Melissa: My intention for this blog is that it will serve to keep my heart, stories and adventures close to my family and friends in the GTA & Be a guide to those who are thinking of moving to or visiting Nunavut.
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SYDNEY, May 25, 2011 (IPS) - From the Australian bush to Alaska’s Arctic wilderness, indigenous peoples’ stories and perspectives take centre stage at the Message Sticks Film Festival, the only annual event of its kind in Australia.
Message Sticks opened at the Sydney Opera House on May 13 and tours nationally until Aug. 24, through remote Aboriginal communities in the towns of Broome, Townsville, Cairns, Alice Springs and Yirrkala, besides screening to mainstream audiences in state and territory capitals.
"The festival has grown in terms of audience and the quality of works," said Australian indigenous film and documentary director Rachel Perkins.
"The pool of indigenous filmmakers has also grown with more access to targeted programmes for skills development. This, coupled with the means of production becoming more economically viable, has meant that there is more content to draw from," Perkins, who has been the festival curator for the past 12 years, told IPS.
Grimes to head World Meteorological Organization... Mr. Grimes’s mandate at the WMO will span four years. He’ll perform the job from Ottawa and remain with Environment Canada. He plans to place a greater focus on polar regions, including advocating within the WMO for better weather monitoring and information services in the North.
“This emphasis toward the pole has not been mainstreamed in the WMO. They’ve been more focused on tropical meteorology and tropical storms and hurricanes,” Mr. Grimes said in a phone interview from Geneva. “Those are important, but we need to know what’s going on in the polar regions and what’s changing,” he added.
“These are areas where we’re seeing, from a science point of view, very significant changes.”
We are not in Iqaluit just to perform in front of a roaring crowd of passionate fans. We are there to make a difference in the community and amongst the people. After settling in for a bit we made our way to elementary and high schools in different towns for speaking engagements. As much as some of us would like to believe we are everyday people, we were heroes and role models to these kids. It's a humbling experience the way these kids would look up to you despite being a relative stranger. During these speaking engagements we would share personal experiences in and out the ring that could positively affect their lives.
We even competed in Inuit Olympics at one of the schools playing unusual yet challenging games and getting our butts whooped.
In a campaign spanning 26 years, WWF-Canada worked with the Inuit community of Clyde River to create Canada’s first national Marine Wildlife Area. Also known as Niginganiq, this extensive area off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut, became a sanctuary for bowhead whales in 2008.
“Isabella Bay is a pristine late summer and fall, feeding and resting stop for many of the Davis Strait-Baffin Bay bowhead whale population,” Mike Russill, then CEO of WWF-Canada said at the time. “This is not only a day to celebrate the protection of the threatened bowhead whale, but also to celebrate a community effort led from the beginning by the Inuit of Clyde River.”
At the community’s request, WWF-Canada invested over $1 million for scientific studies and to support Inuit requests for protection of this important area. WWF also negotiated with all levels of government and Inuit organisations to develop a management plan for this magnificent northern bay.
The sanctuary includes two deep offshore troughs that are rich in a type of crustacean known as copepods which are a main food source for the 18 metre-long, 70-tonne bowhead whale. A shallow shelf at the entrance to the bay provides protection from predatory orca whales.
Polar bears, ringed seals, Arctic char, halibut, narwhal, Canada geese, snow geese and king eider also benefit from the sanctuary.
Inuit used to have wrestling matches that lasted a long time. A wrestling match could go on for many hours. In order to get ready for a wrestling match, Inuit would remove their outside clothes such as their atigik [parka].
There are many different kinds of wrestling matches. These include: leg wrestle, thumb wrestle, chair wrestle and nikuvittuq – where one wrestler lies on top of the other.
Inuit wrestlers were not allowed to use their feet to trip each other. If a wrestler used his feet to trip the opposing player the game was stopped. Tripping was not allowed.
It shows a summer day in the Arctic Circle, where the Sun never sets. It just shines 24 hours a day, getting down enough to almost touch the highest mountains just to bounce up again. The phenomenon is called the midnight sun, and it happens because the Earth's inclination makes certain areas of the poles completely exposed to the Sun.
Marine mammal hunters trying to negotiate increasingly finicky ice conditions have a new ally: a National Weather Service project that can shoot weather forecasts and satellite imagery straight to their cell phones.
Dubbed Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook, the second-year project updates four villages in the Bering Strait region with the outlooks. More coastal communities hope to be included in the future, said Gary Hufford, the agency's regional meteorologist in Alaska and project leader.
