Year in review
Nunavut News/North: 2012 - The Year in Review
Mother in hospital after fire
A 20-year-old Iqaluit woman was recovering from smoke inhalation in the Qikiqtani General Hospital after a Jan. 2 fire in the bedroom of her social housing unit.
Her two children, brother and a guest staying at the home all escaped injury in the blaze, which was contained to one bedroom. Fire crews arrived on the scene and were able to get control of the fire in 20 minutes.
Nakasuk School mentors on film
Iqaluit's Nakasuk School hosted TV crews in early January during filming of an APTN show set to air in early 2013. Sivumu, or The Guide, consists of six half-hour episodes co-produced by Arnait Video and Rotating Planet Productions. Nakasuk is set to be the focus of the education episode, revolving around student and teacher mentors. Other episodes will cover topics related to arts, society, health, sports and the land.
Qikiqtani Inuit Association president confirmed
After a recount of a Dec. 12, 2011 Qikiqtani Inuit Association presidential vote, Okalik Eegeesiak was confirmed as the winner in a Jan. 4 news release. Eegeesiak officially finished with 1,042 votes and was elected to a three-year term.
Russia joins seal ban
The Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. were trying to determine the impact of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan joining the European Union in banning the import of all harp seal products.
New airport in Qikiqtarjuaq
A new $4.3 million airport terminal officially opened on Jan. 10 in Qikiqtarjuaq. The new facility, which started handling passengers the previous October, replaced a terminal that had been designed to meet the needs of the hamlet 30 years ago. The 230 sq. metre building allows for more space for fliers, visitors, workers and baggage.
Literacy through muskoxen
Nunavut Arctic College students in Grise Fiord and Resolute were exploring the harvesting of muskoxen, and using the project to reinforce literacy skills. Students would be involved in hunting the animals, skinning them, processing meat and making wool. Every step of the way would be documented by the students through written stories, photography and video. The pilot program was funded with about $50,000 from the Department of Education, and was aimed at adults who want to improve their English and Inuktitut skills.
Cousins honoured for bravery
Two Pangnirtung youth were honoured during a ceremony in their community on Jan. 2 for rescuing the lives of three other boys on Oct. 15, 2011.
Riding on the back of his cousin Corey's ATV that October day, Trevor Alivaktuk, 11, spotted the 12-, 11- and seven-year-old boys waving for help as the tide surrounded the rocks they stood on.
Corey, then 14, drove his ATV into the intertidal zone as far as he could, parked his ATV on a rock high enough to be out of the water, and then jumped from rock to rock until there were no more rocks to jump on. Then he jumped in the water and ran toward them, the freezing water up to his waist.
Corey carried one boy back to his ATV the first time and two the second time. When they were all back on land, Corey realized he couldn't feel his legs and they went to a cousin's place to warm up.
Iqaluit reservoir drains
A boil water advisory and plea to conserve water were lifted on Jan. 15 as levels in Iqaluit's water reservoir returned to normal.
A 10-inch water main break near Inuksuk High School at midnight on Jan. 13 had caused substantial losses from the city's reservoir. Runoff flooded some areas, especially near the breakwater, and city crews were busy draining the excess water into Frobisher Bay after the break.
Residents had been asked to conserve water as the water reservoir had been losing water at a quicker pace than when it was being filled.
$4 million for fisheries training
The Nunavut Fisheries Training Consortium was promised about $2.2 million from each the federal and territorial government over the next three years, in January.
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the project will help 120 Inuit increase their skills in the Nunavut fishing industry.
Nunavut third in population growth
Nunavut grew by 2,432 people to a total of 31,906 between 2006 and 2011, according to 2011 census data, making its growth rate the third-fastest among Canada's provinces and territories.
Other highlights from the population statistics include Arviat surpassing Rankin Inlet's population - 2,318 and 2,266 respectively - and Repulse Bay's population growth leading the territory, with its final count at 945.
Healing centre 'critically needed'
The history and impact of residential schools should be taught in schools around Canada and a healing centre should be set up in Nunavut or the NWT, according to recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's interim report, released in February.
The report stated a Northern mental health and healing centre in either Nunavut or the NWT is "critically needed" for residential school survivors, their families and their communities.
