kudlak (ICRC)

raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried







g Worried Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Ha raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried


Kangiryuarmiutun Dialect (translation)

feelings Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Emily Kudlak (ICRC)

aid d Laughing Crying Crying

Happy Worried Happy

Hug Hug

She is laughing

She is happy

I hug her

She is crying

She is afraid

She is worried


HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid Crying Hug Worried Happ Lau aid d Laughing Crying Crying Happy Worried Happy Hug Hug La

Uummarmiutun Dialect

Itruhit Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Rosie Albert (ICRC)

raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried







g Worried Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Ha raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried


Uummarmiutun Dialect (translation)

feelings Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Rosie Albert (ICRC)

aid d Laughing Crying Crying

Happy Worried Happy

Hug Hug

She is laughing

She is happy

I hug her

She is crying

She is afraid

She is worried


HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid Crying Hug Worried Happ Lau aid d Laughing Crying Crying Happy Worried Happy Hug Hug La

Siglitun Dialect

Misingnat Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Beverly Amos (ICRC)

raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried







g Worried Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Ha raid py g Happy Hug Crying Hug Happy LaughingLaughing HugWorried


Siglitun Dialect (translation)

feelings Tusaayaksat Language Games Translations by Beverly Amos (ICRC)

aid d Laughing Crying Crying

Happy Worried Happy

Hug Hug

She is laughing

She is happy

I hug her

She is crying

She is afraid

She is worried


HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid Crying Hug Worried Happ Lau aid d Laughing Crying Crying Happy Worried Happy Hug Hug La

Writing game! Cut out the cards and write the english translation in the box below the word.

Kangiryuarmiutun Dialect ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H







ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H

Uummarmiutun Dialect

ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H







ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H

Siglitun Dialect ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H







ppy ng fraid Happy Happy Hug Crying Hug Hug Happy Laughing Laughing HugWorriedLaughing Worried Afraid WorriedCrying g Laughing Worried Afraid Crying Hap H


Writing game! Cut out the cards and write both meanings in the boxes below the image.

Kangiryuarmiutun Dialect Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug d Hug Crying Laughing Happy Afraid Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried













d HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid

LaL Wo

Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried

LaL Wo

Uummarmiutun Dialect Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried

LaL Wo

d HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid













d HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid

Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried

LaL Wo

Siglitun Dialect d Hug Crying Laughing Happy Afraid

Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried

LaL Wo





d HugCrying Laughing Happy Afraid









Afraid Afraid Crying Crying Happy Laughing Hug Hug Crying Hug Worried Happy Laughing HugHappy Worried

LaL Wo

News Stories

CITES in Bangkok

“Our Inuit regions spent many years negotiating land claims agreements to fruition, this includes the systems by which we co-manage our wildlife for our future generations. We have invested many years to bring our management

The Inuit delegation at CITIES in Bangkok this March.

systems to where they are right now. While CITES poses challenges, I do see it as an opportunity to promote our management of polar bear on an international stage; to governments, to policy makers, to decision-makers, and to the general public.” The Inuit organizational team who attended included staff from ITK, and

Inuvik will be welcoming Inuit delegates, youth, elders, cultural performers, artists and others from Russia, Greenland, Alaska and Canada to celebrate the unity of Inuit and map out the future direction of the Inuit Circumpolar Council over the next four years. A minimum of 600 people are expected to be in attendance at various activities. “IRC is looking forward to hosting the ICC General Assembly, especially as 2014 marks the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Although there will be a lot of preparation work, we are up to the task of showcasing our part of the Circumpolar Region to all Inuit,” said Nellie Cournoyea, IRC Chair and CEO.

(ITK photo)

Duane Smith at the ICC’s General Assembly in Nuuk, Greenland, June 28–July 2, 2010.

This is the first time in 12 years that Canadian Inuit will host the quadrennial pan-Arctic celebration and time of policymaking. However, this is the second time since 1992 that IRC will be hosting the General Assembly in Inuvik. The ICC was founded in 1977 to represent Inuit interests in the circumpolar regions. It addresses a wide range of economic, social, cultural and environment issues and concerns relevant to Inuit institutions in the circumpolar region.

For more news stories, see pages 98–99 and 162.

Notes from postscript on COP16 www.ITK.ca

The Inuvialuit Drum Dance HD Project

One Arctic One Future IRC to host ICC General Assembly in Inuvik 2014 The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) will host the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) General Assembly next July 21 to 24, with a theme of “Ukiuqtaqtumi Hivuniptingnun – One Arctic One Future”.

representatives from the Inuvialuit Game Council, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and the Nunatsiavut Government. Inuit Circumpolar Council assisted in joint communications globally during their preparations.

With funding support from the NWT Arts Council and Inuvialuit CEDO, IRC will be able to conclude the Inuvialuit Drum Dance HD Project with the Aklavik and Inuvik drum dance groups this year. In 2012, a number of short videos, for different forms of end-media were shot with the drum dance groups in Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk and Tuktoyaktuk. These included promotional marketing/ informational videos for each group as well as 15, 30 and 60 second commercials of the groups and communities. A majority of the performance footage was shot outdoors in and around the communities to provide opportunities for cross-promotion of regional tourism.

(Tony Devlin/IRC photo).

“To Inuit, what is a basic resource for our livelihoods is to others internationally a species that is emotively regarded and politically promoted at the highest levels. I will not underestimate the power of this messaging.”

(Jen Lam photo).

At Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand, this March 3rd to 14th, the US proposal to up-list polar bear and call to ban international trade in the species was voted against and rejected. National Inuit leader (ITK president) Terry Audla said, “It is difficult to say whether our neighbours to the south will revive their proposal in three years’ time at the next Conference of the Parties.”

t i u l a i v u In y a D The audience dance with the young Inuvik Drummers and Dancers.

Marie Jacobson demonstrating the Inuvialuktun App to an engrossed audience.

Nellie Cournoyea, IRC Chair sharing her joy to celebrate with fellow Inuvialuit on the special day.

Richard Gordon was equally versatile as musician and as MC of the day.

Bailey Allen with her plate at the feast.


Jojo Arey, one of the volunteers making sure people were fed well at the BBQ!

Leanne Goose, recently nominated for APMCA Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year played for the audience in her hometown.

Young Inuvik Drummers and Dancers with their teacher Scott Kasook. From left to right: Rylan Wainman, Scott Kasook, Dylan Jacobson, Braeden Picek, Derek Ipana and Keenan Carpenter.

Duane Smith, Vice Chair of IRC welcoming everyone to celebrate Inuvialuit Day.

The 29th Inuvialuit Day celebration at IRC was undeterred by snow flurries and -1 temperatures. As Nellie Cournoyea, Chair of IRC said,

“For Inuvialuit, some people might even feel this is the perfect kind of weather!�


Young Inuvik Drummers and Dancers with their teacher Scott Kasook.

Lucky draw for door prizes.

Tanya Gruben, IDC staff member and official cake maker for Inuvialuit Day.

Naomi Haogak dances to the beat of the drums. Sharon Rogers and Ruth Alunik.

The young Inuvik Drummers and Dancers put on a great show, despite the falling snow.

Inuvialuit, as well as community members of Inuvik turned out in droves to enjoy a delicious feast and live performances by Richard Gordon, Howie McCleod, Daniel Rogers, and Leanne Goose. Young drum dancers from East 3 School gave delightful performances, led by Melissa Kisoun, Scotty Kasook and Lillian Elias. The audience was soon dancing along! Lillian Elias and Marie Jacobson also launched the Inuvialuktun App. (see feature article on page 22). Shirley Elias.

The young Inuvik Drummers and Dancers got off the stage and danced with the audience.


The Inuvik Tuk Highway Words by David Stewart Photos by Tawna C. Brown + E. Gruben’s Transport

Upgrading work done on the Source 177 Access Road (the first 18.5 km of the Project).

“The Inuvik-to-Tuktoyaktuk Highway Spring construction is successful, upgrading is ongoing on the first segment of the highway,” reported Bob C. McLeod, Premier of the NWT on behalf of the Department of Transport (DOT) at the Inuvik Petroleum Show. “The highway is finally becoming a reality after being in the long term plans of the GNWT and Canada for many years,” he said. “The DOT will continue to rely upon northern experience, talent and skills to bring us closer to constructing the Mackenzie Highway, the Road to resources linking Canadians from Coast to Coast to Coast.”


The Inuvik Tuk Highway

An official progress report to the community on construction of the highway this spring in Tuktoyaktuk.

Russell Newmark, CEO at E. Grubens Transport.

The Tuk-Inuvik highway will create more employment opportunities for local residents.

DOT and local contractors have been working together to construct the Highway creating jobs and business opportunities in the Beaufort Delta Region. When questioned “What are you doing to ensure local residents are meaningfully involved in the construction of this project?” Jim Stevens from GNWT DOT responded, “There is a heavy emphasis ensuring that we maximize the local employment and contracting opportunities.” “We had 170 plus (local employees) on site and then some of the sub contractors that we’ve engaged for some of the planning studies, engineering work, bathymetric surveys again have a high local content.” Russell Newmark, CEO at E.Gruben’s Transport in Tuktoyaktuk said, “One of the things that is quite beneficial about this type of project is that it can provide more relative local and regional involvement than other projects, like [building] a school where the majority of the people are tradespeople with skills that are harder to get here.” “On this type of project almost all of the heavy equipment operators and the truck drivers can be sourced locally and there are all sorts of spinoff jobs in terms of wildlife monitors, environmental monitors, gravel checkers, labor jobs rolling out the geotextile, culvert crew. We had roughly

two hundred people working this spring and seventy-five percent of those people were from Tuk and Inuvik. I think going forward in the next three to four years those levels of employment and involvement can be repeated and sub-contracting opportunities can be done by the local business communities.” Miki O’Kane from Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) asked, “Will there be an inventory done on the available businesses in Inuvik, Tuk and in the region who can provide their services for further construction and is there a commitment to ensure that everybody wins a little piece of that pie?” Jim Stevens of DOT responded, “The Inuvialuit business list is reviewed and sourced and discussions have included every group in the Beaufort Delta relative to the opportunities that the project will offer. As we go forward I guess it’s basically persuading and influencing whoever gets the construction contract to ensure that they maximize the local employment and contracting opportunities. We prefer to see it done through the contractor versus having the government dictate ‘you must do this’. We find that working within the businesses is a better solution.”

Russell Newmark added “On the past projects we have done (source #177) we used a whole range of local businesses and regional businesses for example during this winter’s work there is nobody without a truck that we didn’t offer to work on the project. Although there were a lot of areas where we had equipment we could supply, we made a great effort to try to involve as many other businesses as we could. Even if it meant sitting some of our own equipment to give others opportunities. So if we are involved that effort will continue.” Floyd Roland wrapped up the presentation by saying “When people say you can’t do it we say just watch us.”



Photo credit: ICS

Your Voices 2

Photo credit: ICS

Tusaayaksat asked community members for their input on the road...



John Stuart Jr. of Tuk (now residing in Inuvik) is happy to hear the “road is finally going ahead after forty years of talk.” He says, “The community will now have access to get out any time of the year, food prices should drop significantly and we hope to see a good boost to tourism.”

David Nasogaluak, Tuk elder says, “The people will make use of it. Myself I like the idea. You know fog can hang around here for a week sometimes. Airplanes can’t come in. A person could die waiting to fly to Inuvik hospital. But the road could be used. That’s one of the benefits. The road could also be a guide to someone lost and in trouble. It’s going to be used for many reasons. The road will be very helpful. When the weather gets warm the population drops in Tuktuuyaqtuuq. Lots of people hit the trail. Going to Ikinilik people go by Itibliqyuaq. That one is mostly used because it’s quite low. For some people it is their only recreation. People will use the road a lot. All of them are smiling when they go berry picking.”


Elder Alice Felix says, “If it’s well planned and monitored properly the road will be a benefit. If they can’t follow the environmental rules then it should stop. Our land is clean with no pollution. I treasure our land because it is a gift to us. It is for our younger generation to use. If the road cannot be used properly, ask for guidance from God.”

Photo Credit: Roy Goose

Photo credit: ICS

Photo credit: ICS


5 Photo Credit: Dez Loreen



Roy Goose (Inuvik) says, “I see the completion of the highway as an economic boost to the community in many forms. Food, goods and services for the community would become more affordable to all residents. Employment during construction and after shall bring prosperity to residents of the coastal community. Health benefits shall be made more accessible for those requiring dental care, physicians attention and specialized treatment that is available at Inuvik. We are a hunter/ gatherer culture, it shall make geese and water fowl hunting a little “easier” during their seasons. Also, Husky Lakes fishing and recreational use shall be more available during seasons our people do not normally use the resource. On the flip side, negative impacts will also increase for Tuktoyaktuk residents as well as on the environment with the influx of people and development. The highway is another way to maintain our Canadian sovereignty. All in all, I see more benefits to our peoples being generated as the result of the Tuktoyaktuk highway.

Jerry Lennie (Inuvik) says, “I’m for the road, it brings employment and we need a port in Tuk but I am concerned about it being too close to Husky Lakes, the place will get fished out easier. It’s already been proven with that access road 77, people are taking too many fish out.”




Dez Loreen (Inuvik) says, “I think it’s going to be good for the people of Tuk - to drop their prices and really boost their tourism. I want to see how this plays out for the region, both socially and economically.”



Y R T o d

f trength o s d n a y it exter t sets d at the d le e v tes. Wha r a le h m t ll a a s e e Gam he We hav ports is t Northern s it r u e h In t l o a n from Tradition es apart . Norther n m io a it G t e n r p he r com eir the Nort ship ove d n ay and th ie r D f s f e o m g a in J tana, prioritiz hern Kyle Kup s e t the Nort le h s t u a o s t e g Gam we na brin ch issue a ld Kupta e a n in o – D t h coac yaksa uit in Tusaa s ie r e play an In S o s t e w m o a h G es share hern Gam uce and t d r o o r t N r in u l wil t of o ach! ’s the firs e r e Hand Re H e . n e O g Gam in defy e gravity h t , s ie r e S

by ciety + words rn Games So e North ay + Zoe Ho art D s e d Stew Jam y Davi b s o t pho


Kyle Kuptana demonstrates the One Hand Reach. When asked if this is safe for attempting at home, he says, “Yes, it’s good for anybody to try. Just have fun!”


Northern Games and Proper Techniques


The One Hand Reach is a ‘mind game’ that tests physical strength, sense of balance and ability to focus. The athlete has to try for optimal body control, aligning his handelbow-upper arm-shoulder line on the supporting side.

Align shoulders, elbow and hip

Keep elbow tucked on hip point

Point fingers back

Visit our Tusaayaksat Facebook page for an online instructional! Watch Inuit Games at the Canada Winter Games on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkZQ7b22A8Q




To start the participant comes into a kneeling position.

For right handers, your left elbow is positioned on your left hip with the left hand flat on the floor, thumb pointing back.


Lean forward and using your legs find your center of gravity, lift the body off the floor and shift your weight to balance on your left hand.


Slowly, with control, reach the other hand up to touch the target.


Once the target has been touched, move the hand back to the floor with control.


You will maintain balance on two hands, keeping your legs and the rest of your body off the ground for a few seconds to demonstrate clear balance and control.



The Traditional Inuit Northern Games were originally developed to help Inuit survive harsh weather conditions. Pain and resistance games mimicked extreme cold and freezing weather conditions so that endurance could be built up for real life survival. Imagine travelling from camp to camp or out hunting in minus 50 degree celsius temperatures, with 35 km per hour windchill – being prepared is a good idea! The Northern Games strengthens the bonds of families and communities all across the Arctic regions as they come together to celebrate and play. The Games embody the spirit of friendly competition. Elders would always emphasize to participants the importance of trusting and supporting each other. Traditionally and today, everyone participating and watching supports your best effort at the games. It does not matter how high you kick or how strong you are. These games are fun and help to keep everyone physically and mentally fit for survival on the land.

Blanket Toss (Nalukatak) was originally thought to be performed so a hunter could see open leads on the ice for hunting. It is also thought of as a social game, to celebrate success in whaling.

Harpoon throw was a game that trained the hunter for greater accuracy.

John Day in one foot high kick. (ICS Archives)

Dwayne Illasiak competing in Knuckle Hop, a pain resistance and strength building game (Canada Winter Games).

INUIT GAMES THEMES Pain Resistance games: The Inuit Elders introduced pain resistance games to teach young hunters to have immunity to pain in cold and freezing weather conditions. Cold weather conditions were a fact of life while hunting on the land or ocean and a hunter has to be prepared against the pain of frostbite on his face, ears, hands and feet in order to continue hunting.

Agility games: These games were developed for young hunters to deal with different challenges when travelling in every season. Youth challenge each other to see who can be the most quiet, especially on landing after kicking/ touching targets placed at challenging heights. These are necessary hunting skills that mimic the stealth needed to approach animals quietly while hunting.

Strength Endurance games: The Inuit Elders introduced games for building strength and endurance. These games prepare you for the stamina needed for long distance travelling, especially in the fall and winter. In the summer families would travel from camp to camp following the food sources, carrying only what they could.

Social games: The social games are “laughing games” that keep people socially active and engaged. These fun games were traditionally played during blizzards, long dark winter months and at gatherings. “Animal Muk”, “Team Animal Muk”, “Oneon-one laughing Muk” and the “Group Ghost Game” are some of the most popular laughing games and are still played today.