This spring, bowhead whalers on St. Lawrence Island used the reports to spot open-water leads where they could set up camps nearby on the shore-fast ice, he said. And when a powerful storm approached in late April, whalers temporarily abandoned their camps, thanks to the forecasts.
The idea for the project came from Vera Metcalf, executive director of the Eskimo Walrus Commission.
Qaggiavuut will be a beacon of arts and culture for the entire circumpolar world and provide both healing and inspiration to the people of the North.
Nunavut is the only territory or province in Canada without a performing arts centre and Iqaluit is the only capital city in North America without a space to present the performing arts.
Nunavut is rich in the Inuit performing arts—from throat singing to original rap, storytelling to circus, button accordion to drum dancing.
DORVAL, QC, May 24, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Québec Premier Jean Charest, and Minister responsible for Native Affairs and Member for Jacques-Cartier Geoffrey Kelley announced today the allocation of $5 million in financial support to the Air Inuit aviation company. These funds will go towards building a new hangar in Dorval to better serve the communities of Nunavik. Besides meeting the specific needs of Air Inuit, the complex will provide aircraft maintenance and refurbishment services to other operators.
Cambridge Bay cadet rolls to victory at National Cadet Marksmanship Championships If the rest of the cadet corps around the country didn't know about Cambridge Bay's Liam Wilford, they do now. The 14-year-old corporal with the 3004 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps made it a week to remember in Whitehorse as he mopped up at the 2011 National Cadet Marksmanship Championships, which ended on May 15. Wilford was seemingly dead-eye on the targets as he ran away with the junior categories at the annual tournament. His wins came in the junior individual competition with an average of 96.58 out of 100 and the junior open competition, scoring 96.86 and tossing in a perfect round one score of 100 for good measure. Add in a joint third place finish in the open individual event and a second place in the open final and you have one heck of a weekend for Wilford.
Earning the moniker "The Sniper" with his performance, Wilford said he surprised himself with how well he did.
More at http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/may22_11cad-spt.html
“This could lead to the collapse of the Nunavut-based construction industry” - Changes to the way the Government of Nunavut collects paper work from housing contractors are pushing some smaller contractors to the brink of bankruptcy, says the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Construction Association.
In a letter addressed to Nunavut cabinet ministers, MLAs, senior GN staff and Nunavut’s MP, Leona Aglukkaq, association president Bob Doherty complains that changes in the wake of $110-million worth of cost overruns at the Nunavut Housing Corp. create more work than small contractors can handle.
Oil and gas extraction in the Arctic is expected to increase. Influential environmental organizations in Sweden are now demanding that the Swedish government strive to put an end to all oil extraction in the Arctic Ocean to protect the sensitive sea environment from oil spills.
But oil extraction in the Arctic can be more environmentally-friendly than when drilling in warmer waters. This according to geographer and Arctic researcher Rasmus Ole Rasmussen.
"Cold water and ice are very beneficial when cleaning up after an oil spill," says Rasmus Ole Rasmussen, a researcher at Nordregio, the Nordic Council of Minister's research institute in Stockholm. "The oil is much thicker and much easier to pump up."
"Because of the cold water, the oil breaks down slower than further south and consequently leaves traces in nature. But volatile substances remain in the oil if it's cold and this is an advantage if the oil spill is to be burned away."
The USA moved up three places to 82 from last year.
The index, compiled since 2007 by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a non-partisan, not-for-profit research organization, uses 23 "peace indicators" to create its rankings, such as the level of organized conflict, number of displaced people, violent demonstrations, potential for terrorist acts, disrespect for human rights and military capability.
More at http://www.visionofhumanity.org/info-center/global-peace-index-2011/
North Arrow Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAR) is pleased to announce plans for an upcoming exploration drill program at the Hammer Property located within the Coronation Gulf/North Slave Diamond District of Nunavut. The Hammer Property is a joint venture between North Arrow (25% participating) and Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) (75% and operator) and hosts the Hammer kimberlite discovered by prospecting in July 2009 (North Arrow News Release #9-13). The Hammer kimberlite has not yet been drill tested, and the upcoming $1.3 million dollar drill program will be designed to delineate its size and diamond content for the first time.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/319253#ixzz1NPUQwJ00
Reporting to the school principal and Project Advisory Committee, and working closely with the school guidance counsellor, the Ungasiktumut Isumaksaqsiujuniq Leadership & Resiliency Program (LRP) Coordinator is responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring the SAMSA Leadership & Resiliency Program in Arviat, Nunavut. The Coordinator will also train and supervise an assistant coordinator.