Permafrost problems in Pangnirtung
Hamlet officials in Pangnirtung were taking another look at the community's master plan to deal with news that some lots were no longer fit for development due to melting permafrost.
"Fortunately at this point it's not a lot of land but every loss to us is critical," said senior administrative officer Ron Mongeau.
Mongeau said it looked to affect the later years of the community's plan, but the next two subdivisions the hamlet planned to build looked to be unaffected.
Taloyoak principal honoured
Netsilik School principal Gina Pizzo was given national recognition in February.
Pizzo was named one of Canada's 40 outstanding principals for 2012 by the Learning Partnership, a national charitable organization with a mandate to champion a strong public education system.
Pizzo was chosen because she aims to provide a positive school environment through her partnership with staff, parents, elders and the community, according to Learning Partnership spokesperson Norma Meneguzzi.
Odour issues dissipate at Pang school
After being closed for four months due to a lingering hydrocarbon odour, Pangnirtung's Alookie School reopened on Feb. 7 and things were "back to normal," said principal Mary Etuangat.
A fuel spill in the school's boiler room had caused it to close on Sept. 20. Contrary to original speculation that the spill was causing the smell, it was deduced that the true problem was the air handling system, according to superintendent Paul Mooney.
The system was bringing exhaust back into the school. As of press time, the air handling system was fixed and the boiler room had been cleaned up.
Internet speeds triple at schools
Nunavut schools were awaiting a big boost to Internet speeds after an announcement by the federal and territorial governments on Feb. 14.
The bandwidth at the territory's 43 schools was set to triple in the spring, under the Classroom Connect project, to 21 megabits per second from 7.5 megabits per second. This increased bandwidth would translate into faster and more reliable connections to the Internet, and allow for things like video-conferencing.
Iqaluit students link up with space station
American astronaut Donald Pettit spoke to 14 Inuksuk High School students while orbiting the planet in the International Space Station on Feb. 8.
Pettit told the students about a typical day aboard the space station, and about the career opportunities with the space program and what it takes to get there.
'Wolves of the sea'
A group of researchers were touting Inuit traditional knowledge as a big source of insight into the hunting techniques and diet of killer whales.
As the sea mammals hunt in packs, some Inuit hunters referred to them as "wolves of the sea." The hunters also noticed the killer whales don't always eat what they kill, and leave much to waste. There was concern that as sea ice disappears, hunters may have to compete with orcas for seal, narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales.
Crime bill puts pressure on Nunavut
Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk was in Ottawa on Feb. 2 to tell a senate committee that a proposed federal crime bill would press Nunavut's resources.
Bill C-10, which would later pass and become legislation, toughened minimum sentences for a variety of crimes, and Shewchuk argued that discretion should be left to the judges - and if it isn't and more criminals are to be institutionalized for mandated periods of time, Nunavut might be hard-pressed to find a place to put them.
Two dead, 85 homeless after fire
Eighty-five people, mostly students at Nunavut Arctic College, were temporarily homeless and two were dead after a devastating fire at Iqaluit's Creekside Village on Feb. 26.
Residents escaped their homes into temperatures, of -50 C with windchill.
Nunavut Arctic College found them all places to stay, and firefighters, who arrived after an alarm was sounded at 9:40 p.m., stayed until 1 p.m. the next day dousing remnants of the blaze.
Donation drives started immediately to help those affected.
Nunavut's debt ceiling doubles
The territory's borrowing limit increased for the first time since division, the federal government announced March 15.
The debt ceiling doubled to $400 million, and territorial Finance Minister Keith Peterson said that while the increase gives the government more flexibility, decisions to go further into debt need to be looked at prudently.
Cash for Cambridge Bay
An injection of $28 million to projects in Cambridge Bay was aimed at improving the community's airport and replacing its water treatment plant.
The money was 75 per cent federal cash and 25 per cent territorial. The airport upgrades, earmarked for about $16 million, would include widening and grading the runway, extending the apron and taxiway, improving electrical infrastructure and upgrades to the terminal building. About $12 million of the money would go to replacing the water treatment plant and intake pumphouse, which were to have a backup generator and a modern truck fill station.