I spy wIth my lIttle eye... DevIne ce que je voIs…

Big animals in the Arctic! Parks Canada has hidden motion-sensing cameras in Ivvavik National Park to better understand where and how mammals occupy this breathtaking arctic national park. Take a look at the photos we’ve captured! @parkscanada @parcscanada

www.facebook.com/parkscanada www.facebook.com/parcscanada

Voyez de grosses bêtes dans l’Arctique! Dans le parc national Ivvavik, Parcs Canada a caché des appareils photo actionnés par le mouvement afin de comprendre comment les animaux sont répartis dans ce magnifique parc national arctique. Jetez un coup d’œil à nos photos! parkscanada.gc.ca/ivvavik parcscanada.gc.ca/ivvavik


ummit irst S F orthern N amesst 3 G t Ea a

Ho Jay/ e y o y Z Pegg d/GNWT b rds s by Floy o w oto vin Ph & Ke IRC

na o) t with pta ull ald Ku y pho P r a a Don J E he g Peggy of t din ( on inclu ront. i t a f r s nst ipant in the o tic em e A d ny par Lenni ma Hans and

– rina Kat mes d an n Ga r her ras orthe ) h T N o r t e e o h h h eat ts at t Jay p H , an en gy Rub icip Peg ria k part uvik. ( o l G latu n In Pau mit i m u S


o hot nd d a Jay p e n ro gy ape Peg s ch ena! ( i k e kto kh kha y O Ulu y Gar m Tea ched b coa

The number one goal of the Northern/Dene Games Summit this Spring was “To instill greater Pride in Heritage.” From March 13 to 16 about 160 students and chaperones from the Beaufort-Delta communities participated in the summit, held at East Three Secondary School. The focus is the friendly competition of Traditional Inuvialuit and Dene games, learning traditional skills from elders, and establishing this as the first of an annual event for students to display their athletic talent! From the opening ceremonies, the community feast, indoor and outdoor games, to the awards and closing ceremonies, everyone participated fully in body and heart. This year, elder Edward Lennie was honoured as the official “Master of the Games” honouring his immense lifetime contribution to teaching and promoting the traditional games. Elder participation was emphasized at this summit, the Inuvik Hospital’s Elder Program came to watch the games, and several elders visited schools in Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik and Tsiighetchic teaching the games to the students before the event.




oy ukt mT

n poo



t Hi Foo o Tw

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E3SS Sports Committee, Beaufort Delta Education Council, Beaufort Delta Sahtu Recreation Association and Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) jointly supported this event. Donald Kuptana, Recreation Development Coordinator at MACA, took great pride in all the athletes who participated and see the summit as another step to engaging communities to play. “I’ve been to every school in the territories. We are getting ready for the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska 2014, and also for the Circumpolar Games next year,” he said. “Whenever I go into the smaller communities, I ask the elders about the games, and learn a lot of history about the different style. With our Northern Games youth, we hope to travel and demonstrate more of the games and have more people excited about joining us.” This summer, Donald and his assistants have been teaching the games at Jim Koe Park to the public. Go to our Northern Games Series [pg 46] to learn how to play the games at home!

l da s! e M er n win



s un bo iou var ving f m a h ro th f ties You muni com


From across

the border

A hunter’s reflection on Inupiat-Inuvialuit wildlife management meetings Jen Photo Credit:

words and photos by Adam Kudlak

Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC), North Slope Borough Wildlife Management (NSBWM), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) brought together Inupiat and the Inuvialuit in Barrow, Alaska for the 2nd Inupiat-Inuvialuit (I-I) Workshop on Transboundary Collaboration in the Beaufort Sea this late April. The workshop builds upon on-going conversations between Inupiat and Inuvialuit, including a workshop in Anchorage in March 2012, discussing community interests, concerns, and hopes for conservation in the Beaufort Sea. Inuvialuit, Inupiat, and other experts came together to share information, discuss ecosystem-based management and effects, and explore options for further transboundary collaboration. Issues both Inuit peoples face with the impacts of industry, governments, conservation groups, climate change and a technologically advancing north were discussed.

Myself ig ht) and a fellow (urlu maker.

(JS/ WF), Jen Lam Dan Slavik (W left Loseto (DFO), . Bottom row to right: Lisa nity member) R). mu (EN com an k Top row left nig kto ), Marsha Bra dlak (Ulukha IGC), Adam Ku Smith (WMAC North Slope er to right: Jennif

Southern knowledge is validated by Inuit TK. North and South have to work closely together to protect our lands, oceans and the wildlife. For Inuit, it is our duty to do so for our children and grandchildren.

issues to help maintain a sustainable population of Southern Beaufort polar bears, providing recommendations on management, research priorities and practices. The I-I Beluga meetings have a similar agenda.

We also discussed our needs for better understanding and sharing of baseline conditions and better synthesis and integration of data and wildlife management across borders, utilizing maps for better cross-boundary wildlife/ ecosystem management.

As an Ulukhaktok community member, being a delegate on this trip is a dream come true. Going to Barrow felt like going home, we were welcomed like family to experience the land, the ocean, the lifestyle and the people.

The WWF Transboundary Workshop included presentations from management and research activities – updates on coastal monitoring work that is happening in the ISR, the ISRwide CBM program from the Inuvialuit perspective, and updates on Alaskan programs such as their polar bear hair snare project. Valuable insights were gained from the sharing.

The Inuvialuit stayed on after the Transboundary meeting for I-I Beluga and Polar Bear Meetings.

There were discussions on how better to incorporate traditional knowledge (TK) into decision-making processes.

Inuvialuit and Inupiat, the user groups of the Southern Beaufort Polar Bear subpopulation, researchers and managers (federal and state/territorial governments) provided updates on research and management. The commissioners also discussed related

Inuit offered our TK at the meeting. Often we hear the term “validation of traditional knowledge” from southern experts but I see it goes both ways –

t Barrow Delegates a

The I-I Polar Bear Joint Commissioner meeting is an annual meeting. The original I-I Polar Bear Agreement was signed in 1988 and updated in 2000. There has been a meeting almost every year since then.


I learnt that we are lucky to be able to carry on our Inuit way of living despite the many organizations and governments whose agendas threaten our harvesting lifestyle. We are facing some big battles, but if we work together as Inuit we can overcome. The effects of oil and mineral industries on migratory, feeding and calving areas were discussed. Other major topics were migration, whale tagging and fish studies. A nanuq (polar bear) was tagged above Banks Island and tracked across the high arctic towards Russia and Alaska. One of the recommendations from when the Inupiat and Inuvialuit had a closed door discussion was that

Photo Credit: Jen Lam

meal at a home in A delicious traditionally prepared walrus. Bottom right d boile left om Bott ow. Barr s in the metal kippered salmon. Fermented walru e it. abov ak makt ead bowh and bowl,

The Inuvialuit are treated to supper at Ida Oolimount’s home

Bowhead maktak

We hear the term “validation of traditional knowledge” from southern experts but I see it goes both ways – Southern knowledge is validated by Inuit TK. North and South have to work closely together to protect our lands, oceans and the wildlife. For Inuit, it is our duty to do so for our children and grandchildren.

Taqulik Hepa (Direc tor NSBWM), Frank Pokiak (IGC Chair), Jen Lam (IGC sta ff) at the meeting


l raditiona Alaskan t s. r hip wade

en in Barrow Baleen etching se

representatives from our communities need to go educate people in the south about our great respect for the birds, animals, and fish. We need to show people that we depend on these for our livelihoods, and that we do not go hunting for hunting’s sake.

Alaskan harpoon head

With the recent rejection of the US proposal to up list polar bear and call to ban international trade in the species at the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), we have less than 3 years till the next vote to convince the world again that the Nanuq (Polar Bear) is not threatened by our sustainable harvests.

I always tell the youth I work and live with, “Always be proud of who you are, where you come from and how we live!” I am very grateful to those who have served and will serve at these meetings as they help Inuit across the north to maintain the freedom to live the life we love! KOANA!


Local Observers Engaged in Paulatuk Beluga Monitoring words and photos by Jen Lam illustrations by Zoe Ho

“First the fish come in, and then the whales follow after.� That was one of many observations shared at a community meeting this summer in Paulatuk, as part of a program integrating local observations and beluga monitoring. In June, Sonja Ostertag (DFO), Lisa Loseto (DFO) and Kristen Hines (FJMC) facilitated a community workshop in Paulatuk to launch the Beluga Local Observations Project. This project received funding from the Northern Contaminants Program and FJMC. Community members are engaged in the research process with the incorporation of local observations into the ISR beluga monitoring program. This was the first of a number of similar community meetings in Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik.

In recent years, Paulatuk has been harvesting

From this meeting, the researchers worked further

more belugas than before. The community has

with Diane Ruben (PHTC Resource Person) and

been running a beluga monitoring program. It is

Ray Ruben (PHTC Acting Vice President) to draft

challenging to fully understand population trends

two questionnaires for harvesters and monitors

due to the small number of whales harvested. The

use. These questionnaires will be completed by

whales in Paulatuk appear to be feeding differently

harvesters and monitors this summer after they

than those in other areas. There was discussion

harvest or observe belugas in Darnley Bay. The

on whether feeding behavior and other activities

GPS cameras will be used to take photos of the

have changed over time. Local observations could

belugas before, during or after the harvest. This

enhance the scientific research and monitoring

will provide GPS coordinates, as well as photo

relevant to belugas in the ISR. Other information like

documentation of beluga activity and habitat use.

tide levels, weather, and fish availability could also

The researchers hope that this project will lead

be used to monitor changes in the environment.

to long-term involvement of local observations in beluga monitoring.

The participants discussed what sort of observations and information could be included in the program

The researchers are looking forward to meeting

and how these could be used in beluga monitoring.

with the community members in the fall to discuss

Tools like GPS cameras and binoculars will be made

results from this project and to plan for the future.

available to the local observers as part of the program.

Lawrence Ruben (PHTC) & Lisa Loseto (DFO) discussing areas of beluga activity.

Agnes Ruben, Sarah Green (standing), Diane Ruben, Patricia Ruben and  Kristin Hynes discussing TK beluga migration routes.

(From L, sitting) John Nakimayak, Josie Green and Ray Ruben Sr. with Sonja Ostertag (DFO)Ray Ruben (PHTC) [2nd from right] and (standing) Bill S. Ruben and Gloria Ruben in discussion. Youth community members Gloria Ruben,  Rebecca Ruben, Janean Voudrach and Bill S. Ruben were also involved in the beluga program discussions.


Aboriginal Day 2013

words and photos by Zoe Ho and David Stewart

Aboriginal Day celebrations in Inuvik’s Jim Koe Park was jam-packed with happy faces and fun activities!

Aboriginal Day celebrations in Inuvik’s Jim Koe Park was jam packed with happy faces and fun activities! The Inuvik Drummers and Dancers.

(L-R) Drum Dancers Braeden Picek and Dang Dang Gruben performing with the drummers’ accompaniment.

James Day demonstrates the blanket toss.

Alainna Carpenter, smiling as she dances.


On 21st June 2013 the Summer Solstice day had free pancake breakfast, children’s entertainment, an outdoor feast (bbq and fish fry!), jigging, lucky draws, live music, old time dancing, and was topped off by northern games demonstrations as well as performances by the Inuvik Drummers and Dancers.

Team Animal Muk, a game where players try to get straight faced opponents to laugh.

Aboriginal Day 2013 James Day demonstrating the Alaskan High Kick.

It was a most joyous gathering for people of all ages. Visitors (especially those who just came off their summer drives up the Dempster Highway) were warmly received, some even joined the drummers and dancers on the stage and learnt a few moves! Happy Aboriginal Day!

Inuvik Drummers and dancers invited visitors to join them onstage. Jimmy Kalinek (L) teaches Kamal Adam, an Inuvik resident some moves.

Team Animal Muk doing their utmost to make the other team laugh.

Annie Aleekuk and Inuvik Drummers and Dancers in a expressive women’s dance.


Regional Youth Wellness Co-ordinator (IRC)

words and photo by David Stewart


hen John Stuart Jr. was a boy Tuktoyaktuk had “one gymnasium and one community hall” so having sports programs or other extra curricular programs was a challenge. “You know that age where sliding down the hill is not fun anymore and the older kids are doing their own thing... so we were left in the middle with little to do, it was kind of depressing. The main sport was hockey but not everyone was into it. A bunch of us got together and started sports clubs and tutoring after school to help younger kids with their homework,” he says. John Stuart Jr. cares about the youth in our region. Since high school he has volunteered his time coaching soccer, volleyball, and wrestling, bringing teams to the Arctic Winter Games territorials. As the years went on, his involvement kept escalating. This led to John eventually running the Jason Jacobson Youth Center in Tuk for a number of years. “I love coaching, I injured myself really badly when I was eighteen so I really couldn’t compete anymore but I still had all that

knowledge. Coaching involves a lot of sacrifice, it’s very time consuming and involves mentoring the kids but I love it.” In 2012 John was honoured with the Coach Award by the Aboriginal Sports Circle. Recently John thought he would extend his positive work and be more effective by taking on the regional Youth Wellness Co-ordinator position at IRC. He is also currently one of the board members on the Inuvik Youth Center committee. “Working with youth has its challenges but once they get to know you it’s not as hard. I treat people the way I’d like to be treated. Besides, I like to think that I’m still a youth,” he laughs. Today John’s work is mainly focused on health. Suicide prevention is big on his list. “We’ve lost far too many people in our region and all across the Inuit region to suicide, drug abuse and alcohol abuse. These are the main topics I’m communicating with the youth about, giving them training, letting them know that there are avenues they can take and people they can talk to if they are feeling down and heading in the wrong direction.”

National Inuit Youth Council (NIYC) John recently went to Kuujjuaq for National Inuit Youth Council meetings. He is Acting Vice-President of NIYC. Inuit from Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, the Kitikmeot Region, Kivalliq, Baffin Region and the ISR meet once a year to identify, discuss and find solutions to problems faced by our regions. “We learn from each other applying approaches to problems that worked in one area to see if it works in others. It’s a really good group we have now, we communicate well together battling things that are bringing the youth down these days,” says John.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Program (ASIST) John took the ASIST training course that introduces concerned community members to suicide first-aid intervention skills – skills that can be used to help prevent the immediate risk of suicide. He has also brought the program to the communities training youth on how to be intervenors so they can talk amongst each other to help resolve issues. “It’s another avenue they can go to when feeling down. They have someone their age that is trained, that knows how to deal with someone that is having suicidal thoughts. Last year I helped get thirty-five people trained - youth, nurses, social workers and elders. I’ve also been invited back to four communities to continue these workshops,” he says.

Crisis Hotline John is also enthusiastic about a new Regional Crisis Hotline that is in the works. “IRC is a big proponent of it, Health and Social Services, the Family First Crisis Center and a few other organizations are working together to set up a crisis hotline that we hope to see active soon. This is will be for the entire region, not just Inuvik.”

“One of the things that I brought to the table at NIYC this year was my ASIST Training experience. They were interested to hear about it and are all on board to try it in their own communities. The more people we train, the more suicide is talked about the less taboo it becomes. In August we are gathering in Kuujjuaq for a Youth Summit. Each region will be bringing two youth and one elder so we’ll be hearing directly from the youth what their needs and concerns are, what’s troubling them.” The work that is involved in bringing together youth from different communities to talk about difficult topics can be daunting, but John has never wavered. “The biggest challenge for me is getting youth to participate, I’ll never stop trying but it would be good to see more youth involved. I use the community corps and hamlets to spread word of our activities and I also have a youth committee set up in each community. From these I plan to set up a regional committee to get the word out that they can access these programs from IRC, it would help them out. I think the youth should not be shy to speak out. I think if they had more say in their education or what they get to do after school they’d feel a lot better. They need to own up on what they want to do and not be shy about it.” What keeps John fired up? “My son Hayden is one of the driving forces behind what I do. He is seventeen now, soon to be eighteen. I see him and his friends, and other younger friends of mine finish high school not necessarily know what steps to take next... and I really enjoy trying to help them move ahead in life.”

Want to get involved with the NIYC? Check out www.niyc.ca


g n i k a e r B h g u o Thr

ian d a n a C r o i n u nced J a h n E Ranger ining Tra

otos by Adam Kudlak h p d n a words


C Rs! Our J

Cadet Ca mp

Junior Cana dian Rangers (JC R) and Canadian Ranger escort s reached new heights at Enh anced Training Sessi ons (ETS) he ld 20 km outs ide of Whitehorse, Y ukon this Jun e. An estimate d 200 Junior Cana dian Rangers from 3 territor ies Nunavut, NW T and the Y ukon – faced daily new challenges and fears, and thos e who rose to th e challenges gain ed empowering memories that would last for their lifetime. The days were filled with ad ventures, namel y shooting with shotguns, .22 ri fles, bow and arrows, trapping, wood smanship, zip lining, rock wa ll climbing, fast water rescue, canoeing, white water rafting, rappel ling, horseback riding, and M onkido aerial adventur es! A new leadersh ip training pr ogram for the JC R Sergeants and Master Corpora ls gave JC R

dlak Kiteku ing. Austinticing shoot prac

Elanik Phillip JC R

leaders more expe rience leading th eir fellow ranger s in drills, and st rengthening J C R cores as communities. 30 JC R leaders began the progra m with 27 completin g. Each leader took great pride in le ading their patrols and team work. After day time activities ea ch JC R Leader held evening trai ning sessions with Patrol leaders. This enhanced th e JC R leader ’s communication sk ills, drill instruct ion skills and te am building skills. There were 7 pa trols in all, mad e up of 30 JC Rs from the various areas. Patrol na mes were: Carib ou, Musk-ox, Wolves, Wolverines, Trolls , Grizzlies, Aivik s and JCR Lea ders. The patrols grew to become gr eat friends and som e JC Rs also m et family from ot her regions. Many te ars were shed as the JC Rs said goodbye for anot her year to their new found friend s.

elling. ie rep l-Mar a r o K k Bunni

! Tyrell


able of, I was cap t a h w t n r mits at er, I lea push my li As a rang to d a h I . lly and menta but even physically instructors, e th m o r f arnt a lot particular, times! I le JC R in e n O . s R the JC the more from embodied k to k a h k Ulu tana from it a Tyrell Kup you make if y it il b a is last is only a d hes for the tc u lesson “It r c n o n d bee ies he ”. Tyrell ha ere activit disability! w e r e th h oug and even th he could few years e was lots r e th t u o nd d 12 do, he fou n he turne e h w could not r e b m I reme s. He e the rest! for JC R do, just lik p u g in n as sig ed if he w R with and I ask me a JC o c e b ld u o Ic on’t think st moving said, “I d swam in fa e h y a s n a with ow Tyrell c ced rapids a f my leg.” N d n a s e zip lin mination ped down and deter water, whip e g a r u o c or his e r rafts! F . You hav rd a w a white wate ” s p r rit de Co en an “Esp iv g s a w e h ng man! proud you y r e v ll a s made u

is overcoming h es d ri st t a re C R made g as Another J of what he h d u ro p ry r! I am ve his JC R fear of wate l he trusted u f k n a th m and a ered accomplished anger conqu R n ia d a n a C me. A fellow rafting leader and white water e th g n ri u d fast water unior his fear of a “Best J on w k la d u Marie K trip. Koralard! Leader” aw parade would do a s R C J e ll th A drum Each day a closing day. e th r fo on preparati ing our practice in ance – becom rm fo er p e for th Cove), was needed laga (Whale k O ie ou L ge. Ranger h Kruse latest challen lliq), Hanna a S ( t u n ta obie Saner make an Ranger J together to ed k or w I d ing) an (Pelly Cross ours. within just h Inuit drum barrel, allon plastic g 5 4 a om as made fr The drum w tent fly. om a military fr ed g a lv with skin sa

rs Leade Grizzly

The Ranger drum

rship training JCRs in leade

es a Laura receivt-shirt leadership

ward Tyrell’s a

award tana with Tyrell Kup

I remember whe n Tyrell turned 12 and I asked if he was signin g up for JC Rs. He said, “I don’t think I could become a JCR with my leg.” Now he can say he swam in fast moving water, whipped down zip lines and faced rapids with white wate r rafts!

