Nunatsiaq News
Elijah Etok captured this frosty arch, or
Elijah Etok captured this frosty arch, or "wintery rainbow" as he called it, which appeared over his home community of Kangiqsualujjuaq on Nov. 27. The arch is known as a fogbow, a phenomenon similar to a rainbow but created by sunlight shining on fog. (PHOTO COURTESY OF E. ETOK)
NEWS December 04, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Tasers yet to be proven effective in Nunavik, police force says

The weapon has only been used once since it was deployed to four communities last spring

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—The Kativik Regional Police Force introduced Tasers to four Nunavik communities last spring, with the hope that they might ease violent confrontations and reduce civilian deaths.

But officers have only successfully used a Taser once ever since.

That’s because the tools are usually used...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 04, 2018 - 11:30 am

Polar bears remain of “special concern,” for now, say scientists

"We will need to keep a close eye on this species"

JANE GEORGE

Polar bears face an uncertain future due to threats posed by climate change, according to a new assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

The committee, known as COSEWIC, once again assessed polar bears as a “special concern.” That means the species may become...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 04, 2018 - 10:30 am

Ottawa, Nunavut sign renewed job-training deals

Governments promise help for 1,000 more workers over five years

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The federal government will give the Government of Nunavut a little more money for job training over the next five years, thanks to two agreements the federal employment minister, Patty Hajdu, and Nunavut’s family services minister, Elisapee Sheutiapik, signed on Monday, Dec. 3.

Under the...

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NEWS December 04, 2018 - 9:31 am

Nunavut art from Baker Lake featured at Winnipeg Art Gallery

"We may admire the intricate skills of the artists"

JANE GEORGE

If you’re in Winnipeg, make sure you stop by the Winnipeg Art Gallery to take in its new exhibitions of wall hangings, drawings and carvings from Baker Lake.

One of the two new exhibitions, now open to the public, displays the skill and artistry of the late, talented Mary Yuusipik Singaqti.

Born...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 04, 2018 - 8:15 am

Nunavik police say video conferencing could speed up bail hearings

The KRPF currently spends $3.5 million a year escorting detainees south

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—The Kativik Regional Police Force has asked the Quebec government for video-conferencing facilities in two Nunavik communities to help cut down on the transfer of detainees to southern prisons.

The KRPF says it has been in discussions with provincial justice and correction officials on...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 7:28 pm

Nunavut RCMP defuse dangerous incident in Gjoa Haven

Gun-toting youth surrenders, now faces 13 criminal charges

JANE GEORGE

RCMP members in Gjoa Haven defused a potentially dangerous firearms incident this past weekend in the western Nunavut community of roughly 1,400 people.

At about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, members of the Gjoa Haven RCMP detachment heard that a young man was pointing a firearm at people who passed his...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Inuit affected by Sixties Scoop can now apply for compensation from $800M settlement

"This settlement represents an important step forward for thousands of Indigenous people"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Inuit who were taken south as children from the late 1950s to early 1980s can now apply for an estimated $25,000 in compensation for the harms they suffered.

Their experiences are today known as the Sixties Scoop, when roughly 20,000 Indigenous children were adopted out or sent to live with...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavik communities feeling the impact of climate change? There’s help

Region’s communities can apply for funding to better adapt to changes

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—If Nunavimmiut notice that winters are different now than when they were growing up—that’s climate change.

And the Kativik Regional Government’s Department of Renewable Resources, Environment, Lands and Parks is tracking those changes and offering support to communities to help them...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Indigenous child welfare rights would override provincial, federal law: minister

"This is a piece of legislation that points in this direction"

JANE GEORGE

Inuit birthright organizations may be on the cusp of transforming into Inuit “governments,” whose right to make laws and develop programs would “prevail over both federal and provincial law.”

That’s suggested by language used in the Nov. 30 announcement in Ottawa about the child and family...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 10:30 am

Less risk of dying from cancer, heart disease in Nunavut: StatCan

But death rate for young men, 20 to 24, is six times higher

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Cancer and heart disease cause fewer deaths in Nunavut than elsewhere in Canada.

