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Monday, April 17, 2017
Snowboarding sessions


Kids in Kugluktuk have started learning how to snowboard.

The program began last year and is being continued by the Kugluktuk Youth Centre.

"It was such a hit with the kids. Now that the weather is a little nicer and we have got a good snowpack, it has started again every Sunday and Wednesday," said recreation coordinator Ali Harper.

The program is for ages seven to 14 and is run by Harper and a community teacher, who are both certified to train the children.

"It will be basic awareness of the snowboard and getting them to learn how to find their balance on a board. We'll teach them the progression of using their edges and we'll be doing lots of heel-side sloping and toe-side sloping," she said.

"By the time the program is done, we should have them all making their turns down the hill."

- Beth Brown

Drop pop, pick up a healthy lifestyle

Uqsuqtuuq/Gjoa Haven

It was Drop the Pop week at Quqshuun Ilihakvik in Gjoa Haven from March 27 to 31.

The week was spent learning about healthy food and drink choices and keeping active.

"Students enjoyed a variety of different healthy snacks throughout the week to introduce them to food choices they may not have tried before," stated Catherine Eleehetook and Abby Puqiqnak.

Students created posters on healthy living, heard from the community health representative Rebecca Okpik, and read books that discuss nutrition and active living like Uvannut Turaangaqataunnigittuq/Not for Me.

"Classroom discussions took place about the amount of sugar in different types of drinks. At the end of the week an assembly was held and parents where invited to recognize and celebrate those students who dropped pop for the week," they stated.

A feast of country food for students and families ended the sugar-free week.

- Beth Brown

Teachers recognized for making a difference


Four teachers who make a difference in the lives of their students were celebrated at a Nunavut Teachers Association banquet held in Iqaluit April 1.

Each teacher was nominated by a student during a month-long campaign.

Random draws were made for each region and one for the entire territory from the nominations received. The student nominator and teacher nominee were acknowledged at the banquet, according to a news release.

The winning nominations were: Catherine Eleehetook of Quqshuun Ilihakvik in Gjoa Haven, Jolene Itkilik of Tusarvik School in Naujaat and Leigh Casey of Quluaq School in Clyde River.

The territorial winner was George Hill of Netsilik School in Taloyoak.

The three winning regional student nominators will receive a gift from the Government of Nunavut. They are: Alanis Kogvik, 7, of Quqshuun Ilihakvik; Ala Panika, 9, of Tusarvik School; and Janice Sangaya, 12, of Quluaq School. Each of the three teachers received an iPad Mini from the teachers' association.

The winning territorial student Angutingusaq Panigayaq, 19, of Netsilik School will receive a computer system and printer from the Government of Nunavut, while the teacher receives two system-wide tickets compliments of First Air.

The Thank You for Making a Difference Campaign is an annual event intended to acknowledge the positive contributions that all teachers make in the lives of the students they teach, according to the release.

- Michele LeTourneau

Whooping cough outbreak done


The Department of Health declared an end to a territorial outbreak of whooping cough,or pertussis, April 12.

"I wish to thank residents of Nunavut for being proactive, getting immunized and helping to stop the spread of pertussis," said chief medical officer of health Dr. Kim Barker.

"I also extend my sincere appreciation to our dedicated health care staff throughout Nunavut. They worked tirelessly to immunize and care for patients with pertussis. Thank you as well to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada for their ongoing support."

The pertussis outbreak started in Pond Inlet in May 2016, and spread to 11 communities in the Qikiqtaaluk and Kivalliq regions.

The department stressed the importance of routine childhood immunizations, including protecting against pertussis.

Immunizations are free, and Nunavummiut can check their immunization status at their local health centre, according to the release.

"Though the outbreak is over, Health encourages people to be vigilant against pertussis, and see your health care provider immediately if your child has a cough that is followed by a 'whoop' sound, or has a high fever, or vomits after coughing."

- Michele LeTourneau

Water works, almost

Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay

The tap water in Cambridge Bay is safe to drink, but discoloration issues will continue until a solution can be settled on this summer, according to the Department of Community and Government Services.

The water has been various shades of yellow ever since the installation of a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility in the hamlet in the fall.

"Water sample test reports dated March 9, 2017 from the Regional Environmental Health Officer indicate absence of total coliform and E. coli," stated Community and Government Services spokesperson Kris Mullaly.

Hamlet water has been running clearer following cleaning of the system filter media and filter tanks.

"Further discoloration will be addressed in summer 2017 by cleaning the treated water tank when weather permits," he stated. "The most important information that we want to share with readers is that the water is safe to drink and that we will continue to monitor this situation."

- Beth Brown

Baffin Fisheries elects three new board members


Baffin Fisheries has three new board members and two new recruitment officers, it announced April 11.

New board members are: Karen Nutarak, elected to represent the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Association (HTA) in Pond Inlet; Apiusie Apak, elected to represent the Namautaq HTA in Clyde River; and, Jerry Ell, elected to represent the Amaruq HTA in Iqaluit, according to a news release.

The organization also appointed Eric Ootoovak in Pond Inlet and Daniel Kulugutuk in Pangnirtung as recruitment and administration officers.

"These new positions were created to help increase the number of Inuit beneficiaries working aboard Baffin Fisheries vessels and to assist the company in its efforts to increase economic activity in HTA communities," states the release.

Following the construction of a 3,000 sq. ft. office building in Pangnirtung in 2016, Baffin Fisheries is also building a new office building in Pond Inlet this year. The organization notes it is assisting the Mittimatalik HTA in the development of a new processing and cold storage facility, which will help in the development of a new commercial inshore fishery in Pond Inlet. Additional infrastructure work is planned for other communities, according to the release.

- Michele LeTourneau Nunavut News/North More Northern News