Koral-M arie’s Leadersh ip award

We tried to ca rve a groove on the drum to fa sten the skin, but we kn ew we lacked th e time and tool s so we used wooden sc rews instead . T he handle was made from a tree br anch. We finish ed the drum ju st 15 minutes before the ceremony. T he young JC R who played the dru m at the parad e said, “It’s a really awesome drum you guys made! ”. I called it “T he Ranger Drum”. With teamwork, anything is po ssible! I am very prou d of our Jun ior Canadian R angers and our leader s! Thank you to all the military staff, Canadian Rang ers, civilian co ntractors, and parents who made it po ssible for our J unior Canadia n Rangers to atte nd this camp. It had a huge impact on their lives. T hese experience s of joy, friend ship and challenges will be carried with them for th e rest of their lives! Koana from Ad am the ranger!


Words by James Kuptana

James Kuptana out on the water. (photo by Patricia D’Souza.)

My Journey thus far James Kuptana and Teevi Mackay at the ITK office. They worked together on “Tukitaarvik” a website dedicated to increasing Inuit access to postsecondary information. www.tukitaarvik.ca

Youth Story #1

Qanuq itpit? My name is James William Ayalik Kuptana. My maternal grandparents are Sarah and William Kuptana; my paternal grandparents are Pamela and Raymond Creery. I am the son of Rosemarie Kuptana and Ian Creery, and I’m father to my son Isaac Kuptana. I begin like this because to describe where I’m at, and where I’m journeying to, my family is an essential point of origin when reflecting on my journey.


recently graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Environmental Studies. As I crossed the stage to shake hands with Tom Jackson, an influential Aboriginal actor/artist (ever watched North of 60?) and Trent University’s most recent Chancellor, I felt a profound sense of pride and joy. I’ve worked extremely hard to earn this moment. My family was watching as all this took place, and it made me think: How did I get here? Where am I going? What’s next? What really matters? The Chancellor exchanged a few words with me, reminding me about the importance of family, recognizing the power of love and appreciating its ability to shape our lives and the world around us. Graduating from university marks the end of my youthful adolescence and a new beginning. Here I am, a new father, with a newborn baby and family, with my eyes are opened to a new world of possibilities. University was a game changer, it taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of.

My years spent in post-secondary education were not without hardships. Being away from home for the first time, budgeting, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and academic probation were all issues that I had to work through. I sought to balance these challenges with positive strategies, making new friends, playing hockey on the aboriginal team, asking professors for extra help, and seeking out professional help for my mental health issues. I even took a course in my third year about the legacy of residential schools. It got me in touch with where my pent up anger and rage stems from, and how the robbing of language, culture and parental skills has impacted my life and my community. In the past, I could not understand how residential school issues which took place so long ago could still affect me today but now I see education as a key component to understanding how to effectively address issues. My family has always been a source of strength for me, I feel strong when working on animals with Naanak, waiting for geese with my cousin Jeff, or fishing for mackerel in the bay with my granddad in Nova Scotia. I have


Naanak Edith Haogak and me in Sachs, summer 2009 (Photo Credit: Doug Barber).

Hockey in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia December 2009 after attending COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

always stayed close and connected to my family, no matter how far apart we may live. The people that we surround ourselves with are key to who we become. The relationships that we make and how we communicate, whether personal or professional are a reflection of who we are. My newest, most inspiring relationship is with my newborn son Isaac. He is one year old this August! Over the last year I have gone through what felt like never-ending change and uncertainty. While that may sound negative, it had a positive impact on my life and overall well-being.

Graduating from university marks the end of my youthful adolescence and a new beginning, my eyes are opened to a new world of possibilities.”

At his graduation ceremony at Trent University, Ontario.

I had put off finishing my university degree for some time. After leaving university in 2008 I decided to work for a year, which quickly turned into two years and the prospect of not finishing my degree started to become a reality. It was my family that encouraged me to finish my remaining courses and complete that part of my life. My father was influential in helping me design and implement a long distance education plan. These online and correspondence courses were some of the toughest classes I’ve put myself thorough but the reward has been incredible, I actually finished my BA! All those years of worrying and feeling guilty about leaving ends untied vanished in that moment as I walked across the podium at Trent University. All I could do was smile and try not to break down in front of all my peers, the feeling was overwhelming. Determination is crucial to success, determine what you want, determine how you’ll get there and determine who you’ll need to work with. Never give up, even when you think it’s hopeless, revisit the issue, ask for extra help, reach out, you will be surprised at the response you will get. Make yourself open to success, vulnerability is uncomfortable, it’s uncertain, it’s scary but it’s one decision I can promise you’ll never regret. To hear James speaking at the “Vision and Voices of Inuit Youth” panel at ITK 40th anniversary conference “From Eskimo to Inuit in 40 Years” (2011), watch: https://www.itk.ca/media/video/vision-voices-inuit-youth-james-kuptana

On board the Amundsen during Circumpolar Inuit Schools on Board, summer 2008 (Credit: Robin Gislason).

With Peter Mansbridge, CBC newscaster at the From Eskimo to Inuit in 40 Years conference.

The good life Memories of Imaryuk, Husky Lakes

Introduction by Albert Elias, Story by Annie Emaghok Imaryuk (Husky Lakes) lies just south

bone hook while my dad built a snow

a few days of fishing we all headed

of the Tuktuuyaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk)

house. He made a snow shelter for

for Tuktuuyaqtuuq. The trail was

coastline. It is connected to Liverpool

me to fish in. Being tired I decided

hard packed and the dogs anxious to

Bay by a narrow channel leading out

to lie on my back to relax and as luck

get home. They were at full trot and

to the great Beaufort Sea. Beluga

would have it there was a sudden

galloping at full speed down the hills.

whales are known to make their way

tug and I pulled out a good size trout.

There were other teams travelling

to Imaryuk and get stranded there. A

Fresh fish for supper!

with us so it was fun racing home!

Another time we were at Sauniqtuuq

The land and water has always

with other people and fishing

provided food and shelter for the

was good that Spring day. When I

Inuvialuit. Sometimes it was not

could not pull up the big fish, David

easy, especially during winter but by

Nasogaluak would be there to help.

persevering and working together

My first memory of Imaryuk is of

Once when I was old enough to drive

they overcame challenging times.

travelling there with my parents by

my father’s dog team of seven dogs,

dog team and camping. It was cold

I went with Amos Cockney and his

and windy. I was given the job of

family to Husky Lakes, helping on

jiggling for fish with a hand made

the way. It was fun for me and after

lifeline to the Inuvialuit from the delta and the coast for generations, it is a popular place for hunting, fishing and recreation, nowadays mainly during springtime.

At Reindeer Station. (ICRC photo)

Here is an example of what life can be like many years ago as told by my aunt Annie Emaghok...


It was the fall of 1937. My father Niumatuna had a good catch of herring in the fall using Oscar’s fish net.

Ukiaksami 1937-mi aapaga Niumatuna qaaksiqiluarniqtuaq Oscar-m kubyaanik atuqluni.



that and nearing starvation they went travelling in

ilaksaiqluta. Taima aasiin niqailiukirapta aulaqtuanni,

search of food with the Ayak family.

Ayatkullu (Ayak Sydney’s family).

Ayak Sydney’s children were Alualuk (Pete Sydney),

Ayaum qitunrait Alualuk, Effie, Itaatchiaq, Noah

Effie, Itaatchiaq (Elijah) and adopted son Noah Elias

Elias (Ayaum tiguanga) angayukliuyuaq. Uvagutauq

was the oldest. In our family there was Wallace,

ilavut Wallace, Lennie, Laura, uvangalu, nukaralu

Lennie (I’m not sure where he was, maybe at his

Johnny. Sitamauyuanni.

hat winter, in December or January, they found out that Navaluk had taken and stored away all

the fish and left nothing for my parents. Because of

Fishing at Aklavik 1922. (NWT Archives/g-1979-001-0261)

kiumi aasiin December-miluuniin Januarymiluuniin ilitchuriyuat Navaluumguuq

iqaluit maqaiqlugit tamaita tutquqnigait uvagut

Children standing in front of harvested fish. (ICRC photo)

Atausitchaaq tupiqput. Sivituyumik aulaugaqaaqluta Imaryuk tikitainagaqput. Tanmaapalukluta aasiin. Sixnguyut qimmivut. Pingasut qimmit payablutik tuquyuat apqunmi. Pingasutchaanik Ikinilik tikipalukkaqput. Uvagut nutaqqat surautivullu ikimabluta qamutingni. Angutit qimmit ikayuqlugit. Ikinilik tikinnaptigu sister’s), Laura and myself with my younger brother Johnny. There were just the four of us. All we had was one tent. After some travelling we reached the shores of Imaryuk (Husky Lakes) and set up camp. We had five or six dogs. By the time we reached Ikinilik only three survived. The rest died of hunger. They had walked all the way since morning.

aulatchivakaluaqlutik iqaluyuittut. Taimani ittuq tajva. Tatqiqsiun January, siqiniq takunaqiblunilu. Noah-lu Wallace-lu Mashuryuamugiaqtuak pingasutchaanik qimmilak qamaungaaraalullak uuktugiaqlutik. Taima kangiituak sivituyumik. Qimmiit ami payaapiit. Unnukluaqlunilu qaipalulaqtuk. Ayaum tupiq upkuiramiung apiriyak “Qanuq?” Qamauguuq sitkitak. Qapirilakaluaramiguuq takuyaqtukak. Iqaluk itqutigamiung nabluqlugu igaakigaa. Sannairami tupaaqluta niripkagainni.

Archival picture of Inuvialuit making dry fish.

Our gear and us – the children were on the sled while they helped the dogs along. Upon reaching Ikinilik we stopped and tried to jiggle for fish but did not catch any. That was the way it was. It was the month of January when the sun was returning. The sun usually shows up around January 10th. Then Noah and Wallace went to Mashuryuaq with only 3 dogs and a small toboggan to try their luck there. They did not come back for a long time (ICRC photo)

Atausitchaaq tupiqput. Sivituyumik aulaugaqaaqluta Imaryuk tikitainagaqput. Tanmaapalukluta aasiin. Sixnguyut qimmivut. Pingasut qimmit payablutik tuquyuat apqunmi. Pingasutchaanik Ikinilik tikipalukkaqput.

On the trail, sleds are iced so that the runners run easily and lightly over the snow. ‘Icing’ means to put a thin coating of water on the mud runner where it freezes hard very quickly. 1940s. (Fleming/NWT Archives/N-1979-050-1176)

All we had was one tent. After some travelling we reached the shores of Imaryuk (Husky Lakes) and set up camp. We had five or six dogs. By the time we reached Ikinilik only three survived. The rest died of hunger. They had walked all the way since morning.�


as their dogs were weak from hunger. Finally at

Tajvangaaniin inuusuqsiyuanni. Taima April-mi

midnight they came back and Ayak opened the tent

aapangma tiliyak Noah-lu Wallace-lu Reindeer

entrance and asked, “How was it?” They told him

Station-muqublugik. Aglinigaa Kaliathluk.

that they filled the toboggan.

Inuvialuktun aglaguuvangniqtuaq taimani. Tanmaalaablutik taima tikipalungniqtuak

In disbelief Ayak went out to look. Right away he

pingasutchaanik ami qimmilak. Kaliathlutkut

brought a fish in and cut it up to cook on the wood

iningat Akulliq, Reindeer Station-min qanituq.

stove with the little bit of wood they had left. When

Kaliathluk, Peter Rufus ataatanga, ayupsangaittuq

the fish was cooked they woke us up and fed us.

taimani. Qamauk sitkitaaguuq niqinik taniktanik.

It is my sister Laura that told me this story. I was

Qaryuuyaqtuunmiklu pitiksimiklu 22-mik

there at that time but I do not remember, maybe

ilablugit, qaryuksainniklu. Qimminiklu 7-nik

because I was starving!

qaitchiblugik. Tajvangaaniin Ikinilingmun utiqtuak. Inuusiqtusigamik Tuktuuyaqtuumun utiqtuat

From then on they regained their strength so in late

apqun nakuutillugu. Sanairamik aapangma

April my father sent Noah and Wallace to Reindeer

Wallace qungilaanun aataa. Ataniningata

Station along with a letter written in Inuvialuktun.

qungilaanguqublugu. Tajvangaaniin inuusiq

He always wrote in Inuvialuktun in those days. He had written to Kaliathluk. They reached Reindeer Station with only three dogs, camping along the way. There is a place called Akulliq where Kaliathluk lived close to Reindeer Station. Wallace delivered the letter to him. Kaliathluk (Peter Rufus’ grandfather) was a well-to-do man at the time. He filled the toboggan with flour and other foods, a shotgun and a .22 rifle with ammunition for both. He even gave them seven dogs. The toboggan was loaded with all they needed. From there they made their way back to Ikinilik.

A full bounty of fish. To the Inuvialuit then, a successful harvest meant the difference between life and death. (ICRC photo)

Before the trails became too rough, they made their way to Tuktuuyaqtuuq. After the food and extra dogs were delivered my father took Wallace back to the herders. The person in charge there wanted Wallace to be a reindeer herder. From then on once again Adam and Annie Emaghok at home. (ICS photo)

life was good. There were plenty of shells to hunt ptarmigan with. When I have to throw away leftovers now I think about that time of near starvation. Later on as I grew up we did not experience real hardships but we did run out of food at times. People back then lived through hard times. Sometime

Adam and Annie on the land. (ICS photo)

Annie Emaghok. (ICS photo)

At Reindeer Station, where Annie and Adam once worked. (L-R) Kaglik, Mary Avik, Ruth and Wallace Lucas, and the minister officiating their wedding that day. (ICRC photo)

later I think we moved to Qaakturviaryuk (Lucas

nanginaiqtuaq. Qaryunikkamiklu aqijilqivaktuat.

Pt). Qaakturviaryuk is the Inuvialuktun name for

Qangma aasiin niqinik iqaisuyuitunga

Lucas Point. Fish and rabbits are just across from

itqagisuublugu taimani payaapikiutiptigun.

there. The area has moose as well. When we moved


to Qaakturviaryuk wildlife was plentiful. Life was good! While we stayed there we harvested muskrats.

Taima ilitchurialakama sapiqsaqpalaayuitugut.

When it was time to hunt whales they took us to

Aglaan ilaani niqiksaingasivangmiyuanni. Tajvanga

Nalruriaq by boats. We needed oil from the whale.

aasiin Qaakturviaryungnun (Lucas Point) nuutuanni. Iqaluit, ukallit akialuptingni. Tuktuvaillu. Nuunnapta

Long ago people helped one another‌ they were

Qaakturviaryungnun niryutauyuq, inuusiq

never needy for money. The decks of schooners were filled with dogs! Especially when three or four families were together‌ lots of dogs! From then on I do not think we experienced hunger again. These are some of my experiences I wanted to share. As far as I remember it was like this. Sometimes the Elanik family lived at Tununiq. We could hear the dogs at night from Qaakturviaryuk when it was feeding time. Near Qaakturviaryuk there is a place called Singiqyuaq where people lived. The Hansen and Malcolm MacNab families lived there at that time. Both had Inuvialuk wives. And there were people

Adam and Annie celebrating their 60th anniversary with family in 2011. (Glenna Emaghok photo)


A recent photo of Adam and Annie at their home in Tuktoyaktuk

staying at Kangianiq, Kiglavait, Napaqutalik, here and

nakuuyuq. Kivgaliqivaktuannilu tajvani innapta.

Nuvuraq (Atkinson Pt.) It was like that all the way.

Qilalukiqinaqiyarangan umiat Nalruriamuutivagainni.

In the delta Louie and the Elanik family lived at Axel

Uqsuksaptingnik sanairuklugu.

River. People were spread out around the country. They did not live in communities like we do now.

Ingilraan Inuvialuit ikayuqtigiitaqtut…akilitaksanik isumasuittut. Umiat qaangit qimminik

As I remember Taulan, Qummaqpaaluk and Kaaniq

iniksairutivaktuaq, inuit inugiakpailutik ami.

families were at Tuktuuyaqtuuq. The Nuyaviaq

Tajvangaaniin nangijaiqtuanni Qaakturviaryunun

family and Mangilaluk stayed in one house. There

nuunapta. Ilangit tajva inuusiqput tusaatqublugu.

were place names in Tuktuuyaqtuuq. Navaluk and her husband and our family lived over here at

Taimana itpangniqtuaq taimani. Elanitkut Tununiq

Quinivak. Nuvugaaluk is the next place. That was

nayuqpangminigat. Qimmiit tusarnaqivaktuat

how it was… just a few houses. My father had built a

niripkaiyaraangamik. Qaakturviaryuum

house for our family. The Oscars were there as well.

qaninganiptauq Singiqyuaq inuruaqpangmiyuaq.

There were no people here in those days. Just the

Hansen-kullu Malcom MacNab-kullu nayuqtangat.

other side the big hill here is called Kangilialuk.

Inuvialungnik iluratik aipalgik. Tajvangaaniin inuit sumiliqa inuuniaqpangniqtuat, Kangianiq,

Back then there were many molted geese near

Kiglavait, Napaqutalik, Nuvuraq. Uummarmilu Louie,

Tuktuuyaqtuuq. The men would hunt geese in the bay

Elanitkullu Axel River nayuqpanigat. Inuvialuit taimani

until the whaleboats were loaded down with geese.

sumiliqa inuuniaqpangniqtuat qangmatun ingituq.