That’s according to a Statistics Canada report released on Thursday, Nov. 29, on causes of death in Canada.

StatCan said cancer and heart disease remain the two leading causes of death in every province and territory...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 9:25 am

20 per cent of Nunavik now made up of protected areas: KRG

Parks and reserves are protected from industrial development

SARAH ROGERS

(Corrected Dec. 4)

KUUJJUAQ—More than 20 per cent of Nunavik’s land mass is now protected from industrial development.

It’s a goal that both Quebec and Nunavik officials have been working on for roughly a decade, which recently came to fruition when the province temporarily suspended mining...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 03, 2018 - 8:30 am

Iqaluit man found not guilty of assault causing bodily harm

“The use of force was in the protection of the woman he saw being assaulted”

BETH BROWN

An Iqaluit man is not guilty of two counts of assault causing bodily harm that he was charged with this summer, Nunavut Judge Paul Bychok said on Friday, Nov. 23, at the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Eelow Korgak, 40, was accused of stabbing a man and assaulting a woman on Aug. 11.

But Bychok said he...

FULL STORY
NEWS December 01, 2018 - 9:17 am

Iqaluit baby suffers “severe physical injuries,” teen father charged

"Everyone is responsible for protecting children”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

A teenage boy in Iqaluit faces serious child abuse charges after a baby turned up at Qikiqtani General Hospital on Nov. 28 suffering “severe physical injuries.”

“The QGH staff attended to the infant and engaged the police and family services,” the RCMP said in a release issued early yesterday...

FULL STORY
TAISSUMANI November 30, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Taissumani, Nov. 30

Mikak and the Moravian Church in Labrador — Part 2

KENN HARPER

Last week’s column introduced Mikak and her role in encouraging the Moravians to establish a mission in Nain, Labrador.

The first Moravian convert in Labrador was Kingminguse, who was baptized as Peter in February of 1776.

“I have been an Angakok, and used to believe what had been told me by my...

...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 30, 2018 - 2:25 pm

Nunavik’s KRG councillors urge an end to labour dispute

“These are our employees. And it’s been too long now.”

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—Kativik Regional Government councillors are urging the organization’s management to try to resolve a deadlock in negotiations with employees before their union makes good on plans to strike.

The Kativik Regional Government Employees Union, which oversees about 200 employees at Nunavik’s...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 30, 2018 - 12:55 pm

Ottawa to introduce child welfare bill for Inuit, First Nations, Métis

Few details available on how proposed new law would work in Nunavut and Nunavik

JANE GEORGE

Through a new family and child services bill to be introduced into Parliament early in 2019, the federal government wants to improve the way child welfare services are delivered in Indigenous communities across Canada.

That determination to end what Jane Philpott, the minister of Indigenous...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 30, 2018 - 10:30 am

World AIDS Day, Dec. 1: Canada falls behind in diagnosing HIV

"Why are there still more than 2,000 new infections in our country every year?"

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

LAURIE EDMISTON
Executive Director
CATIE, Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information

Earlier this year, I witnessed a profound historic moment at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.

Dr. Alison Rodger, a leading HIV researcher in the United Kingdom, presented the final results...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 30, 2018 - 9:30 am

Fulmars at risk in Greenland halibut gillnet fishing: new research

"Substantial enough that resulting population declines are likely"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The numbers of fulmars killed as bycatch in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait could lead to declines in the local population of these gull-sized grey-and-white seabirds.

Some 221 fulmars a year are killed by commercial fishing for Greenland halibut, also known as turbot, but even that number could be...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 30, 2018 - 8:06 am

Full day of Iqaluit traffic stops set for Dec. 1

“We still have the option to make a blood demand and there are additional officers going out for those screening purposes”

COURTNEY EDGAR

In time for the Christmas season, the RCMP will be setting up periodic and random traffic stops around the city of Iqaluit.