The Ungasiktumut Isumaksaqsiujuniq Leadership Resiliency Program is a community and school-based crime prevention project designed to build inner strength and resiliency in at-risk youth ages 14 to 19. The Program consists of three components: Resiliency Groups, Service Learning, and Adventures in Discovery.
Air Inuit will spend $32.5 million and Quebec another $5 million to expand the carrier’s operations at Dorval airport, an investment expected to create 40 jobs.... The company services its own fleet of 31 planes, said Horsman, but will also offer MRO services to other companies whenever possible as a sideline.
The bulk of its fleet is 12 de Havilland Dash-8 turboprops, but Air Inuit also operates two Boeing 737s and seven 15-seat Twin Otters as well as a variety of King Airs, Hawkers, Turbo Otters, Beavers and two helicopters.
Horsman said the airline has been operating for 32 years and that like most airlines, is currently “marginally profitable.”
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Inuit+province+team+expand+carrier+operations+Dorval+airport/4834027/story.html#ixzz1NNtOi0jN
George River herd drops by 80 per cent - Biologists are sounding an alarm over drastic declines in the numbers and overall condition of caribou in Nunavik.
As recently as 2011, caribou numbered more than one million in Nunavik.
Now there could be fewer than 300,000 caribou in the region.
Some say the drop — as much as 80 per cent in the case of the George River herd — are just part of a natural cycle that has seen caribou populations go up and down over time.
This year’s theme is The Next Decade, and I am very pleased to invite you to join us to talk about what the next ten years will bring to our territory. There’s only one place, once a year, to really do business in Nunavut – the Nunavut Trade Show & Conference. Northern Canada’s biggest annual business event brings together Nunavut businesses, all levels of government, southern suppliers and investors, entrepreneurs and employees for three days of networking and deal-making. All Trade Show and Conference sessions are held at the Arctic Winter Games arena in Iqaluit. It
Nunavut Arctic College is updating its guide training curriculum because it's outdated and the college wants to attract more Nunavummiut to the field.
"GPS wasn't invented, there is a necessity for wilderness first aid and something more relevant for the North," said wilderness consultant Wes Werbowy of the old program.
The Government of Nunavut and Kivalliq School Operations invite applications for the following INDETERMINATE position starting on August 15, 2011. If a suitable candidate is not found, this position will be offered as a ONE YEAR TERM.
Inuktitut Program Support Teacher at Leo Ussak School, Rankin Inlet
* Leo Ussak School is a K-4 school with a student population of 290, an anticipated teaching staff of 17 and a support staff of 9
The salary range for this position is $66,935 - $104,952/annum depending upon qualifications and experience and a Nunavut Northern Allowance of $18,517/annum.
Full info here http://jobsearch.educationcanada.com/index.phtml?a=v&j=107396
Researchers locate 19th-century vessel that made historic discovery while tragically failing in main quest
HMS INVESTIGATOR sailed into history almost 160 years ago, lost to the relentlessly crushing ice that held her tight some 850 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
European eyes last saw her in 1854, pennant flying, abandoned and taking on water near Banks Island. Whatever provisions were on board were heaved to the island as an emergency cache, should any be unlucky enough to follow in Investigator’s wake. And just onshore were the graves of three crewmen, dead from scurvy after the ship spent two winters entombed in the frozen waters.
But the exact location and fate of the British wooden sailing ship that tried — and spectacularly failed — to find the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage has been a mystery ever since.
Frantz Joseph Land is an archipelago in the Arctic sea and one of the northernmost territories of Russia. 900 kilometers sever the northernmost island of archipelago-Rudolph Island from the North Pole. Archipelago is a part of Primorsky District of Arkhangelsk Territory and consists of 191 islands. The national park of Russian Arctic has been existed here since 2009. Wild nature park comprises Frantz Joseph Land and northern part of archipelago of Novaya Zemlysas well. The largest bird colonies and walrus rookeries in the Northern hemisphere are situated here. Moreover, Frantz Joseph Land is one of major breeding sites of polar bears. Total area of park reaches 1,4 million square hectares.
Existing of this archipelago was supposed already in mid-18th century by great Russian scientist Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov. Two expeditions were organized in 1765 and 1766 in order to detect the land. Unfortunately, both had to return to Arkhangelsk because of impassable fields of ice. In one hundred years theme of unknown northern land actualized in connection with 100 years anniversary of Lomonosov's death. More precise calculations founded on analysis of ice drift between Novaya Zemlya and Spitsbergen.