Then they would hang the meat to dry and shared it with people. Having discovered that herring were

Ilitchurigama Taulana, Qummaqpaaluk, Kaanitkullu

in great abundance Inuvialuit started gathering

Tuktuuyaqtuuq nayuqpangnigat. Nuyaviatkullu

here. There were plenty of seals and beluga whales as

Mangilaluklu iglumi atautchimi itpaniqtuat.

well. The Hudson Bay Company was first established

Tuktuuyaqtuumtauq iluani init atilgit. Navaluklu

at Kitigaaryuit and eventually moved here. Although

tuvaaqatinilu Quinivak nayuqpangnigak. Paangani

there was no school at that time, people gradually

taika Nuvugaaluk. Imiqtarvik akiani Paaqtaq atinga

began gathering here around 1935, ‘36, ‘37.

Inuvialuktun. Iglut qapsisat. Tuktuuyaqtuuq taimani inukittuq. Pinguryuam tunualuani ikani atinga Kangilialuk. Taimani uvani Tuktuuyaqtuumi isat

Archived Tamapta Shows with Adam and Annie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrScBA-VswE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd_aOuOqi7o

inugiakpangniqtuat. Angutit isaliqigamik umiuyatik pukliluaqtagait. Nivingaqlugit mipkuliuqpagait, inuit niqiksait. Qaaktauyuaq ilitchurigmitku Inuvialuit maungaqtaliqtuat Tuktuuyaqtuumun. Natchiruaqlunilu qilalukaniklu, qiyugiklunilu. Tamatkuat Hudson’s Bay Company Kitigaaryungnin nuutuat maunga. Ilisarviruangituq taimani. 1935, 1936, 1937 Inuvialuit nausimaakiqtuat uvunga.


I’m confident. I don’t really care what people think about me, my thoughts or what I do. I’m not worried about that.”

Living Her Life

Davonna Kasook Words and photos by Zoe Ho


nd from Davonna, I learnt to be AWESOME.” As teacher Angela Young describes what she learnt from each graduating student at East 3 Secondary, there are appreciative laughs, cheers and applause, especially for Davonna Kasook. After the ceremony, Tusaayaksat got together with the beautiful 17 year old to discuss what being awesome means.

T: Why do people see you as AWESOME? D: I guess because I’m confident. I don’t really care what people think about me, my thoughts or what I do. I’m not worried about that. I’m also really into sports, really competitive and I enjoy school.

T: I notice a lot of young people seem happy and open, but when they reach High School, they look at things a little differently. How did growing up in a small town impact you? D: I was bullied a lot in Grade 7 and Grade 8. There was this big battle of being popular. I started playing soccer then and wasn’t very good. There was another girl she was really competitive as well, and I started getting better than her. She was what you said would say was “popular” back then and she started telling everyone, “Don’t sit with her, she’s not cool, she’s a loser etc”, so I didn’t really have friends. I’ll sit alone a lot - and I was really hurt by it. Once that girl moved away, I felt a little bit safer. All the

a k


bullying in our grade stopped when she moved and everybody became friends again. Boys who bullied me then still did occasionally, and one day I said, “Stop! Why are you calling me names? Do you have any legitimate reason to do that?” After that people started seeing me as “scary” and that summer if people provoked me I’d say “Watch out...” I was a little caught up in that. A lot of kids get bullied around here. There isn’t a lot done about it because a lot of them are too afraid to speak up. Only this year I told my mum, that in Grade 7 – 8, I was bullied to the point where I was thinking of suicide. And she said “What?!” It’s scary because you’re afraid if you tell someone you’d be bullied even more. T: Now when you look at the bullies what do you think? D: I think bullies are just angry children taking it out on others. I’ve got to admit in Grade 6 I was angry. I didn’t know how else to deal with it, I was so young, so I’d take it out on the other kids. After I experienced how it felt, I felt really bad. T: How were you able to be move beyond the bullying? D: In Grade 9 I moved to Hay River. I was shy at first. Then people started telling me, you are awesome, you have such a great accent... and I started feeling better about myself. Later I was sent back to Inuvik, and everyone was super excited to see me. I thought, “This feels good”. Despite what I’ve been through I am still smiling and a happy person... people saw me that way, and I thought why not... I’ve to credit Jo-Ellen for getting me to finish school. She was the school counsellor, we met everyday and she told me “Don’t worry about what other people think, you’re such an intelligent girl. Focus on your potential.”

Whenever I felt down she’d have positive words for me, and eventually I thought what’s the point of being negative, it’s not doing me any good. So ever since then I’ve been really confident. I tried to be an influence on other people, if they were having bad days, and not having motivation to go to school – I tried to encourage them. A lot of people saw how awesome grad was and I say “Finish School!” T: Sometimes, when people do well, others might pull you down? Were you affected? D: To be honest I was getting put down for graduating. When people found out I was graduating they were like “Oh My God, how do you do it?”At one point I was dropping classes for personal reasons but the next semester I came back and worked hard the whole way. It was hard work and dedication. I tell people to keep going to school, you only have to put in an hour a day for homework its not as complicated as it seems. T: Isn’t it easier to stay silent? Why do you still encourage people who didn’t graduate to try, when they put you down? D: I still keep begging people to because I care. T: Do you mentor youth in sports? D: 2 years ago when I was trying out for Arctic Winter Games Trevor’s (my boyfriend’s) brothers were too and they didn’t have a coach because it wasn’t soccer season. We had practices twice a week for an hour and a half... and they really improved – now they play “extremely wicked soccer”! With the Basketball team this year they only had one coach. I asked if I could help her out. For awhile I stood on the edge to listen and the girls were telling her what to do... I joined them and I was like “Hey girls, who’s the coach.” And their faces dropped. I said we should let the coach talk, she’s

volunteering her time for you. And after that we had perfect team behaviour. T: How do Sports make you feel? D: It helps with stress... it makes me feel good about myself. I like to be active. I like to improve on anything, whether it’s math, soccer or basketball. I like being a role model for younger kids. Sometimes in sports there are embarrassing moments, you kick the ball and you completely miss, and there’s a bunch of kids watching. Then you just shake it off and laugh and the kids are like “Ok I guess that wasn’t too embarrassing.” T: That’s awesome. What would you like to say to young people like you? D: Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Don’t give up, don’t EVER give up. The moment you give up you’d lose your confidence, your motivation. Just do what you need to do. There are a couple of people in my math class who excel and we encourage each other, it really helps. Last year in for Math and Science Roald Langford and I helped each other the whole year, we asked each other questions and taught each other, we ended up winning the senior math and science award.

T: What are your future goals and dreams? D: In Fall 2014 I plan to go to NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) with Trevor. I plan to go into woodwork or mechanics engineering. If I don’t get accepted for that I might apply for kinesiology at U of A.

T: What’s something funny thing about you that nobody knows about? D: I’m really good at doing impersonations. I only do it in front of Trevor and my mum, and my friends Naomi or Kristen – I can laugh really goofy. I can talk like Cox from Fairly Odd Parents, or the Old Man from Family Guy... [laughs].


Stand Up Now

Caleb Lennie Words and photos by Zoe Ho


aleb Lennie might seem “smarty” [delta slang: smart aleck, wisecracking guy], and in fact he likes to be seen that way, but he cares deeply about people – like when he made a special request for East 3 Secondary viceprincipal Lorne Guy to do the honours for his graduation ceremony instead of the principal. “He’s been my teacher since Grade 5 – and he always pushed me – he always knew I was smart. I almost gave up school.”


raining as a plumber’s apprentice in Inuvik, Caleb’s life is now full of promise, and it is hard to imagine that it was ever otherwise. “Everyone thought negative about me for the longest time, now they see me as a good person. I’ve changed, it’s how I wanted it,” he said. “I was always getting in trouble until Grade 9. My first Grade 10 I really messed up and I thought if I were to graduate I’d really have to push myself. The way people looked at me they thought I was going down this road... like I was going to be an alcoholic or junkie or something like that. I was into sports but I did it in my own time, I didn’t really hang out with kids who

joined activities in the school – I’d just go to school, then find my friends uptown – and they are pretty much street kids – people with the street smarts – and that’s when people thought I’m going to be this. Be that.” “That’s when I got fed up – I said to myself, I’m going to show them all. I’m not a street kid. I’m generous and kind, and I have the right upbringing. They are still going to be my friends, but I just don’t want people to look down on me. ” A car crash changed the course of his life. He was seventeen. The vehicle he was in mis-spun and flipped. “My sister’s boyfriend is a mechanic, he said if we landed on its back the

engine would have crushed me and my brother.” His close shave with death left him in shock. His friends visited him after the accident, but “I would just ignore them. My Naanak Margaret came to visit me and I couldn’t ignore her... she got through to me, and I just put that [the accident] away...” However he suffered recurrent anxiety attacks. “The doctors gave me a whole bunch of checkups, I had MRIs and CAT scans. I was traumatized. It’s just the speed – once I’m moving past 100 [km/hr] I’d start getting dizzy, getting confused.” Within a week of the accident his parents decided to send him to Edmonton to start fresh in a new environment.

I used to bully others because I was bullied. When I hit high school I saw how wrong I was. I’m against bullying.�

Norther n Nig hts barely s ee by Cal Le eb nn i


The day is dim, The sky is bright,

Hour b

nearly a s



n a summe r night

y hour The sun is d e voured within sight ny light Cannot see a ear here n

w ere, no h t r o The sun is gone Here Now Northern Nights Only the darkness of

night within sight

The stars shin e bright The snow fall

s lig

ht Our Northern nig


As it was for most Northern youth, learning to assimilate in a larger city was hard at first. “I was real shy for the first three months, I didn’t know how to make friends and to talk to others. It really held me back from going to school because I felt so insecure, so paranoid, and eventually I thought I just want to be myself, the outgoing kid, tell funny stories.” One weekend he hit bottom with his loneliness and on the Monday he decided to “start being myself”. “The next thing I knew everybody started to know me and I got comfortable. Even after my mum moved to a different area I was fine because people I knew would introduce me to more people. Teachers loved me. Now I’m pretty much a ‘city boy’ – I really want to explore. I want to go to a bigger place like Toronto, New York, see bigger cities and life... there’s no need to hide who you are and who you want to be.”

Caleb moved back to Inuvik about a year ago to complete his High School studies, taking advantage of the free courses with the SunChild E-Learning Center. Caleb’s family helped him to stay the course. “My sister Ashley is like my second mum. I’m the baby of the family and my mum was living in Edmonton for the last 5 years and I really needed that motherly push and

“At SunChild I found out I really like writing – I wrote a poem called ‘Northern Nights’. Northern lights and Inuvik at night time is the most beautiful thing – I tell people my vacation is coming home. I love this place for the summer, just 24 -7 daylight, nice work here, the people are lovely here, it’s just perfect.” “In a way I wished the accident never happened but I’m also glad it did – it woke me up – otherwise I wouldn’t be where I’m now,” said Caleb. He wishes some of his friends graduated with him. “I told my friends I didn’t just have fun, I went to school and toughed it out and you could have been sharing this moment with me,” he said quietly. “And they said yea.” When asked ideas on motivating youth to finish school, Caleb said, “You could show them what’s going to happen in a couple of years if they don’t go to school. Show them they’re going to be stuck here... most of the kids who drink do so because they don’t like being stuck in this town. Keep drinking, keep yourself stuck here. You’re going to be hung over, and not want to go to school. Pot, drugs, alcohol, that’s what’s holding them back...”

“I don’t want to judge people, I might give suggestions, they can be who they want to be. I used to bully others because I was bullied. When I hit high school I saw how wrong I was. I’m against bullying. If you meet a bully – Stand up now. Tell someone. I did and I feel happy about it. It will take the weight off your shoulders. Most of the kids I’ve bullied I’ve apologized to and – one of the boys I picked on... we are really good friends now. Circle of life, haha.” He laughs. “I know teenage life is so much fun – but you can have fun after school – just keep going to school. It’s tough trying to fight drug and alcohol abuse. I know there are kids who end up being alcoholics and drug addicts because they see their parents being alcoholics and drug addicts. We need good role models to keep us going, somebody needs to be a voice for these youth.” “My role model is my older brother, Jeremy. I always wanted to be like my brother. I wanted to be a plumber like him but he told me be who you want to be.” Caleb has decided to stay in Inuvik to be a plumber apprentice. “It’s been 2 weeks – I can’t wait to get into the mechanical, technical stuff – I’m moving in with my brother so he’s going to teach me a lot.” Eventually he plans to go to NAIT or Fort Smith for Plumbing certification. “What kept me going was I didn’t want to fail anyone, both my brother and my sister graduated and I didn’t want to be the only child who didn’t so I kept pushing myself and now I’m finally there. I’m proud of myself.”

What is the Sunchild Program?

East 3 Secondary principal Deborah Maguire and Clarissa Rogers on graduation day.

Photo Credit: Zoe Ho/ICS

punishment, I guess, and she just took over that motherly role. If she saw me doing something bad, she’ll give me an ear-full and if she didn’t see me at school where I was supposed to be, she’ll bring me there, she’ll call everyone of my teachers every week to see how I was doing in school.”


ongratulations to Clarissa Rogers of Inuvik on her graduation this year! She joined the Sunchild program in February 2011, received the 2011 NWT Ministerial Award for youth learners (aged 16–25) in recognition of her determination and success in returning to school to get her high school diploma. The Sunchild E-Learning Centre, an online program designed to meet the needs of aboriginal students, allows students to complete their high school education by taking grade 10 to 12 classes such as science (biology, chemistry), math (algebra, trigonometry, calculus), social studies, and English Language Arts (ELA), as well as single courses in Career and Life Management (CALM), financial management, and aboriginal studies. In Inuvik, the program is funded by the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), coordinated through the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), and located in the IRC corporate building. The success of the program has been demonstrated through the achievements of the students, who log in online during class times and can speak with the teacher at any time through text messaging or a microphone. Students who complete their education with the program graduate with a high school diploma.



aley Smith has a ready smile, and joyful earnestness that makes you believe everything can be made good. The recent grad from East Three Secondary talks lightly about the high school pitfalls. “I don’t think we had cliques... we just all did our own things. You don’t see people and go ‘those are the jocks’... the whole graduating class were all friends so that was pretty cool.”

She also easily deflects peer pressure. “The biggest peer pressure thing here is drinking. It’s not a big problem for me because my friends are understanding.” She admits there was some fear when she first entered High School, but that quickly dissolved, “When I started

[school] it was fine. I am very open I like to travel and to meet people so trying something new is not hard for me.” Even though Haley had subjects that challenged her in school, she made the most of the situation. “That’s the best part of it being so small here. You can just talk to tutors and teachers after school, you don’t really have to schedule it.”

words by Zoe Ho photos by David Stewart & Zoe Ho



Haley has gotten to paddle the Horton River, explore the eastern Canadian Arctic and western Greenland on an icebreaker, and even seen art in England.

Haley (R) with principal Deborah Maguire waving her graduation certificate in joy.

As she grew up, it was as though her hometown Inuvik shrank in contrast, but she found her own solutions. “I was born here and when I was younger I thought it was so fun here. And then I started travelling, and I realized how small the town is. Teenagers deal with it differently from adults but it’s not so hopeless here. You can travel you can get help from IDC [Inuvialuit Development Corporation], join programs and have access.” With programs such as AYLE (Artic Youth Leadership Expedition), Students on Ice, and the Travel Club at school,

“With the Travel Club, we went to a Modern Art Museum in London. Even though the art was all abstract I really liked it. I like to see new things, to understand. I don’t really have any favourite kinds of art.” Art became her favourite subject last year, and discovering Haley’s love of expressing through art and photography, we asked her to become a contributor for our magazine. We hope you enjoy seeing through her eyes, as we did!

Haley with father Duane and brother Dawson at her graduation ceremony.

Stay in school. Your life will be much easier and you will be happier, and you can do work that makes you happy. School prepares you for life, if you finish school you will understand it more. Even students who dropped out, it would be awesome if they went back to school, because if they get an education they can do anything - they won’t be stuck in town and if they want to leave, they can.”


Up & Up

Preston dosedel

(Kate Snow photo)

words by Zoe Ho photos by David Stewart & Zoe Ho

Preston (middle) in action on the track with his teammates.


reston Dosedel is having a fantastic June, not only did he graduate from East Three Secondary School, he was also part of the East Three Eagles team that took the Hay River Track Meet by the storm, coming home with the NWT Track and Field Grand Aggregate Banner and Champion Trophy.

It takes dedication to make the team – only students who are able to balance academics and have a positive record can join. The Track and Field team training is 5 days a week for two months. Dave Halpine, Preston’s teacher and coach told Preston that he “had a gift”. He is a reliable team player, excelling in long distance events and always showing up punctual and ready for practice.

Preston enjoys skateboarding and stunt biking, or simply being hands on with projects like “building a shack” with his father George Dosedel. However, his family has always emphasized that actions have consequences and that it takes actions to achieve results. Which is why Preston knew that his dreams require him to clear the hurdle of high school education, and he was ready to make the effort, step by step.

“Matthew Skinner, Chris Church, Emily Rutherford, Chloe Laroque, Kaidan McDonald and Karly King-Simpson were even chosen to take part in the Canada Summer Games selection camp,” says Preston, proudly pointing out his team mates’ signatures on the banner. Born and raised in Inuvik, Preston and his teammates have an innate synchronicity.

Track and field requires patience, cadence. Athletics and the practical definitely hold higher appeal for Preston, over academics. “I don’t mind waking up for work, but I don’t like waking up for school,” he admits. “I like working. I’m working basically a full time job right now, at Mac’s News Stand, 4 days a week.”

“Eventually I might go to NAIT [College] for Carpentry. I’m upgrading my math and physics. My favourite subject is Math,” he said. What Preston would like to say to you: “Just do it! Finish school.”

words by Zoe Ho, photos by David Stewart & Zoe Ho

Graduation season in the ISR



t was the first graduation ceremony ever held in the new East Three Secondary School Hall. The Secondary School is part of Inuvik’s “Superschool” – a large, modern complex shared also with its kindergarten and elementary school. Traditional designs of qayaq and arctic sports adorn the wall, and the stage is set with roman pillars, shiny purple satin and glowing lights. The hall swells with pride, joy and love as cameras and phones were snapped non-stop - happy parents, family and friends stood up in turn, cheering on the graduates walking down the aisle.