Suspect arrested for shooting at RCMP homes
Two RCMP officers in Kimmirut and their families were safe and uninjured after gunshots were fired toward their homes in the early morning of March 18.
David Lyta, 22, made a very brief court appearance in Iqaluit on March 23, facing two charges of recklessly discharging a firearm.
Four bullets entered one officer's home, and five entered the other. Both officers were at home with their wives and children at the time.
New Kitikmeot Corp. boss states goals
As new Kitikmeot Corporation president and chief executive officer David Omilgoituk stepped into his role, he said he wants to work for a higher Inuit presence in the economy and measured growth for the corporation.
Omilgoituk, then 53, grew up in Cambridge Bay and spent 24 years working in government, including 10 years as deputy minister in a variety of portfolios.
The Kitikmeot Corp. is the development arm of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
Not enough qualified Inuit
A report on territorial government decentralization stated public service jobs are available throughout the territory but a lack of Inuit with the qualifications to fill them remains a roadblock to success.
With decentralization, the Government of Nunavut has spread out 61 per cent of its public sector jobs among communities outside Iqaluit. The report showed there were 459 decentralized positions in 10 communities, as of September 2010, with vacancy rates ranging from 16 per cent in Pond Inlet to 50 per cent in Gjoa Haven.
New licence plate for Nunavut
Although the iconic polar bear shape was cast aside, the animal still makes an appearance on the territory's new licence plate, unveiled in March.
The new design was chosen through a territorial contest ultimately won by Iqaluit resident Ron Froese. The licence plate also features the Northern lights and an inuksuk.
Back by popular demand
Nunavut's only movie theatre sprung back to life on March 16 five days after its owner closed it down.
Bryan Pearson had shut the doors saying there was a lack of community support. As soon as the doors shut, that support began to show its face.
"So many calls from people, begging for us to open it again," said Pearson. "It seems as though we'll give it another shot."
Accidental state of emergency
Clyde River was under an unnecessary state of emergency much of March 16 after the hamlet was not made aware that its main power generator, which failed at 4 p.m. March 15, was back in operation before dawn broke.
It at least served as a great emergency response drill. During that time, Mayor Apiusie Apak was on community radio reminding people to continue conserving energy, at which he said the community was doing a great job. The hamlet emergency measures team went door to door on Thursday night to make sure everyone was safe.
Western Hudson polar bears counted
An aerial survey of the Western Hudson polar bear population estimated there to be 1,013 of the animals.
The GN released the report on March 20, and the results of which stemmed from an aerial survey undertaken from Aug. 13 to 29, 2011 - a period when the bears are largely confined to land.
Though the count was higher than expected, GN polar bear biologist Stephen Atkinson urged caution in interpreting the results as indicating a healthy population. The count is lower than historical numbers, there were only 50 cubs and 22 yearlings counted, and average litter sizes were the lowest recorded in recent years.
Inuktitut bible complete
After 34 years, Bishop Benjamin Arreak and a team of Canadian Bible Society translators, including Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk, completed the project of a lifetime: translating the Old Testament to make a complete bible in Inuktitut.
The complete edition was set to be released to coincide with the reopening of St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit on June 3.
Man charged in teen's death
A Cape Dorset resident was charged with murder after police found the body of a 16-year-old boy in a residence at about 7:30 a.m. on April 16.
A 28-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering, possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to public peace, and breach of probation.
Arctic Bay library in limbo
Tension was in the air in Arctic Bay after the district education authority announced it would no longer host the community's public library in Inuujaq School.
Mayor Frank May said the hamlet would look for a way to keep the books in the community and accessible, and was not shy about showing his frustration with the decision.
"The bottom line is we're trying to keep the library in town," May said. "Who on Earth would say they don't want this library in the school?"
Man shot, injured by police in Arviat
An Arviat man was recovering from non-life-threatening wounds after being shot by police as they tried to arrest him on April 27.
Police were responding to complaints that a man armed with a pistol was walking around the community firing shots at dogs. After issuing a warning to the community on local radio, police located the 26-year-old man and attempted to arrest him, during which time the man was shot.
The pistol the man used was confirmed to have been stolen from the Arviat RCMP detachment during an overnight break-in on April 10.