Dec. 1 kicks off the start of National Impaired Driving Week. Every RCMP detachment in Nunavut is required to be out that day to enforce the new impaired driving bylaws,...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 29, 2018 - 3:25 pm

Nunavik transport officials pursue screening station for Hudson coast airport

“The federal government’s not going to pay for it"

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—Another year, and still no screening services for air passengers travelling from Puvirnituq.

The Kativik Regional Government, which manages Nunavik’s airports, has been asking the federal and provincial governments for many years to install a security screening station in Puvirnituq,...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 29, 2018 - 2:29 pm

Beverly caribou herd at high risk of continued decline: management board

"Caribou herds may not last forever unless people do everything they can to help caribou now”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Beverly Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board has issued a warning, following its meeting in Winnipeg on Nov. 22: “the Beverly caribou herd is highly vulnerable and more needs to be done to address the pressures it is facing.”

This message follows the board’s vulnerability assessment for the...

FULL STORY
FEATURES November 29, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Montreal woman fundraises to return to Iqaluit for first time since her birth

“This will show me my path,” says Olipika Takpanie

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

DARYA MARCHENKOVA

When she thinks about Iqaluit, Olipika Takpanie feels curiosity, sadness and fear.

After she tried dried Arctic char in Montreal, Takpanie now dreams of country food. She wants to participate in a seal hunt. But she worries, too, about how she’ll be received when she takes her...

...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 29, 2018 - 10:26 am

National Inuit org wants first ministers’ meeting on MMIWG recommendations

"So not only the federal government … but all those other provinces and territories will see this through"

JANE GEORGE

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, representing 60,000 Inuit across Canada, is already looking ahead to the next steps as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls prepares to deliver its final report by April 30 to the Trudeau government.

ITK President Natan Obed said he...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 29, 2018 - 9:30 am

Iqaluit cases of arson have tripled since last year: RCMP

Curfew could curb such crimes, says city councillor

COURTNEY EDGAR

In the aftermath of the Nov. 8 fire at Northmart, RCMP Staff-Sgt. Garfield Elliot says arson caused primarily by youth is a growing problem in Iqaluit.

Elliott faced questions at Tuesday’s city council meeting after presenting the RCMP’s crime statistics from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

“Back in 2016,...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 29, 2018 - 8:17 am

Canadian Inuit development corporations create national lobby group

Inuit Development Corporation Association to push for federal government contracts

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Inuit development corporations across Inuit Nunangat have linked up to form a new association, the Inuit Development Corporation Association.

Launched yesterday at an event in Ottawa, its creation is a move that will, among other things, help position Inuit development corporations to land large...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 4:45 pm

RCMP failed to serve man with peace bond, Nunavut JP finds

Administrative failures by police leave women at risk of violence, Murdoch-Flowers says

BETH BROWN

Nunavut Justice of the Peace Joey Murdoch-Flowers denied a woman’s application for a peace bond on Friday, Nov. 9, because the man she filed the bond against was not “adequately served with a summons” by the Iqaluit RCMP. 

But Murdoch-Flowers made that dismissal against the backdrop of a clearly...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 3:25 pm

Nunavut Arctic College students prepping for holiday ornament sale

Jewelry and metalwork students' Christmas sale to be held Friday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. at Iqaluit's main campus

COURTNEY EDGAR

Students of Nunavut Arctic College’s jewelry and metalwork program will stay late after class over the next few days to finish off copper ornaments to sell at their annual Christmas sale in Iqaluit.

This year, the ornament sale will take place at the college’s main campus on Friday, Nov. 30, at 5...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavik’s Kuujjuaq Inn restaurant to re-open eight months after fire

“It looks like 2018, not 1975"

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—Samuel Hamel-Ratté hovers proudly over the new steam pot in the kitchen of the Kuujjuaq Inn restaurant.

This shiny piece of equipment is a new, $25,000 addition to the restaurant’s kitchen, used to make soups, bouillons and other sauces.

Unfortunately, it took rebuilding the kitchen from...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Cape Dorset assesses Arctic lyre crab for community fishery

WWF works with Nunavut community to build sustainable ocean economy

BETH BROWN

Cape Dorset is gearing up to try out an inshore commercial crab fishery.