The ISR communities of Aklavik, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok and Tuktoyaktuk have also celebrated their graduates. Tuktoyaktuk is unique in waiting till August when final results come in before holding its ceremony. The following are some moments of from the graduations in Inuvik – from the very young to adults pursuing continued education – here’s to extending our congratulations to Inuvialuit graduates across the ISR and beyond!

As principal Deborah Maguire says, the graduates are like “eagles, rising above challenges” of completing their education in small Northern communities with resilience. Today the tears that were shed were happy tears. Clara Omilgoituk, flanked by her father Josh and brother Jimmy cried softly as they walked down towards the stage. Official representatives from various groups and education departments gave inspiring speeches encouraging graduates to celebrate the moment, and to move on to greater heights. “Aarigaa... This is your day,” said Duane Smith, Vice Chair of the IRC, as he congratulates the graduates, sharing his personal experience of also growing up and graduating in Inuvik. “Never stop believing in yourselves, always pursue your dreams.” He also announced the establishment of the Larry Gordon Scholarship by IRC, in honour of the teacher whom has dedicated his life to the well-being of his students.

East 3 principal Deborah Maguire and Chantel Smith-Mcleod.

Trevor Charlie and Davonna Kasook.


East 3 Secondary graduation ceremony: family and friends, filled with pride, could not stop snapping more shots of the graduates on stage as they cheered.

Alexander Kudlak with Naanak Martha. Alexander is from Sachs Harbour and had to move to Inuvik in order to complete his education. He is now back in Sachs and has plans to go into culinary arts!

Carmen Thrasher and cousin Max Kotokak. Chantel Smith-Mcleod; with husband and daughter.

Loryn Rogers, brother Ryan, sister Thea.

Monica Loreen with grandparents Ernie and Mary Lou Dillon.

Tara Taylor and Greg Taylor.

Jacob Peffer and mother.

Clara Omilgoituk and family.

Caleb Lennie and family.

Alyssa Gordon and family.

Joyce McLeod, Alyssa Gordon, Kristen Dick, and Clarissa Rogers.

Preston Dosedel and family.

Brittney Lucas and family.

Helen Kalvak School Graduates

AarigAa! Ulukhaktok

photos courtesy of Helen Kalvak School

(L-R) Hailey with Trudy (mother), Brittany, Fred Akoaksion (father) and Karla Kuptana.

Ashley Kagyut (sister), twins Phylicia & Adrian Kagyut, Margaret Kagyut (mother) niece little girl Mackenzie Kanayok.

Judy Okheena (mother), Brandon and father Colin Okheena.

Brittney Lucas and family.

Eileen Akoaksion (mother) with Laura.

(L-R) 2013 Ulukhaktok graduates: Laura Akoaksion, Keith Kataoyak, Brandon Okheena, Adrian Kagyut, twin sister Phylicia Kagyut, Simon Kudlak, Brittany Akoaksion.

East Three Elementary School


photos by Nick Westover

Sara Anderson and Jayden Cockney (front) anticipating their first ever grad ceremony

Julienne Chipesia (foreground) and Halayna CockneyGoose prepare to walk into the gymnasium for their grade 6 graduation ceremony at East Three Elementary School.

Madison Ross (L) and Kaitlyn Crocker (R) pose for a photograph prior to their grade 6 graduation ceremony.

Jayden Cockney graduates from Mrs. Sandra Ipana’s Inuvialuktun Immersion kindergarten class.

Bradley Firth graduates from Mrs. Sandra Ipana’s Inuvialuktun Immersion kindergarten class.

The kindergarten class getting ready for their graduation ceremony.

Quinton Ritias poses for a photograph prior to his grade 6 graduation ceremony.

Children performing for parents attending, holding up alphabets that make up the word “kindergarten”. (L-R) Dexter Noksana, Naomi Haogak, Courtlyn Clark, Trenyce Voudrach.

Moose Kerr School Graduates

photos by Joanna Hartley

Aarigaa! Aklavik

Tara Lee Wedzin-Steinwand.

Lyle Storr.

Trisha Greenland.

L to R: Lyle, Trisha, Tara, and Edwin.

Edwin Wright.

Mangilaluk School graduates

Aarigaa! INUVIK Aurora college’s 2013 Graduates

Aarigaa! tuktoyaktuk words by Zoe Ho photos by Peggy Jay

Chukita & Effie Express Thanks.

The Elias family are happy with pride at Clara’s convocation.

Larry Angasuk, Lucy Kuptana,Tanya Kogiak

Chukita Gruben & Effie Gruben.

Larry Angasuk, graduate of the Office Administration program.

Delores Harley smiling after receiving the 2013 Student Leadership Award on graduation day.

The Kuptana family sharing in Lucy’s joy on her graduation from the Business Administration program.

Graduates with the Office Administration Certificate are: Larry Angasuk, Clara Elias, Mary Firth, Delores Harley, Esther Ipana, Patrick Wolki from Inuvik, and Lauren Ruben from Paulatuk.

Patrick Wolki Junior, who said he felt “proud and happy” with his father for completing his education also did well at the Inuvik’s Community Learning Centre Completion Ceremonies. He is the recipient of the Caribou Outreach Award. Andrew Gordon is the recipient of the Most Improved Student award.

Business Administration Diploma graduates are: Michelle Firth and Lucy Kuptana from Inuvik, and Tanya Kogiak from Aklavik.

Delores Harley is recipient of the Aurora College 2013 Student Leadership Award.

Congratulations to Inuvialuit graduates from Aurora College in Inuvik on May 10th 2013!


The Numbers Challenge words and photo by Zoe Ho

Clara Elias

Clara Elias first became intrigued by numbers when she worked an entry level administrative position at the Department of Transport. She enjoyed learning about the finance department and found that she has an instinctive memory for numbers. “Numbers don’t talk back, numbers don’t lie...” she laugh jokes. She began dreaming of becoming an accountant. At that time, she was about forty years old and had to complete her departmental exams for English and Math to get into the training courses that were needed.

both and continued on to Aurora College where she graduated this year with the Office Administration Certificate. She is also recipient of the UNW Local 29 Staff to Student Legacy Award.

“I was intimidated. Would I be the oldest... but I wanted to prove to my kids it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still achieve your dreams. So I decided I’m going to challenge myself and see what happens.” Clara is very grateful to her partner Pete Smith, who supported her over the two years of furthering her education. Through the SunChild program Clara completed

Being from Ulukhaktok, Clara remembers being the setbacks she had as teenager from a remote community. She urges young people there these days, “Continue school! Explore the world for opportunities, don’t give up in the isolation. It’s harder to get work in the smaller places, but go beyond, keep pushing till you get it.”

During her practicum at IRC, she accepted an offer for a full-time permanent position as an accounting officer starting this June. Clara says IRC’s HR department continues to offer continuing opportunities for upgrading her skills. “Now my career goal is to be a Senior Accountant at IRC,” Clara shared.

Special Thank You! IRC would like to extend many thanks to the Inuvik Fire Department for their quick action in containing the fire at the IRC building on August 25th. Three offices on the third floor were the most impacted, and there is extensive water damage. As a result, temporary offices have been established. Nellie Cournoyea and some support staff will be located in the old Video Effects building with others in the Professional building. For more information contact IRC.

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Bag Service #21, Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0 Tel: (867) 777-7000 Toll-Free: 1 855 777-7011 Fax: (867) 777-7001 Email: info@inuvialuit.com

IRC New Craft Store The IRC Craft Store has a new location. Due to the recent fire at IRC, the Craft Shop has been temporarily relocated to the old Video Effects building. A large variety of arts and crafts, sculptures and handmade clothing can be found there. Come get beautiful fur mitts for winter! Due to the renovations at IRC, the IRC Craft Store is relocated to the Video Effects building in Inuvik.

News Stories

NEB Mackenzie Delta and Arctic Ocean Inuvialuit Culture Awareness Tour This July, National Energy Board (NEB) Chair Gaéton Caron and staff visited Inuvialuit sacred sites on invitation of Inuvialuit they met during the NEB hearings. Sites visited included Herschel Island, whaling camps at Whitefish Station and Baby Island and Shingle Point. During his trip Caron had the opportunity to sample fresh maktak and caribou soup at the whale camps, discovered the challenge of the dizzy stick at the Shingle Point Games and while boating even spent a few hours on sand bars adding to the authenticity of his experience of being on the land. As the visit came to an end, Tusaayaksat asked Caron if his objectives had been met, and what they will be taking home from the experience.

NEB Chair Gaéton Caron (L) visits Annie B. Gordon (center) at her cabin at Shingle Point with NEB staff Susan Gudgeon.

“Anytime I listen to an elder, anytime I listen to youth about their dreams for the future I feel a huge sense of accountability to the people. Accountability that if and when we approved projects we’re accountable to them about protecting the land, protecting their way of life.”

NEB Chair Gaéton Caron.

“We came here after being invited by many people, elders, hunters and trappers to see for ourselves what they were talking about when they were talking about their land. They wanted us to see they wanted us to hear, in some cases they wanted us to taste what the land was all about.” “We’ve seen, we’ve heard and we’ve tasted the land and the people who respect it. I can now relate entirely to what people were saying ‘if you take care of the land it will take care of you’. The land is bigger than any of us and I think the Inuvialuit people are teaching us things that are of immense value... I feel that the Inuvialuit people have complete awareness of their ongoing challenge to protect their identity as a people, their language, their ways of life, the land that surrounds them and they

NEB Chair (R) and Andrew Gordon of Aklavik discuss Northern perspectives on environmental protection and energy development.

take care of and what a sustainable future means for them and the difficult choices they have to make sometimes between the land and developing an economy that works for them.” “I’m here feeling the utmost respect for what they’re doing, what they want to see happen. I also now realize how much they care for each other and the basic notion of sharing. When they harvest a Beluga they harvest it with respect, they use every possible part and they share with others who cannot afford to go whaling or their health does not allow them to and the notion of gathering is something I come back with a strong sense of understanding and connection with.” “This is only something you can discover if you are here and that’s the purpose of being here physically.”

NEB Chair (in red jacket) chatting with families at Shingle Point.

For more news stories, see pages 35 and 162.

Caron also felt a deeper understanding of his responsibility as NEB Chair. “Anytime I listen to an elder, anytime I listen to youth about their dreams for the future I feel a huge sense of accountability to the people. Accountability that if and when we approved projects we’re accountable to them about protecting the land, protecting their way of life.”

LOVE: Interpreting Nature words by Zoe Ho photos by Rachel Hansen

“It’s definitely not for ‘City Slickers’ – you board a twin otter, that’s a 15 seater plane on tundra tires... [the engines are] noisy... you are flying over the beautiful delta, through the mountains and all of a sudden you hear the plane gearing down. Where are we landing? We have an airstrip at Sheep Creek – it is a little scary but we’ve been landing there for years. Once you land there you’re in the middle of nowhere in a 9,700 ft park - you have to be self-sufficient – there’s no running water, there’s no showers... you have to get your own water, to make your own food and you are hours and hours away from help. There’s no phone ringing, no cars, no horns, just... complete... nothing. And yea, it’s beautiful.” Rachel Hansen Parks Canada Interpretation Officer lets go a blissful sigh. As she tells this story, her eyes are wide with joy, almost as if she is flying in that moment into Inuvialuit sacred lands. Rachel, one of the few people that have been at Tuktut Nogait!

Rachel: I rafted the Firth River in 2009 and I’ll always remember this beauty!

A bear’s pawprint.

Finding a nest.

Hiking with youth.

A moment of humour with colleagues at Ivvavik National Park.

Showing us photos upon photos of gorgeous vistas, wildlife, clouds, mountains and rivers, Rachel glows as she tells us about field trips to Firth River, Tuktuk Nogait, and Ivvavik National Parks. “Every photo takes me right back. I can tell you what it looked like, what it smelt like, how it felt to be out there, I just love it. In the enormity of nature, I feel my place in the world.”

Rachel: One of my most memorable experiences with Parks Canada! I might not have been to Paris, London or Mexico (millions of people have already anyway), but my footprints are the only ones out of a few that have been at Tuktut Nogait!

As an Interpretation officer, Rachel delivers visitor orientations and educational programs. With fellow Parks staff, she brings children from Tuktoyaktuk to the pingos, promoting pingo protection and awareness. She is also part of two other youth programs tailor made by Parks for Aklavik Grade 9 (Archaeological Discoveries) and Inuvik Grade 11 classes (Bio 20).

Walking along the hiking routes made me feel more connected with my ancestors, I began to wonder – what did my ancestors do, how hard did they work? It’s opened my eyes – every time I go out on the field I find something that makes me want to dig deeper into its history.” Rachel taking a break on a hike in Tuktut Nogait National Park. “With Archaeological Discoveries we explore artifacts found throughout the National Parks, discuss their uses and origins, and learn how we changed from hunting and making your own tools to modern living, going to the store to buy food and equipment.” “Bio 20 is more in depth – students measure plots, take water samples, look at plants, do weather checks, kick netting, rock walks, velocity measurements, analyzing data and comparing organisms. And we definitely take them on 1 to 8 hour hikes.” Center: Mervin Joe, fellow Inuvialuit and Parks staff with a group of Moose Kerr Youth at camp.

I love being in the North. I can’t handle being in the city. For little spurts of time yes, definitely love the shopping, the spas and what not, but it’s good to come back home, this is home. There’s so much we can do here.”

Rachel is equally versatile in hip waders as she is in her formal uniform – at Nunaluk Spit at Ivvavik National Park.


Rachel (on posing with the camp toilet): We all get a bit “bushed” after 10 days in the field.

A place to sit and think… about doing business.

Below: Rachel (left) with colleague Mervin Joe and Moose Kerr students hiking to Sheep Slot – it was still snowy on the first week of June.

Connecting to the land.

Rachel: My favourite flower – the Arctic Forget-Me-Not.

“For these students it’s an eye opener, some of them never had a chance to experience the land like this. One student from Aklavik came back as a volunteer and then she became Parks staff. It’s a good way for aboriginal students and beneficiaries to learn about positions in Parks. Many students from Bio 20 furthered their

education in related fields, and it all began in Sheep Creek,” she said. Rachel is born outside the ISR, but she is proudly Northern. “I was born in Ottawa, my dad was in the military – he met my mum here on a job posting back in the early 70s. When it was time for him to retire, he said

Beautiful landforms Rachel saw in the field.

Once you land there you’re in the middle of nowhere in a 9,700 ft park - you have to be self-sufficient – there’s no running water, there’s no showers... you have to get your own water, to make your own food and you are hours and hours away from help. There’s no phone ringing, no cars, no horns, just... complete... nothing. And yea, it’s beautiful.” ‘Absolutely, I’m retiring in the North.’ We moved up here when I was in Grade 1. This is my home, this is where I grew up.” During her childhood, she spent every break up and freeze up with her dad at their cabin on the Delta. “I was about 10 years old and skidooing with my dad. We’d come into the middle of a lake and he’ll stop – unhook the headlights – and say ‘Oh, I just broke my arm Rachel, and now you’ve got to make it back to the cabin with no headlight.

Wait, it’s the middle of winter, the snow has covered our trail so you’d have to make it back to the cabin with no trail.’ So he’ll be in the back and I’ll be trying to find landmarks, and figuring my way back – that’s how my dad taught me to travel.” Rachel’s love of the land started from there. “Honestly a big part of it is thanks to my dad. He was there, he taught and showed me everything that I need to know now,” she says. With her work, Rachel finds herself delving deeper into her origins, and

she is dreaming of one day taking up archaeology studies. “Walking along the hiking routes made me feel more connected with my ancestors, I began to wonder – what did my ancestors do, how hard did they work? It’s opened my eyes – every time I go out on the field I find something that makes me want to dig deeper into its history.” She also enjoys working with her team members. “We all have the passion to protect our National Parks, but it

A vast expanse of cotton grass that Rachel hopes you will enjoy too one day!


Rachel: Every time I head out into the field my kids give me their stuffies to remind me of them. That particular trip Xavier and Zoe said that I can “use them for a pillow, that way I can fall asleep thinking of them”. So I took them on all our hikes that weekend and took photos for them.

Skidooing during fieldwork.

Making sushi on the land.

My kids love travelling. There are parents that want their kids to be doctors and lawyers. I want my kids to be working for ENR or Parks Canada. My son already says he wants to work for Parks Canada, so yeah, right on!”

goes a little deeper than that. We’ve connections to our ancestors who are also connected. This is awesome, I just can’t find a better fit for what I love to do. It’s been unbelievable in terms of the opportunities I’ve had for the last 7 years.” Rachel stays in touch with her three children even when she’s out in the field. “We program the GPS - it sends a text to my husband, ‘Mummy’s thinking of you’ and when I come back they ask me to tell them all about it and I tell them about the landscape...” Rachel’s positivity and love of the North is infectious. She says, “Absolutely, absolutely, I love being in the North. I can’t handle being in

the city. For little spurts of time yes, definitely love the shopping, the spas and what not, but it’s good to come back home, this is home. There’s so much we can do here. We can jump onto our skiddoo and go to our camp, or go out by boat and have a picnic. We can go hunting and get our own caribou, our own reindeer, our own geese eggs, it’s just a positive reassuring feeling that we can all be so self sufficient with everything in our own backyard – we don’t have to go to Safeway and drive 20 minutes to get our groceries, we don’t have to have a designated skidoo trail, we just go wherever we want.” “My husband and I got married really young, I was just 19. We discovered

we were pregnant really quickly after that. So we didn’t have the youthful travelling days that most people had, we didn’t go to Paris, New York and all that... but what we get to do is even more exciting. I mean look at the places that I’ve travelled to and seen out on that land, I don’t feel that I’ve missed a thing and wouldn’t want it any other way.” Even Rachel’s children are passionate adventurers. “My kids love travelling. There are parents that want their kids to be doctors and lawyers. I want my kids to be working for ENR (Environment or Natural Resources Canada) or Parks Canada. My son already says he wants to work for Parks Canada, so yeah, right on,” she smiles.