Pond Inlet rallies against airport break-ins
The people of Pond Inlet were prepared to pitch in to pay for a security guard at the community airport after a string of break-ins and vandalism had airlines on edge in April.
Canadian North said it would stop overnighting its planes in the hamlet if safety was not increased after an April 4 break-in to a parked de Havilland Dash-8. It was the fourth break-in to one of its planes in Pond Inlet in two years. The community decided to raise the money for a security guard itself before funding came through from the GN.
"It was unanimously agreed that this is what the community will try to do to show that we're giving an effort ... and that the whole community was affected," said deputy mayor Joshua Arreak.
Cape Dorset hamlet guilty of nepotism
A former Cape Dorset resident was passed over for a job at the hamlet in what was ruled by the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal to be a case of nepotism.
The tribunal ordered the Hamlet of Cape Dorset to pay Peter Petaulassie $20,314.89 after it ruled Petaulassie's job application had been passed over in favour of an employee's son-in-law, despite Petaulassie being a lifelong resident of the community - which the son-in-law wasn't - and being more qualified for the job.
Iqaluit hospital standoff ends peacefully
A 23-year-old man was arrested after an armed standoff at the Qikiqtani General Hospital on April 19.
Police were called to the scene at 12:55 p.m. responding to a complaint that a man was in the lobby armed with a rifle. The Emergency Response Team secured the area while an RCMP negotiator ended the standoff without incident.
Sickness closes Sanikiluaq schools
Two viruses that swept through Sanikiluaq the week of March 26 shut down Nuiyak School for four days and Paatsaali School after staffing levels dipped almost to nothing.
"There were almost no teachers left, and no janitors at Nuiyak School," said Qikiqtani School Operations superintendent Paul Mooney.
The schools were closed to allow staff to recover. The viruses were influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus, according to territorial deputy chief medical officer of health Maureen Baikie.
Inuit Sign Language iPad app
An iPad-based e-book teaching Inuit Sign Language using vocabulary flash cards was released at the end of March.
RCMP to police for next 20 years
The federal and territorial government renewed the Territorial Police Services Agreement with the RCMP as of April 1.
The agreement is a 20-year contract with the RCMP for policing in the territory.
UN and feds at odds on access to food
The United Nations' special rapporteur on the right to food was met with an icy reception by the federal government in May, as Canada was the first developed country De Schutter chose to visit.
"I am disconcerted by the deep and severe food security faced by aboriginal peoples across Canada living both on- and off-reserve," De Schutter said to Nunavut News/North in an email. He stated he had hopped to visit Nunavut during his time in Canada but did not end up having the time or resources to do so.
Nunavut MP and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq was the only cabinet minister to meet with De Schutter, and she lambasted him in the House of Commons, calling him "ill-informed" and "patronizing."
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Mary Simon said nearly 69 per cent of Nunavut households are food insecure, which she found unacceptable to exist in Canada. She welcomed De Schutter's visit.
Monica Ell named into cabinet
Iqaluit West MLA Monica Ell became a member of cabinet after a May 7 leadership forum.
Programs shuffled between departments
It was announced that the GN will be moving sport and recreation programming and the administration of the cultural learning centre in Clyde River to the Department of Community and Government Services from the Department of Culture, Language Elders and Youth.
As CGS operates in all 25 communities, Finance Minister Keith Peterson said the government decided it would be better positioned to administer the programs.
The changes were to take place as of July 1.
Nunavut food protests begin
The first of what would become a string of food price protests at grocery stores around Nunavut happened in Coral Harbour in early May.
Protest organizer Simeon Dion said the people in Coral Harbour were fed up with not being able to stretch their food budgets.
"On payday, you go shopping once and you're broke on a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a carton of milk and maybe one or two other things," said Dion.
Police wound man after shooting spree
A 26-year-old was shot and wounded by RCMP after he was reported to have been walking around the hamlet with a pistol, shooting at dogs.
He was charged with possession of a restricted firearm and ammunition, possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to public peace, shooting at a dog and mischief. He was shot in the torso during the course of the arrest and was recovering in a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as of press time.
The pistol was suspected to be the same one stolen from the Arviat RCMP detachment during an April break-and-enter.
