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News Briefs: Monday, August 14, 2017

$300 million airport open for business


Iqaluit International Airport - the new one - took over from the iconic yellow terminal Aug. 9.

The grand opening event will take place Sept. 13, when all MLAs are in town for session, said the Government of Nunavut's director of communications Catriona Macleod.

The first jets to arrive, First Air, then Canadian North, received an inaugural water cannon salute from two of the airport's fire trucks stationed on either side of the approach runway. The jets travelled toward the terminal between the plumes of water forming an arch.

The baggage collection area features two carousels. According to several witnesses present on the first day, baggage pickup by passengers has been cut down to nine minutes from beginning to end, down from one hour at the old terminal.

The Iqaluit International Airport is a $300 million project, and includes expanded aprons for aircraft to park, three new taxiways, new lighting systems and a new combined services building, which holds maintenance vehicles and acts as a fire hall.

- Michele LeTourneau

New 'Nunavut' awaits final vote


A second "Nunavut" came into being in early August.

KYUK, the media outlet for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska, reported a treaty was signed to form the Provisional Nunavut Alaska Government uniting the 56 village tribes in the region.

"The tribal members that were here, and the people that came to witness the event, gave Nunavut the direction and the powers that it needed to get these things going that are needed," the new chairman Chariton Epchook is quoted as saying.

Nunavut News/North contacted the reporter asking if people of that region were aware a large territory in Canada went by that name.

"Yes, we and many in the YK Delta community are aware of the Nunavut in Canada. There is a different pronunciation and we clarified early on in our reporting on this. We've also reported that this was selected as a working name for the provisional government, that may change come the November 7 vote," stated Christine Trudeau by e-mail.

Nov. 7 will see all enrolled tribal members of the 56 villages voting on the provisional government.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, the Government of Nunavut did not have a response to the news by press time.

- Michele LeTourneau

Bowhead attacked?


A dead bowhead, possibly the victim of an attack by one or more killers whales, temporarily washed up on shore near Iglulik Point in early August.

"It's been dead for over a year, I think," said George Qattalik, manager of the Igloolik Hunters and Trappers Association. "It had no back fin. The stomach, all the guts were out. What used to be a white blubber on the bottom was now yellow, kind of old."

His best guess is that the bowhead was killed by at least one killer whale, possibly multiple predators.

Seagulls were swooping in on the carcass, Qattalik noted.

He added that there is no bowhead hunt for Iglulik hunters this year. They harvested an 8-metre specimen last summer.

- Derek Neary

Making kakivaks


A spear-making workshop was set to take place in Kugluktuk over the weekend.

James Algona was recruited to lead up to a dozen participants between the ages of 15 and 25 on Saturday and Sunday at the elders' centre. Four hours of instruction was budgeted for each afternoon.

"The youth themselves posted on Facebook that they wanted to learn how to make kakivaks... and we responded," said Jodi Alderson, project coordinator with the Moving Forward Together program, a five-year crime prevention initiative funded by the government. "(It's) the right time of the year, people will start using kakivaks shortly (for fishing), if they haven't already."

Moving Forward Together - known as Hivumut Aulaniq Atauttimut in Inuinnaqtun - has organized numerous other projects, such as ulu-making and sewing.

- Derek Neary

Aid for Kugaaruk

Apex/Stratford, Ont.

A retailer in Stratford, Ont., and a 12-year-old in Apex have teamed up to raise money to help rebuild Kugaaruk's school.

Karena Watson, a budding artist in Apex, has created a T-shirt design that is being sold through Treasures store in Stratford, with proceeds going to the new educational facility in Kugaaruk. The community's former school burned to the ground in February in what was determined to be an act of arson.

Watson's design depicts a caribou and a traditional Inuit dog team with a Canadian flag in the background. Across the top, in both syllabics and Roman orthography, it proclaims: "Piliriqatigiiniq," which means "together we achieve more." That slogan is also written in English across the bottom of the T-shirt.

Treasures co-owners Jackie Catania and Cathy Brubacher supported the act of charity "in a desire to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation while also celebrating and honouring Indigenous peoples... the project came together in the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples for Canada Day," according to a statement.

The first batch of T-shirts sold out, but more were ordered and have arrived at the store in Stratford.

- Derek Neary

Beer and wine store set to open in late August


There are two steps to take for those interested in purchasing beer or wine at the new store in the capital: create an account and have photo identification.

The customer account application is available at the Nunavut Liquor Commission office in the Parnaivik Building or on the commission's website.

To get an account, the potential customer must sign off, saying they understand the commission and the GN may use the account to record alcohol purchases and other customer-specific data, that a purchase limit may be applied and that they authorize the commission and the GN to share customer-account information with law enforcement as a way to reduce bootlegging.

To purchase at the store, a valid photo identification is needed.

"You can get a Nunavut general ID card at the Iqaluit Motor Vehicles Division office, at 1104C Inuksugait Plaza," Department of Finance manager of communications Denise Grandmaison stated in a news release.

"Two pieces of government-issued identification are needed, and at least one must show your date of birth. Please note that it can take up to four weeks for your ID card to be processed."

A sign at the commission office says the store will open in late August, but a date has not yet been set.

- Michele LeTourneau

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