Beautiful scenary from Tuktut Nogait National Park – do you see people in here? Rachel says “I spy… three co-workers.”

Shayla Snowshoe.


Youth Story #2

THE moment that changed

everything words and photos by

Shayla Snowshoe

My English name is Shayla Snowshoe, my Gwich’in name is Gwikitch’ihkheh. I’m also part Inuvialuit. I am a daughter, a fighter, a sister, a friend, a lover of life and a photographer. I was born and raised in Tetlit Zheh, the land of the Tetlit Gwich’in. Tetlit Zheh, also known as Fort McPherson, is a very small, quiet town where no face is unfamiliar, and everybody knows each other.


rowing up in a small town has its pros and cons. We are a very strong community where hard times just make us more united. No matter the time or place, there is never any fear or hostility. Fort McPherson is my safe haven, where I feel strongest, safest and happiest. As I was growing up, I spent a lot of time out on the land with my Jijuu (grandmother) Mary Snowshoe, learning about my culture and traditions – hunting, fishing and survival through harvesting on the land. Everything I have learnt about my people and our traditions came from my Jijuu. Being out on the land with my her is my absolute favorite experience in this world. I wish that I could say that I was always a photographer, with a camera on hand, but it was not until high school, when I picked up and shot with a film camera for the first time that I became hooked. Nowadays, it is rare to see me without a huge digital Nikon D800 strapped around my neck. I am constantly awaiting the next capture.

As high school and graduation passed, I left for college but was not sure what I wanted to pursue. I spent my first year upgrading and looking into different programs. Each time I browsed the internet, I always came back to the Centre for Arts and Technology website – I was stuck on the idea of the Digital Photography Program. There was a little voice giving me hundreds of reasons as to why I should not take it… but, in the back of my mind, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. On the last possible day, six weeks before the program start date, I sent in my completed application. I had no faith in my work whatsoever and completely doubted the idea of being accepted. One week later, as I was checking my email.... there it was. The acceptance email. I could not believe it. The feeling that I got right there, in that moment made me know that it was the right move. That is the next step on my journey.



he 12 months working through the program were filled with great memories, hardship, laughter, struggle and hours upon hours spent in the studio. Walking into the school on my first day, I felt overwhelmed and miniscule, like I could not even compare myself and my work to other students’. As each month passed, I began to grow more confident; taking charge in sessions and presenting my work with pride. Although I struggled with a lack of confidence in my abilities and my own work, my hardest struggle was being so far away from home. I was forced to sacrifice my entire summer, which was usually spent with my family, fishing with my jijuu, celebrating with my

community during events, and enjoying the summer festivals. As the end of the program neared, I felt so ready to be home, but when the day came to say goodbye and leave my new family and my awesome school, I really didn’t want to leave either. As I attended school, I was presented with several awesome opportunities where I gained a lot of experience. I found myself volunteering around school, photographing weddings and families throughout British Columbia. My greatest and most memorable experience was when I was invited on an expedition with Wilderness International to the various islands surrounding Vancouver Island.

Shayla’s photography work includes weddings and family portraits.


he trip was filled with long days of canoeing, hiking and continuous learning about the Aboriginal people and their land in British Columbia. Through this trip, I gained a whole new perspective and appreciation for my life. It is definitely a time in my life that I will always remember. Once the program was completed in September 2012, I packed my bags and headed back to the North, my home. I spent the winter months preparing for my business launch; preparing letters, the business plan, applying for licenses and ordering the equipment needed. In January of 2013, I opened up Snowshoe Studios - a portrait and event photography studio based in Fort McPherson, NT. Snowshoe Studios offers

a variety of photography services including engagement; wedding; family portraits; commercial and event photography. I also travel to smaller communities in the North to expand my client base and to showcase my work. From the day I finally decided to do what I love, my life has been filled with so many new adventures – I have been travelling, meeting new people and shooting different subjects all the time. I am right where I need to be, doing exactly what I love. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me.

as the end of the program neared, I felt so ready to be home, but when the day came to say goodbye and leave my new family and my awesome school, I really didn’t want to leave either.”

Keenan Carpenter and Hans Lennie performing at A Taste of the Arctic.

Our show was sold out, there were so many people! There were many different events in the building but there were no more tickets for our show. They wanted to hear the drums, the spirit of the drum, my goodness it was really something.�

Hans Lennie.

Karis Gruben modelling at the sealskin fashion show.

Nellie, Whit Fraser, and Former ITK President Mary Simon at A Taste of the Arctic.

Spirit of the Drums words by Zoe Ho, photos courtesy of ITK


Taste of the Arctic – a gala fundraising event in Ottawa for Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) this April showcased flavours of the Canadian Arctic, from gourmet takes on traditional foods (caribou tataki, rabbit ragout!), to art, fashion shows and performances by Canada's top Inuit artists. Northern Scene partnered with ITK to host this event, and key decision makers in Canada and the North including Inuvialuit representatives attended in support. Inuvik Drummers and Dancers performed at both A Taste of the Arctic and the concurrent Northern Scene Festival, returning to tell stories with breathless excitement and the rhythm of drums still coursing in their veins.“Our show was sold out, there were so many people! There were many different events in the building but there were no more tickets for our show. They wanted to hear the drums, the spirit of the drum, my goodness it was really something,” laughs Lillian Elias, who has seen her share of Pow Wows and drumming in her travels but this was especially poignant. “These two people that were drumming from the eastern arctic, their song was so beautiful! They were singing about their mother that lost her drum. He was drumming softly and then there was no more drumming – they were just quiet. You could hear a pin drop... she lost everything. He was moving his big drum around in the air slowly. His mother went in the hospital down south, she moved all the way south and lost her drum, she lost her culture, her tradition, that was her tradition, drumming. Then softly, he's starting to come back, the drum gets a little louder and he said “now it's coming back.” He picked up the pace a little bit, drumming a little bit harder and harder, until eventually he is drumming so Duane Smith and Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo.

loud, and singing! His mother's culture came back... and it was so beautiful. I was thinking what it would be like if you said my language was gone but today its coming back, it's coming back slowly. The language is just like your mother. When you have your language you feel right at home and feel so good. That's where you get your self esteem from, knowing your language, your culture and tradition,” said Lillian. Lorna Elias, coordinator of Inuvik Drummers and Dancers, agrees the finale show was beyond words. “In the first round we formed a circle. Inuvik Drummers and dancers sang Arnaqatiing (My cousin) and called on the Yukon’s Dakha Kwan group to receive the drum beat. Next, each group danced and at the end passed the drum beat to the next group.  We also sang and danced Inuuvingmiunin, then Seal Hunt, with a mid-paced drum beat, escalating the beat for Dance of Joy, a regular free style dance. In the last round, each group sang a chorus, starting very softly, then louder, and then really loudly, and then softly backed down. We sang a chorus from Seal and Seagull, which sounded amazing. For the finale, all groups were beating their drums simultaneously. Which I can’t explain, you just had to be there to experience it.” “We were encored at ITK’s “A Taste of The Arctic” where we got encored and later did a second performance for them,” said Lorna. The Spirit of the Drums performers consisted of: Inuvik Drummers & dancers (Brian Rogers (leader), Abel Tingmiak, Kevin Allen, Hans Lennie, Keenan Carpenter, Lillian Elias, Annie Aleekuk, Lorna Elias, Delaney Elias, Robin Carpenter, Alainna Carpenter, Jayda Sittichinli), Algonquin drummer & singers, Nunatsiavut drummers, Dakha Kwan Drummers, Ross River drummers, Deh Cho Drummers, and Nunavut drummers Mathew Nuqingak and Peter Serkoak.

words by Bob Simpson & Zoe Ho


photos by Terry Halifax for GNWT

Historic Devolution Signing The Government of Canada, Government of the Northwest Territories, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, Gwich’in Tribal Council, and Tłicho Government signed onto the NWT Devolution of Land and Resources Agreement on June 25th, 2013.


his devolution transfers responsibility for

of paper, these are the words we’ve written, these are the

managing public lands, water and resources in

words that people have told us, and these are the things that

the Northwest Territories (NWT) from the federal to the

people want to hold secure, it’s what their priorities are.

territorial government. Aboriginal governments will have

How do we make it work?”

more say in decisions about the public land, water and resources use, development and environmental protection. Benefits of Devolution for the Inuvialuit include greater stewardship and decisions of public lands and water, revenues, business and work opportunities. It was a day of great jubilation and the culmination of decades of negotiation efforts by the parties involved.

“...anybody can go and shoot a muskrat but who’s going to clean it, who’s going to gut it, who’s going to skin it and who’s going to stretch it? Nellie emphasized that cooperation is key and that partners in this agreement need to trust and believe in each other. “Everyday lives are at stake, and the families that have to survive in this land and in this country... People have to be

Nellie Cournoyea, Chair of IRC spoke at the signing,

able to express themselves with different views, but at the

recognizing the Agreement as a reflection of what the

same time we come together to make the common decision

people wanted. “...whether they are hunters and trappers...

for a common goal not only for our interests but for all the

community corps or bands, I don’t believe [their] words were

people. Let’s not get in situations like Southern Canada,

lost because now I sincerely believe they are entrenched in...

and the House of Parliament where they are yelling at each

an agreement that we can count on and work from.”

other...we find solutions together and we go forth together.”

She emphasized the signing as a key step and that

It is the first devolution in the NWT to include provisions

implementation is the next challenge. “...More than ever

that generate revenue for the territory. After the transfer,

people have to be involved, not less involved. This is a piece

tens of millions of dollars in royalties and other resource

Duane Smith (IRC Vice-Chair) and Nellie Cournoyea (IRC Chair) signing the Devolution agreement in Inuvik.

Elder Albert Elias drum dancing at the ceremony.

People have to be able to express themselves with different views, but at the same time we come together to make the common decision for a common goal not only for our interests but for all the people... we find solutions together and we go forth together.” Nellie Cournoyea, Chair of IRC

revenues that now go to Government of Canada each

schools and energy projects to improve life in all NWT

year will stay in the territory instead. The NWT – like the

communities. There will also be increased revenues for

provinces – will keep 50% of resource revenues, up to an

Aboriginal governments to help them grow, invest in

annual limit of about 5% of the GNWT’s Budget (Gross

community needs and government capacity.

Expenditure Base) for that year.

The Tłicho, Gwich’in, and Sahtu are already entitled

This money can be used to invest in public priorities

to a share of resource revenue from Mackenzie Valley

like health care, education, housing, roads, hospitals,

public lands from their land claims and devolution will

Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development with Nellie during the gift exchange from the federal government to IRC.

The feast at the celebration.


Devolution Agreement Brief Summary: Waste Sites

· A Intergovernmental Working Group with Aboriginal Parties participation will be created to advise on the remediation of waste sites, Aboriginal Parties will each receive $200,000 per year for participation · Canada would retain control over waste sites (land and water) that require remediation and warrant that the released or remediated waste sites transferred to GNWT and Aboriginal governments/land claim organizations are not harmful to public health and safety · GNWT and Aboriginal Parties would release the federal government from responsibilities for a yet undetermined amount of waste sites, likely waste sites that are closed or remediated. In return GNWT would receive $2 million annually for remediation efforts for transferred sites.

Human resources

· GNWT is to provide current pay and benefits for a 5 year period to employees who do not

Norman Wells

· Canada will retain the 1/3 ownership in Norman Wells because of an existing Norman Wells Proven Area Agreement with Imperial Oil. Canada has agreed to transfer the 5% royalty paid by Imperial Oil to GNWT.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) Responsibilities

· The Government of Canada will delegate MVRMA responsibilities for: land use permitting and water licensing, full legislative authority for land use planning and environmental audits functions. Canada also proposed that they would retain the complete legislative authority over environmental assessment in the Mackenzie Valley.

Onshore/ Offshore Coordination

· The management of oil and gas throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region should be coordinated through a joint Intergovernmental Committee IRC, Canada, and GNWT.

receive an equivalent pay and benefit package from GNWT.

· Parties will work cooperatively on the exchange of information and coordinate efforts to improve the management of: oil and gas resources, the activities of oil and gas companies, and environmental and health and safety issues. · GNWT’s legislation (COGLA and CPRA) is to mirror Canada’s legislation and any changes requires Canada’s consent for a 20 year period, including the National Energy Board which shall continue to regulate in the ISR. · With regard to settlement lands the Inuvialuit may either: use the process set out in a MOA to determine how straddling oil/gas resources would be divided between settlement lands and the off-shore or use the process set out in the IFA.

Bilateral Aboriginal governments and GNWT Negotiations

Three bilateral Agreements (between GNWT and Aboriginal Governments) that have been completed: · Post Devolution Resource Management Agreement – will provide for direct participation in the development of a resource management system through a Leadership Council which will recommend any legislative changes. · Inuvialuit Settlement Region Resource Management Agreement – Since the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Resource Management system is so different from the Mackenzie Valley an Inuvialuit specific post Devolution Resource Management Agreement will be developed to address matters such as: CEAA, Water Board and other functions to be managed with the Inuvialuit. · Intergovernmental Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement – the Aboriginal Parties have agreed to a formula based on population (70% of the total 25% of resource revenues) and cost of living 30% (based on cost of living differential). Lack of comparable revenues as other Aboriginal governments in the Mackenzie Valley – may be addressed in off-shore negotiations.

This March – Devolution Consensus Agreement signing in Yellowknife. (Photo courtesy of Prime Minister’s Office.)

provide them with additional revenues from public lands

federal government will retain the right to use devolved land

throughout the NWT.

for national interests such as for National Parks.

The GNWT will share up to a quarter of its resource revenue

New jobs will be created throughout the NWT as a direct

with participating Aboriginal governments according to a

result of devolution. Economic spin-offs from these jobs

formula based on population and cost of living, estimated

and related responsibilities could be as much as $28 million

to be up to a total of $25M by 2020/21.

per year, creating new opportunities for local business.

Aboriginal and treaty rights will continue to apply just

For more information visit http://devolution.gov.nt.ca

as they do now, including the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Public lands will still be available for the settlement of claims, and Devolution will not affect ownership of settled lands. The

MLA Jackie Jacobson and Inuvik Drummer and Dancer Jimmy Kalinek (center) leading the dancing in traditional clothing.


Water colour map of Kendall Island (centre, right) and surrounding islands (Baby Island, Garry Island).

Beluga whale flippers and tail being sunned and dried on logs at the beach.

Gerry Kisoun is equally comfortable in “two worlds” – as Comissioner of the NWT or as an guide and elder sharing his knowledge of tradition and hunting.

acred Places words by David Stewart and Zoe Ho

photos by Cheong Kam Lou, Pennie Lou, Zoe Ho and David Stewart

“I don’t remember when I got my first whale nor do I remember how many whales I’ve harvested. Back then we were so focused on putting food on the table, the food value was most important.”

Coming Home


oastal whaling camps are sacred to the Inuvialuit and jumping off the boat, landing with a splash with rubber boots onto the icy waters of Baby Island felt like a christening. Four hours by boat from the town of Inuvik with its modern amenities, Baby Island felt worlds away. As far as the eye could see, we are on a small island with open tundra and low hills, its

edges dotted with a handful of plywood cabins and maktak (whale blubber) stands fashioned from driftwood – whale camps – near the pebbly shore. Gerry Kisoun, just reaching his golden sixties, has lived in “two worlds” very well. He is equally comfortable performing ceremonies as Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories in full regalia

and as a eco-tourism guide in shorts and a t-shirt, navigating his boat down the channels avoiding sandbars. Gerry has served in Southern Canada as a member of the RCMP for many years before requesting to be posted back to Inuvik. Inuvik is home, and being at the whale camps every summer is an essential part of coming home. We were in good hands.


Gerry now leaves the hunting to younger family members, he enjoys driving the boat for them during the hunt. He walks with us to the top of Baby Island. “It’s very important when we come out to these islands... When we come out and hunt the beluga and spend time processing that whale, we are practicing traditions that we’ve been doing for a long long long time,” says Gerry, unfazed by the hundreds of hungry mosquitoes hard at work on our heads, necks and shoulders. The Inuvialuit from the Delta go to the coast to escape the mosquitoes, but there is no escaping them on windless days. Gerry calls them “lively” – they are simply part of life on the land in summer. “A lot of our people, a lot of our families started out [whaling] over there at Kendall Island. After that they expanded to Ikalukpik harbor. Some of them moved right here to Baby Island at Hugh’s Point, even over to Garry Island,” says Gerry pointing out the islands surrounding us. “We come up here to the top of Baby Island, looking for Beluga whales. We watch them bobbing in the water early in the morning, 3, 4, 5 am – bobbing in the early morning sun. In August they’ll head out again, into the Beaufort Sea. A lot of them go west heading towards Alaska and Russia. Awesome country out here!” Gerry explains how Inuvialuit used to travel by schooners to whaling sites. These schooners are anchored out in the deep water. Smaller boats are then

A maktak stand on Baby Island, where the tail and flippers are being left out to dry.

Gerry Kisoun aand his grandson Noah fill up water containers with fresh water from YaYa Lakes, which Gerry calls “The cleanest water in the world.”

taken into shallower waters for the hunt. The whales harvested were towed down the channel over to Kendall Island where many families lived during the summer. Looking out on the horizon we try to imagine a line of schooners anchored with their whaleboats lowered, hunters keenly looking out for movement in the shallow water, their harpoons ready in the silence. We wondered what it was like when Gerry got his first whale. “I don’t remember when I got my first whale nor do I remember how many whales I’ve harvested. Back then we were so focused on putting food on the table, the food value was most important,” he says.

“If you get a beluga whale, that gives you enough maktak for the whole winter. Sometimes if you get two you can share with family and friends, or use it for bartering with our Gwich’in friends... What we have is pretty important here. We’d like to keep this place going for our kids and our grandchildren, like our grandfathers and great grandfathers did many many years ago. Hopefully when they are fifty years old they can stand on what’s left of this island, have a look out here and maybe see a beluga whale. See a beluga whale that hasn’t been bothered too much by the world changing around them,” he says.

Maktak – whale blubber – is cut in slabs and first dried on logs. It will be further processed into strips that hang like connected diamond shapes from the maktak stand.