The Baffin community’s hunters and trappers organization has plans to start surveying populations of Artic lyre crab this summer, with the support of the environmental group WWF-Canada.

The Artic lyre crab is similar to a...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 11:07 am

Nunavik’s frustrated KRG employees vote for strike mandate

“Our goal is to reach a settlement"

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—The Kativik Regional Government Employees Union voted on Monday in favour of a strike mandate.

The union, which oversees about 200 employees at Nunavik’s regional administration, is stepping up pressure tactics as the group nears three years without a contract.

The groups reached an......

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 10:15 am

City of Iqaluit’s 2019 budget hikes taxes, reduces water subsidy

Budget attaches high priority to sanitation, long-term reserve funds

COURTNEY EDGAR

Iqaluit city council approved its 2019 operating budget and capital spending plan last night, giving priority to sanitation and reserve fund contributions.

This new operating budget takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The city also approved a $43.4 million capital spending plan, which uses federal...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 9:30 am

In Nunavut, most employed Inuit have government jobs: StatCan

Government of Nunavut has more women workers, hamlets more men

JANE GEORGE

Nunavut is a territory of government workers.

That’s the one of the biggest takeaways from yesterday’s 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey—Nunavut Inuit Supplement.

The figures from this Statistics Canada report show that if you are an Inuk and work in Nunavut, the chances are that you work for...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 28, 2018 - 8:16 am

Nominations open for youth leadership awards

Nunavut Law Foundation accepting Upinnaqtuq Awards nominations until Friday, Nov. 30

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Nunavut Law Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2018 Upinnaqtuq Awards, which celebrate youth role models who embody peace, conflict resolution and leadership.

Upinnaqtuq, in Inuktitut, means “to celebrate a person’s accomplishments” or “a person you are proud of.”

Community members...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 27, 2018 - 3:06 pm

Incumbent chair re-elected to Nunavik’s Kativik Regional Government

Jennifer Munick to serve a second term as chair, despite not being re-elected to municipal council

SARAH ROGERS

KUUJJUAQ—Kativik Regional Government councillors re-elected incumbent chair Jennifer Munick to a second term in the role on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Munick, a long-time municipal councillor, youth leader and health administrator, was first elected as KRG chair in 2015.

Tuesday’s election for a chair was...

FULL STORY
NEWS November 27, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavut mayors strategize on how to meet growing needs

"We share many of the same struggles, but there are also many opportunities"

JANE GEORGE

It was a long trip for many mayors and senior administrative officers to attend their only face-to-face gathering of the year.

But municipal officials from 17 Nunavut communities travelled for up to three days across the territory, each way, to attend the annual general meeting of the Nunavut...

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NEWS November 27, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Pilots report UFO sighting over Nunavut’s northern Baffin Island

Report made to NORAD following Nov. 24 sighting of a light

JANE GEORGE

(Updated at 6:40 p.m.)

Pilots have reported the sighting of an unidentified flying object on Nov. 24, as they flew from Iqaluit to the Mary River mine in north Baffin Island.

The pilots were flying a Nolinor Aviation Boeing 737-200 jet, and reported that the sighting took place at about 8:30 p.m....

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NEWS November 27, 2018 - 12:30 pm

Nunavut government offers property tax relief to elders, people with disabilities

Those eligible must live outside of Iqaluit

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

(Updated at 3:20 p.m.)

Nunavut’s Department of Finance is offering property tax relief to property-owning elders and people with disabilities outside of Iqaluit.

Nunavut residents over the age of 65, or who have “total or partial disabilities,” can apply online for the tax relief program for this...

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An artist called Sule entertains a crowd at the Kuujjuaq Inn lounge on Wednesday, Nov. 28, with banjo covers of pop hits. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
An artist called Sule entertains a crowd at the Kuujjuaq Inn lounge on Wednesday, Nov. 28, with banjo covers of pop hits. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)