Tradition... mamaqtuq?


own the hill at Hugh’s Point, where the Ipanas have their camp. Sandra Ipana explains how important whaling is to her. “If this wasn’t here you might as well cut my right arm off, this is my livelihood.” Sandra spent summers at East Whitefish Station with her mother-in-law Rebecca Chicksi before coming to Kendall Island to help her auntie and uncle “who were getting on in age” over twenty years ago. “When she passed away it was too lonely for me, so I moved here to Hugh’s Point on Baby Island,” she said. “She was so happy to have me work with her so from there we built the framed tent. We’ve been here ever since then. Coming here and harvesting one whale yearly is good enough for my family and my grandchildren,” she says. Sandra takes pride in being able to provide her grandkids with fresh country food at her camp. Coney, jackfish, whitefish and herring are caught, and made into dry fish.

We always bring one pail with us to camp because sometimes the weather is so bad we don’t get a whale right away. So I brought out my one little three gallon. Cleaning out my freezer getting it ready, I saw... what’s this? I found another pail of maktak. I felt so bad for telling people I can’t give you any maktak so I personally distributed it in four smaller ice cream buckets and apologized, I felt bad for ‘lying’ to them!” She laughs. This year Sandra took on a contract to help IRC to fill its freezers with maktak in addition to hunting for her family. IRC serves the delicacy at events. Fuel costs and modern jobs means not everybody is able to go out to whale camps and get their own whale. They are especially happy to have a taste of this traditional food. Sandra sometimes donates maktak. “This year I’m going to put my whale flippers in Nellie’s freezer to enjoy during the jamboree feast, we haven’t had that in a while, it will be something different.”

Sandra showing her grandchildren the maktak resting in pails after being cut up – the maktak is left to develop flavour over a few days.

“Of course I cut up all the maktak for them. They eat the dry fish right away and mipku. With the maktak they tried to use a fork and I said ‘naagga’ (laughs) eat it with your hands,” she says. “One of the girls said ‘Eww maktak’ and I said ‘Don’t say that, that’s part of us. When you say eww your saying eww to yourself because we’re Inuvialuk, and that’s part of who were are...” she said. “This year I was a little bit stingy because I thought I had only a little maktak left.

A bird’s eye view of Hugh’s Point from the hill above.

Sandra Ipana wipes her hands after checking on the oily maktak being processed at her whaling camp at Hugh’s Point, Baby Island.

Inside Sandra’s cabin at Hugh’s Point: Gerry (2nd from left) visiting with his family and helping Sandra Ipana’s grandchildren with their sourdough pancake breakfast. On the walls are Inuvialuktun flashcards – children who join summer Whaling Camps also come to Sandra’s cabin for language and cultural immersions.

124 The boys were also taught how to follow the whales by boat, how to harpoon and how to harvest the whale, to bring it back to shore safely. “The first stage that we have them do is cut the blubber. When they get a little older and I know they can handle the ulu and knife carefully then I let them cut the dry skin off the top. Once they get good at skinning I show them how to cut the blubber off the slabs. They go from stage to stage so they understand each step. Even for things like collecting wood I take them walking and show them ‘clean wood’ the kind my Mum always showed us.”

Mipku (whale dry meat) on a log where the blood is left to drip off before the meat goes into the smoke house.

At nearby Kendall Island the weather is calm, the water is still and perfect for hunting. Young Stanley Kasook is pacing back and forth on the shore. When we ask why he confides that he was feeling a little nervous. “I think I might be about to hunt my first whale,” he says. Roy Jr. pulls up to the shore and Stanley jumps in the boat without hesitation.

Leslie, Noel, Tyron, Noel and David helping to pull the boat closer to shore.

Maktak, part of the dinner at the Allen’s cabin was cut freshly and eaten with HP sauce.

Roasted flipper – a delicacy the Allen family generously shared with us.

A new generation of hunters Through Inuvik Community Corporation, Sandra often brings children to whale camps to connect with language and tradition. This year Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee took over the program. “That’s something I’m so happy about. For the kids and families that aren’t able to come out every year, there are programs to bring them down and allow them to participate. Even if it is only for ten days it’s ten days of a new world for them. It’s ten days for them to connect with something lost,” she says with bright eyes.

Mipku (whale dry meat) close up.

The focus of the HTC program is to teach young hunters how to prepare equipment, hunt safely and to learn traditional skills involved in processing a whale properly.

Maktak – whale blubber – cut into little cubes, ready to be enjoyed with HP sauce.

“You can’t just jump in the boat and go. Two or three days before you’ve got to check your harpoon, make sure the ropes and buoy are good. You also have to make sure your work area is ready to process the whale before the hunters leave in the boat.”

Mipku (whale dry meat) in the smoke house.

Piffi (dry fish).

“For the kids and families that aren’t able to come out every year, there are programs to bring them down and allow them to participate. Even if it is only for ten days it’s ten days of a new world for them. It’s ten days for them to connect with something lost.”

Stanley Kasook stands with a harpoon and buoy.

A strong connection


got my first whale after watching and learning from [my cousin] Roy,” shares Stanley, glowing from his achievement, and a little shy. “We saw the waves created by the whales so we went out to hunt. It was calm, we were heading out toward Tom Elanik point and Roy was fixing the harpoon, getting it ready. We spotted one in front of us, slowed down and started chasing it. He taught me how to hold the buoy and get ready to throw.

Then the whale came up and I threw it [the harpoon] and I threw the buoy out and we waited a while. Then Roy grabbed the gun, he loaded it and I shot a little too far up, close to the blow hole so it kept going. It stopped, then it took off again. I shot again and it died, we waited ten minutes then grabbed it with the hook, tied it up and got it ready to tow.” Stanley has been looking forward to this coming-of-age experience. You could only

hunt when someone experienced lets you know you are ready and this is his year. With Sandra’s other grandchildren, Stanley has spent every summer out at Baby Island since he was six. He is definitely coming back. “We have to get water, get wood, set the fish net and hunt geese. It’s fun hunting whales, you learn lots of stuff here you get to experience new things,” he says.


Collecting rocks and studying changes on Baby Island.

Budding scientist Cassidy believes Baby Island is “wonderful”.

Two worlds... coming together


t’s wonderful here,” Sandra’s grandchild Cassidy says. “You can see whales here if you use binoculars and look out towards Pelly Island. They always hide where it is shallow, they eat there.” Her trained eye differentiates easily between whales spouting and whitecaps. She talks about belugas, their group sizes, timing and travel routes like an expert. Bespectacled 10-year-old Cassidy is adorably precocious and serious about being a scientist. So far, she has taken hundreds of pictures with her iPad for her science project next year. “The project is on Baby Island. I like to take pictures of the houses and how the land is falling down and soon it will all just be straight flat land. I think the land is falling from the gases that are coming out as it [the globe] warms up. It’s so cool experimenting and I like coming out here to look at all the flowers and plants,” she says. The camp radio crackles in the background, and the Allens are inviting everyone over to Kendall Island for dinner. The welcome is extra warm as our hosts wait on shore for us to pull in, and soon

Cassidy Ipana.

we are feasting on hot caribou soup and bannock with a side of roasted flipper, mmn mamaqtuq (delicious)! We catch up on the news of the week, including the destruction of Emma Dick’s cabin on Garry Island. The sea ice had moved in and shifted its foundations, and only her stove was left standing in the ruins. “Washed clear away, everything gone!” says Emma with woeful eyes. “But that’s OK, Richard’s going to rebuild.” She smiles a smile that reflects the resilience of the elders. Eighty-seven years old and determined to keep going to whale camp while she can, Emma comes to stay with her uncle, Elijah Allen. As the sun sat low on the horizon near midnight we walk over to the flats with Tyren and Lesli beach combing for stones, shells and artifacts. Every once in a while we find reminders of the generations before, today a piece of antler with two holes once used as a net float. Amazingly, the flats has many people playing baseball. What a great community Kendall becomes in the summer months!

This field of colourful flowers bloom amidst the moss and tundra, a rare summer treat.

Elder Emma Dick in front of the cabin she is staying at – she is joyful to be at her uncle Elijah Allen’s camp even though her camp at Garry Island has been destroyed by moving ice this year.

A abandoned cabins tilted by shifting ice becomes a playground for finding balance.

Outside the tilted cabin.

“My camp was washed clear away, everything gone! But that’s OK, Richard’s going to rebuild.”


“You get the peace, the peace inside, it’s so beautiful. This is home, this is what the elders taught you. No trucks, no TV, no shopping... you save a lot of money!”

Retired school teacher Clara Day made the decision to live full time on the land as she feels it brings her closer to God.

Gerry Kisoun shares how a traditional Inuvialuit harpoon is used with the visiting NEB staff.

Gerry Kisoun (middle) introduces Clara Day to NEB Chair Gaeton Caron on arrival at Whitefish Station.

A baseball game at the flats on Kendall Island. Youth and younger children welcome “getting away” from the distractions of “town” during whaling season.

Close to God


lara Day is beautiful and serene, with a voice to match. She is retired from teaching language, choosing to go back to live on the land. We had met years ago at Clara’s camp at Whitefish Station, and we asked her then what she found challenging about Whale Camp. “The hardest thing about whaling camp is leaving, it’s like leaving a part of yourself. It’s so peaceful here and then you have to go back to that fast life. Since retiring three years ago I have been staying at my bush camp yearround. It’s quiet, you get your freedom, you get to do things like sewing and fishing without being interrupted... plus you are really close to God.” “You get the peace, the peace inside, it’s so beautiful. You just look around and you thank God for making everything. This is home, this is what the elders taught you. No trucks, no TV, no shopping, you save a lot of money,” she laughs.

“I think it’s about time they come and see for themselves instead of just hearing about it, people have to see and do before they really know how we live,” says Clara. It was a short visit but Clara hopes they will understand what it means to Inuvialuit to be able to continue going to whale camp, and to practice their traditions year after year. “Yes, if they see the beautiful land and how happy we are out here, knowing this is how we survive, then yes they’ll understand,” she says softly. While we were there, Elijah interviewed Emma in the language about the history of the area. Stay tuned for the Spring season of ICS’s TV program on APTN!

Her family helps by visiting her, and her grandchildren love school breaks where they get to stay with Clara. “This Spring my eleven year old granddaughter Isabelle joined me, she’s driving the kicker all by herself. She gassed it up, even fixed the generator! When we were doing the ratting [muskrat hunting] she would pull the boat over ice, go through bushes, her Papa taught her well.” As part of National Energy Board’s (NEB) Cultural Tour of Inuvialuit sacred sites, the NEB Chair visited Clara at her camp.

Dryfish in Clara Day’s smokehouse on Whitefish Station.

Young Isabelle, Clara’s grandchild is a great help at camp, she looks after her cousin here.

An Education 130

Inuvialuit Youth Beluga Monitors We were involved in planning, preparing and running a research project partnering with Lisa Loseto (DFO) and Dustin Whelan (NRCan) in Kugmallit Bay. The Beluga Habitat Study in Kugmallit Bay exposed us to various sampling techniques such as sediment grabs, Conductivity Temperature and Depth (CTD) casts, and side sonar scanning of the sea bed in the bay.

Side-SCAN sonar of the sea bed was conducted to help identify different sediment types; we collected sediment samples and collected data on water chemistry. The information gathered through the harvest-based beluga sampling/monitoring program provides a long term dataset of beluga health indicators, and builds our understanding of beluga habitat use there. This will be a key baseline in identifying possible impacts to the health of the Beaufort Sea beluga population resulting from climate change and/or increased industrial activity in the area. We hope that the Beluga Habitat Characterization Project will build on this current Beaufort Sea Beluga Baseline.


y name is Paden Lennie. I am going into my second year of postsecondary education in the Natural Resource Compliance Program at Lethbridge College in Alberta. I chose the environmental science field as I have a passion for nature and the physical sciences. I enjoy being on the land and helping people understand the science of what drives our natural environment. This summer I interned as a fisheries resource assistant with the Fisheries Joint Management Committee (FJMC) and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), co-supervised by Kristin Hynes (FJMC) and Lisa Loseto (DFO).

I was fortunate to be given a lot of opportunities to partake in various fieldwork projects on the land, as part of an amazing research team. I have gained incredible hands-on experience using various scientific sampling methods, and enjoyed the great opportunity to work with extremely knowledgeable scientists and local whaling experts.

Outside Words and photos by Paden Lennie, Kayla Hansen-Craik & Lisa Loseto Other fieldwork projects were: 1) the Hendrickson Island Beluga Camp, which comprised members from the DFO team, i.e. Lisa Loseto, Sonja Ostertag, Allison MacHutchon, Joanne Delaronde and Paden Lennie, as well as Steven Raverty. We worked with local monitors Frank Pokiak, Verna Pokiak and Brandon Green, a monitor from Paulatuk who was in training. 2) the East Whitefish Beluga Project, where the DFO sampling team included Lisa Loseto, Kayla Hansen-Craig and Paden Lennie, as well as two local whale monitors Bertha Joe and Frazer Rogers. Beluga sampling, processing and cleaning videos were taken at Hendrickson Island training camp and East Whitefish camp. These videos will be a great training tool for future monitors, and allow whale harvesters to explain the processing aspects associated with the culling of beluga whales.


y name is Kayla HansenCraik. I am a second year undergrad at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences. Coming home to Inuvik for the summer, I wanted to gain as much experience as I could in my field of interest. I was very happy and excited when I landed a summer job with DFO that would allow me time in the field. I believe that harvest-based sampling of beluga whales in the ISR is an effective way to gather information on the current health of the Beaufort Sea Beluga stock, information that is beneficial to both managers and harvesters. The cooperative approach affords researchers a less invasive means of gathering important samples while providing training and employment opportunities to harvesters and students alike.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend two weeks at East White Fish Station. It was wonderful learning about a part of my culture that I was not familiar with before. I learnt what it meant to be out at whale camp – lots of hard (but it was worth it!) work. I was fortunate to be taught how to cut and prepare whale maktak, mipku and dryfish by the wonderful families and people that camp there. A very special thanks goes out to Clara Day and her family for taking the time and having the patience to teach me these valuable and meaningful skills. I will hold on to these traditional skills for a lifetime and the memories of my summer there. Being able to spend my summer off from school out on the land learning more about my culture while also gaining experience that will assist me in school and in my future career goals is the best of both worlds. I want to thank all who made this opportunity possible for me!

Dean and Jordan McLeod playing Kiputaq (Ring Toss) game.


Davina McLeod and Skylar Storr in the “Pop the Balloon” game.

Aklavik’s Summer Retreat

photos by Cheong Kam and Pennie Lou, Zoe Ho and David Stewart

Shingle Point Games 2013, by Zoe Ho with notes from Carol Arey

Children playing “Pop the Balloon”.


Community spirit: laughing during a joyful moment outside Annie B. Gordon’s cabin at the Shingle Point Games.

Fresh fish netted at Shingle Point.

Carol Arey’s dryfish, smoked then roasted – delicious!

A warming cup of coffee, an ‘Eskimo’ doughnut and dryfish at Jerry and Verna Arey’s cabin -welcoming comfort after a chilly boat ride.


Carol tells us that Shingle Point, located along the Yukon Coast is a summer retreat for the people of Aklavik. During

Outside, the Elanik boys are checking their fish net, pulling up another coney. The char have not begun to run yet and DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) staff have been waiting for 20 days so far for it to begin. In the meantime, they are enjoying bonding with local people – before the games began at 9pm, Carol Arey invited us to have dinner at her cabin. The pipsi this time was half smoked, and then roasted over the woodstove – soft on the inside, and crunchy on the outside – it was extraordinary!

“Here we’re at ‘Down the Hill’ then further up there’s ‘Middle Camp’ and the farthest ‘Point’ is where the games take place. There are many families living at each part of Shingle, we are all related,” said Wilma, Verna’s first cousin, who began a verbal recounting of the family trees with interwoven roots of the Arey, Gordon, Elanik, Pascal families. The stories and smiles are welcome and warming after a 6.5 hour boat ride part of it across the chilly ocean.

ipping a cup of hot tea and munching on pipsi (dried fish) at Gerry and Verna Arey’s cabin at Shingle Point is a really good way to start getting to know Shingle Point.


Parks Canada, and even the MLA of the Mackenzie Delta came to join in. Parks Canada donated the food and helped to cook. As the games are played everyone gathers around their

Carol also shared the history of the games. “The Shingle Point Summer Games was started in 1998 by Faith Gordon, myself and some local residents. Some elders asked us if we could find ways to keep our traditional games alive. The first year we had residents from Inuvik travel to Shingle Point to show us Northern games including High Kick, Kneel Jump, Muskox Push, and Arm Pull. We also had foot races, small games and were introduced to the Kipotuk (Ring Toss) by the elders at Shingle Point. Kipotuk was the most popular game. Many people who had never played these game before came to learn and each year the games grew bigger. The games have been kept ongoing through fundraising and the help of volunteers. This would be the 15th year for the games.”

the summer they travel by boat for three to four hours to their camps along the coast. Shingle Point is a traditional beluga, caribou and fish hunting ground. They stop at Buck Storr’s cabin, Bird’s Camp and the Aklavik HTC house on the way to Shingle Point, to check on the weather before crossing the ocean. Some families also stay at Koanak’s River to do their whaling before going to Shingle Point.

When you are tired of being outside, come into Annie B. Gordon’s cabin, right next to the games to enjoy a hot cup of tea and some wise words. “People come here to heal,” said Annie B. Gordon, longtime respected elder from Aklavik. “I always say you can heal so much better here, just get away from town. The ocean air, peace and quiet, you don’t have to do anything else, just stay here and it’s healing.” With her sister Louisa, Annie cooks and bakes to supply us with buns, doughnuts and delicious foods. Quyanainni everyone for an amazing time at the Shingle Point Games!

The games platform is versatile – at one moment it is turned into a basketball court, and the next, it’s covered in prizes ranging from camping wear, kitchewares, knifes and toys. “Everyone come get a prize!” said Faye (Faith Gordon), “You don’t need to win anything, just take one. Sometimes people play games but not everyone gets a prize so we want to make sure everybody just gets a prize to take home.” Because of the weather this year, Alaskan relatives that attempted to come had to turn back their boats, some even after 6 hours of trying. Only Nathan Gordon Jr. and his family Nathan and Norma were able to come.

cabins or around the beach sharing stories and just enjoying the good fun.

Alyana Greenland playing “peekaboo”.


Faith Gordon, one of the main organizers of the Shingle Point Games.

Mary Anne Selamio and Mary Ruth Meyook playing Kiputaq (Ring Toss) game.


Little Rebecca Pascal’s first time at Shingle Point.

Jerry Arey having fun while he volunteers as one of the cooks.


Youth story #3

Fun times at Shingle Point words and photos by Haley Smith


owards the last week of July, you will find a lot of people coming to Shingle Point, a whaling camp on the coast of the Beaufort Sea. The summer games at Shingle Point are known to bring joy to everyone who goes, it’s a fest of traditional cooking, hunting, and kids games... even adults and elders join in the fun. If you told someone you are visiting Shingle Point, they would always say, “How niiice!”

People from many communities, mainly from Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktoyuktuk and even Alaska make their way to this coastal camp. Around 100 people spend this week or at least the weekend at Shingle Point. This is because of the abundant hospitality – everyone shares their roof, food and kindness with one another. A ton of good memories and stories are made there.

everyone shares their roof, food and kindness with one another.�

Youth participate in the plank walk.


If you told someone you are visiting Shingle Point, they would always say: “How niiice!”


owards the last week of July, you will find a lot of people coming to Shingle Point, a whaling camp on the coast of the Beaufort Sea. The summer games at Shingle Point are known to bring joy to everyone who goes, it’s a fest of traditional cooking, hunting, and kids games...even adults and elders join in the fun. If you told someone you are visiting Shingle Point, they would always say, “How niiice!”

People from many communities, mainly from Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktoyuktuk and even Alaska make their way to this coastal camp. Around 100 people spend this week or at least the weekend at Shingle Point. This is because of the abundant hospitality - everyone shares their roof, food and kindness with one another. A ton of good memories and stories are made there.

Work to be done everyday!

Late night pink skies.

Billy Archie cutting his fish.

Remembering the history of Shingle Point and Inuvialuit people.

Youth kiputaq (ring toss) winners showing off their prizes.

Beach covered in drifted wood along the hills.

Aklak footprints found during the morning.

Annie B.Gordon preparing the best harpoon throw.

Alice Husky, a serious qiputaq (ring toss) player.

Doris Rogers plays guitar to entertain at the point.

The games range from foot races, tug of war, dizzy stick and Inuvialuit horse shoe. Hundred prizes are to be won, and sometimes it gets really intense. We also play cards, anything to get in the spirit of having fun together. t the game events many volunteer cooks make sure no one goes starving, and every way you turn there is food. My mother and grandma cooked traditional foods like Eskimo doughnuts, caribou soup, bannock, bread, dry fish and maktak. They taught me how and when to put out a fish net, how to cut the fish and how to set it up for drying. Learning how to cook traditional foods was always fun.


The biggest draw that bonds the communities together are the games. Everyone participates – young kids, elders, even babies all enjoy playing. The children love playing kick the can and soccer. The games range from foot races, tug of war, dizzy stick and Inuvialuit horse shoe. Hundred prizes are to be won, and sometimes it gets really intense. We also play cards, anything to get in the spirit of having fun together.

When there was good weather, men usually go hunting for caribou and moose on the land or take their boats out in the sea to hunt whales. More often than not they run into mishaps like encountering a bear. Some people like to take their kids with them, to show them the proper way to hunt.

Although young people today do not go out to Shingle Point as much as they used to, it remains a magical place for me. The games, hunting and traditional cooking will be happening again this summer, on the 26th July. Shingle Point is always a good time, do go experience the magic if you can!


Uniquely Arctic Golf Tournament photos by Peggy Jay

Elder Mary Kudlak preparing country food, as she does every year! Chipping competition: measuring the distance between the golf ball to the hole.

Volunteers of the BJO are given maktak in appreciation – that's just one of the unique things about the Billy Joss Golf Tournament in Ulukhaktok.

were entertained by Louie Goose, Leanne Goose, rapper Aaron “Godson” Hernandez, Kugluktok's own Akhaliak band and NWT Commissioner George Tuccarro, to name a few.

In the words of words of Susan Kaodloak, Mayor of Ulukhaktok: The Billy Joss Open Celebrity Golf tournament has brought the community of Ulukhaktok much entertainment and excitement in its 25 years of existence. We got to meet current and past Edmonton Oilers hockey players, Edmonton Eskimo's football player Andrew Bell, figure skater Michael Slipchuk, Olympian Kathy Gregg and

We have golfed in heavy snowfall, in hard rain and bright, hot sunshine with thousands of mosquitoes. We have seen Richard Notaina shoot a “Hole-in-one”, ravens stealing Keith “Tuma” Atatahak's golf ball, hondas being hit by golfballs, elders in putting competitions, toddlers trying their hand at golf ball throw and some long shots in the Longest Drive competition.

Trevor Okheena ready to try his swing.

Commissioner of Nunavut Edna Elias helping to cut up meat for the feast.

Colin Okheena taking a shot in long drive.

Patrick Joss helping someone guard a hotdog while they are golfing.

Elders putting contest - (L-R) Elsie Ovilok, Joanne Ogina (also the main organizer of B JO from Ulukhaktok), Mary Kudlak and Martha Notaina.

Central Style Drum Dancers (elders).

Premier Bob McLeod, MLA Robert McLeod and David Ramsay, and Ken Dalton from Aklak at B JO. Tom Beaudoin, Eugene Rees, Ned Day, Michael Miltenberger.

Julia Ekpakohak showing the Premier and Tom Beaudoin Minister of Health Central arctic style drum dance.

Ulukhaktok musicians.

Trevor Okheena, Denny Rodgers and John Cournoyea.

We have lost our voices, golf balls, gloves, tempers and our shyness. We have met new people, made some lifelong friends and memories for all locals and “out-of-towners”. The BJO started as an oppourtunity to put Ulukhaktok on the map, to attract tourists to the community while providing an enjoyable golf tournament for locals. It has evolved into a premier weekend of golfing, fishing, great food and camaraderie.When we think of BJO we think not just of golfing but of great food such as muskox and char stirfry, Mary Okheena's cinnamon bannock, friendly people, bright sunshine, mosquitoes and Peggy Jay's ever present camera. This year Eddie Okheena won both the Par Hole Draw, and Birdie Hole Draw, with the prizes being trips to Inuvik and to Yellowknife. Thank you to all volunteers, BJO staff, committee, the recreation team and sponsors for another brilliant, 26th year of golfing in the most unique golf course and a community of beautiful people!

Women winners - Helen Olifie (3rd), Louise Nigiyok (2nd), Jane Okheena (1st).

Putting contest winners Jane Okheena (Ladies), Gary Okheena (Men’s) and Eddie Okheena (Masters).

Dale Nigiyok winner of Men’s Open.

Youth category winners, Conner Sullivan (3rd), Brandon Okheena (2nd), Brendan Kanayok (1st).

Mary Anne Taylor Reid of Tuktoyaktuk, NT carves a muskox while her brother Vaughn carves in the background.

Artist Portraits at the GNAF's 25th words and photos by Nick Westover


reat Northern Arts Festival (GNAF) is now in its twentyfifth year – for a week and a half every summer GNAF in Inuvik has welcomed artists and travellers from afar and those from around the corner. It’s an impressive weaving-together of tradition, skill, work ethic, kinship and camaraderie that, after two and a half decades, has become an integral part of the northern tapestry. With names like Yakeleya, Taylor, Vittrekwa, Lafferty, Nigiyok, Haogak, Komangapik, Inuktalik and Iguptak in the gallery and workshop halls, the GNAF is a veritable who’s-who of northern Canadian artists. While, from the visitor’s perspective the artwork itself – beautifully crafted stone, silver, embroidery, furs – may be the central attraction there is another event happening at the same time: there is a social and creative process taking place. Ideas and creativity thrive in social environments and, in a

region where communities are notable for their isolation, this festival defies geography and its constraints. Artists come together from an area spanning over 3000 km from west to east; they come from communities connected to southern culture by high speed fibre and asphalt and from communities that are literally remote islands. Many of the artists at this year’s festival shared GNAF’s importance as a forum for ideas and techniques, allowing them to work together or in parallel, spurring new creative courses even when they return home. Creative work becomes cultural work, and is the lens through which we see ourselves and others see us, our similarities and differences, the pulse of creative influences, our common humanity, and the struggles and successes that we all share. In these artist portraits we trace the creative forces, young and old, behind our evolving northern culture.

Kulula Itulu of Kimmirut, NU carves stone at the GNAF.

“I remember my first experience at GNAF being really wonderful, I remember people being really nice... everyone treats you like family. I did have family in Inuvik but I’d never met them before. It was fun meeting people that who [were] family... [and] other artists felt like family...” “Networking is of huge value to me at the GNAF. Getting to speak with a lot of the elders... getting to see their perspective on certain issues. Getting to learn certain techniques that I wouldn’t see anywhere else.”

“I first attended the festival around 2007. There’s some new people every year, most of my friends are all gone, I feel alone... I’m one of the only Gwich’in from the area.” “Slippers are now $300 - $400, that is because the moose hide is $1,200 -$1,800. Even our own people say it’s too much... postage has gone up too. So we put our price up... in case somebody’s wondering why it’s so expensive.”

Caroline Blechert, Jewellery (Yellowknife)

“Two Headed Raven” a soapstone carving by artist John Sabourin (Yellowknife) at the GNAF 2013.

“I learned from my sister Mary Kendi in Aklavik, she’s a sewer there. She’s 98... It’s nice to see the young kids interested in sewing because there’s not a lot of us old folks left. Our eyes are going. [On winning the GNAF People’s Choice Award] “I hope by using this I can encourage younger people to learn how to sew and things... that they can make by hand... There’s a lot of sewing groups where people can learn.”

Margaret Vittrekwa, Traditional Arts (Fort McPherson)


Ryan Taylor

Mary Anne Taylor Reid of Tuktoyaktuk, NT

Curtis Taylor

Stone carvings of beluga whales, works in progress at the GNAF 2013.

Vaughn Taylor

John Taylor


“I’ve been going [to GNAF] as long as it’s been there... It’s good for young people to come... I brought Bambi Amos with me. She was embroidering and making mitts and making ipad cases. My grandson, my adopted boy, I want him to learn to make jewellery. I’m going to Emily Carr in Vancouver [this Sept]. I’m bringing lots of work, I’m going to demonstrate spinning muskox wool, making mitts with sealskin, lots of other things... I teach sewing in my own community too. I want young people to learn... when we’re gone we’re taking it [our traditional arts] with us and nobody will know what to do... it’s time for them to take over... it’s the way we keep our traditions.”

Lena Wolki, Traditional Arts (Sachs Harbour)

“I do have a son who’s up and coming, Desmond, and the festival is a good opportunity to work alongside him and... give him some of the skills I’ve picked up along the way. [Attending the GNAF is] worthwhile for sure, for being able to meet other artists and work alongside them. Being able to see the type of work they do.”

Eli Nasogaluak, Carver (Yellowknife – originally from Tuk)

““I attended the first year of the GNAF, since then only missed 1 year... Really good to be with people that go there - the people that go sew and carve - it’s good to be in that community.”

“This is my 51st year living in the south, when I first came to GNAF I hadn’t been to the north in 37 years... I have family up there (in Sachs Harbour) so I practically knew everybody. Half the population I was related to because we are Pokiaks... There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing other artists that have done so well... you learn to do other sewing – I learned how to do porcupine quilling and moose and caribou hair tufting... people gather from all over the north... if you’re willing to learn to do something, especially if you work with your hands a lot, that’s the place to go. It’s like going to university - it’s very good experience.”

Edith Haogak, Traditional Arts (Sachs Harbour)

A carving in progress.

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Traditional Arts (Fort St. John, originally from Tuktoyaktuk)

“Manhole Hunter” by artist Jessie Tungalik at GNAF 2013.

Ruben Komangapik of Caplan, QC teaches stone carving techniques to youth at the GNAF.

Some of the beautiful dolls for sale at the GNAF.

The hands of Kulula Itulu, carver from Kimmirut, NU.

Kulula Itulu of Kimmirut, NU carves stone at the GNAF.

l u f y Jo Sachs 158

y a D s n a e c O d l r Wo

Betty Haogak (mayor of Sachs Harbour) cutting up frozen char for quaq. Quaq means frozen meat or fish; it’s a delicacy when eaten frozen!

For Oceans Day, DFO provided seats on their charter to bring Peter and Beverly Esau back to Sachs Harbour for a day visit. They especially enjoyed seeing friends and family. (L-R) Peter Esau, John Keogak, John Lucas Sr.

at bour r a H

Martha Kudlak and Peter Esau cutting the official cake made by Doreen Carpenter.

One Foot High Kick.

Margaret Fenton visiting with her family in Sachs Harbour.

RCMP officer in the harpoon throw.

Harpoon throwing contest.

During World Oceans Day, Trevor Lucas, left, accepts a Cooperative Management Award from Vernon Amos, a member of the Fisheries Joint Management Committee. The award recognizes Lucas for significant contribution in fisheries comanagement in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

The beautiful community of Sachs Harbour – Ikaahuk is a coastal community of about 100 people on the most westerly of Canada’s Arctic islands. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with the assistance of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, brought World Oceans Day right to the sandy beach of Sachs Harbour on July 5th, bringing in by charter guests, sponsors and volunteers to celebrate with the community.

The T-shirt/hoodie design of World Oceans Day was made by Sachs Harbour’s Jasmine Keogak, reflecting the close relationship of Sachs Harbour to the oceans and the wealth of diverse and beautiful creatures within them. While the day was a celebration of the oceans, community members who came out in full force also celebrated their family and cultural ties.

160 Kyle Donovan demonstrates the onehand reach, a part of the Northern Games demonstration. Donovan balances his body on the fingers of one hand, touches an object above his head with the other hand, and return to a position of balance.

Tug of war – the ladies won the first round!

Sitting on the soft sand of the beach at Sachs Harbour.

Giving out hoodies as participation prizes.

Air travel within the North is costly, and every year some seats on the Oceans Day charter are reserved for bringing special guests. Peter Esau and his daughter, Beverly, were invited back up to Sachs Harbour for a visit. It was a magical moment for them to visit with family and friends in the community.

In the Tug of war competition the ladies win the first round with Nellie Cournoyea egging them on. That made the men take the competition much more seriously and they won the 2nd heat. With help from elders and children, the women won the 3rd heat and the title. They sure had a lot of fun teasing the men!

The celebrations include a barbecue luncheon, a harpoon throw, tug-of-war competitions and Northern Games demonstrations. There were many laughs, and local officials such as the RCMP joined in the games.

World Oceans Day is rotated among the ISR communities. The celebration took place last year in Paulatuk and will be hosted in Inuvik next year!

Northern Games event: Head pull.

Local RCMP participating at the event. One hand reach was a little challenging so he tries with both hands!

Community members hold up the World Oceans Day banner they made to celebrate the special event.

Organizers and volunteers of Oceans Day took a break to explore the ice at Mary Sachs. (L-R) Jiri Raska (CEDO), Peggy Jay (IRC), Sarah Fosbury (DFO ), Melinda Gillis (Parks Canada).

The wind blew the ice back crashing onto the land at Mary Sachs.

News Stories

Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility

Sea ice tanks on campus allow researchers to grow and test sea ice under controlled situations. Operating the Amundsen, an icebreaker vessel where scientists had conducted sea ice research, costs $55,000 a day. Being able conduct key research on campus is vital and will allow more scientists and students to participate. The project was partly funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

and signatories of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), and an Officer of the Order of Canada as well as recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement

Award and Governor General’s Northern Medal Award. She serves on many boards pertaining to the arctic environment, including the Canadian Polar Commission.

The research center is named after Nellie Cournoyea to honour the first elected Chair and CEO of IRC in January 1996, now in her ninth term. She is the former premier of the Northwest Territories and one of the original negotiators David Barber, Clayton H. Riddell, Nellie Cournoyea.

(Mike Latschislaw photos).

“It allows us to start our investigations at the molecular level,” which no other facility can do, said David Barber, research chair in arctic system science at the University of Manitoba.

Geological sciences professor Søren Rysgaard, President and ViceChancellor David Barnard, Clayton H. Riddell, Nellie Cournoyea, Minister of Advanced Education Erin Selby and associate dean of the Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources David Barber cut the ribbon for the Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility.

(Peggy Jay photo).

The Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility was officially opened March 18, 2013. The $15 million facility, part of the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, consists of 60,000-square-feet of specialized laboratories, state-of-theart instruments, and classroom intended to transform and lead global efforts to understand climate change.

Distribution payments for Inuvialuit Beneficiaries In accordance with the IRC Distribution Policy, each enrolled Inuvialuit beneficiary over the age of 18 received $563.20 this May. A total of $2,396,990 was paid to 4,256 beneficiaries enrolled in the Inuvialuit Trust. The distribution payments are based upon 15% of the Average Comprehensive Income for the preceding ten-year period as determined from IRC’s audited consolidated financial statements. IRC subsidiaries – Inuvialuit Development Corporation, Inuvialuit Investment Corporation, Inuvialuit Land Corporation and Inuvialuit

Petroleum Corporation – contribute to the distribution. The IRC Distribution Policy ensures that there is sufficient reinvestment of profits to guarantee the preservation and growth of the land claim capital for future generations of Inuvialuit. The establishment of the Elders Assistance Program and Inuvialuit Harvesters Assistance Program, the core funding of the Inuvialuit Education Foundation, Inuvialuit Charitable Foundation and community corporations have all been made possible through such reinvestments.

For more news stories, see pages 35 and 98–99.

Donna Goose with her beneficiary cheque

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Tusaayaksat magzaine / Summer/fall 2013 Relaunch double issue / $5


stories that need to be heard

Cut & Play Language Games

try this at home: launching our northern games series!


What is Devolution?

Towards Rebirth? Memories of Husky Lakes Artists at GNAF



Profile for Tusaayaksat Magazine

Tusaayaksat Summer/ Fall 2013 Double Issue  

Special double issue of Tusaayaksat Magazine -Celebrating Inuvialuit People, Culture and Heritage. Tusaayaksat Magazine Mission: To empowe...

Tusaayaksat Summer/ Fall 2013 Double Issue  

Special double issue of Tusaayaksat Magazine -Celebrating Inuvialuit People, Culture and Heritage. Tusaayaksat Magazine Mission: To empowe...