RCMP officer faces sexual assault charge
An RCMP constable was suspended with pay after being charged with sexual assault in relation to an alleged incident two years ago in Baker Lake.
The 31-year-old constable was working in Whale Cove at the time the charges were laid.
Filmmaker elected to QIA board
Iglulik filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk was elected to the board of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association following a byelection on April 30.
Mining royalties begin to flow
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. received its first royalty payment from mining operations on Inuit-owned land, the organization announced on May 1.
Agnico-Eagle Eagle Mines Ltd., which operates the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, forwarded $2,249,500 to NTI, as per the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The money was put in the Resource Revenue Trust.
Drug advocate convicted for sex offences
Medicinal marijuana crusader Ed deVries, who ran operations that sold $2 million worth of marijuana over 10 years, pleaded guilty to two drug charges and six child sexual abuse charges on May 24 in Nunavut's territorial court.
The guilty pleas were part of a deal that saw the Crown stay many other charges, including some related to child pornography and sexual exploitation.
Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick said he needed more time to decide on sentencing.
Nunavut runs out of tuberculosis vaccine
Due to a nation-wide recalle of Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine, Nunavut had no tuberculosis vaccine as of June 15.
Manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur had been having problems at its Toronto-area manufacturing plant, which Health Canada believed might have affected vaccine quality.
"We expect this will not be a long-term supply issue," said Dr. Maureen Baikie, Nunavut's deputy chief medical officer.
Mayor meets with Green Party leader
A heated Twitter debate between Iqaluit's then-mayor, Madeleine Redfern, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May ended with an invitation from May to meet in Saskatoon.
They met on June 3 to discuss seal hunt policy, and it did not end well.
"We've never had anyone engage with us with such vehement anger as Mayor Redfern," said May, whose party opposes the seal hunt.
Redfern said several of her fellow Inuit city councillors, who came with her, left the room during the meeting because they found the Green stance so offensive.
Qikiqtarjuaq airport deals with floods
Just over a week after Nunavut Airports fixed flood damage to the Qikiqtarjuaq airport, crews had to return to the community to deal with a second flood June 15 that closed the airport to scheduled flights for a week.
The airstrip had been damaged by a flood June 5, and another flood the following day damaged the road to the sewage lagoon and dump, though the hamlet was able to get one lane open again.
Bravery awards for Cambridge Bay RCMP
Two Cambridge Bay RCMP officers received bravery awards in recognition of their saving a child from drowning two years ago.
Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley presented an honorary testimonial to Const. David Brown and a bronze medal to Const. Greg Redl during a ceremony in toronto on June 5.
Redl and Brown were at the Cambridge Bay detachment on July 9, 2010, when someone knocked on the door and told them a child had fallen into the water. When they arrived at the dock, "There was a group of children there crying and pointing to one side of the dock," Redl told Nunavut News/North at the time.
They saw the boy lying on the sea floor, about three metres beneath the surface. Redl immediately took off his duty belt, jumped in and brought the unconscious boy back ashore. Brown then performed CPR on the child, who eventually fully recovered from the ordeal.
Nunavummiut health detoriating: Stats Canada
Statistics Canada data released on June 19 showed troubling health indicators for Nunavummiut
Nunavut residents are far less likely than other Canadians to report feeling their health is excellent or very good, a rate with fell to 40 per cent in 2011 from 45 per cent in 2010. The amount of people who feel their mental health is excellent or very good fell to 54 per cent from 67 per cent.
That said, Nunavummiut who feel their life is satisfying went up slightly and was just .5 per cent away from the national average of 92.3 per cent.
Just over half the population reported smoking cigarettes daily, with another nine per cent reporting they smoked occasionally, making 60 per cent altogether. The national average is 20 per cent.
Of adults aged 18 and older, 58 per cent said they were overweight or obese in 2011, with men more likely to be overweight.
Compared to the rest of Canada, half as many Nunavummiut - one in five - eat five full servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Only 15 per cent of the population of Nunavut had access to a doctor, as most communities don't have doctors.
Pilot accused of boozing fired
Canadian North fired one of its pilots for violating the company's alcohol consumption policy, the airline announced June 5.
The company grounded scheduled flight 605 out of Qikiqtarjuaq on May 31 after it received accusations against a crew member. Canadian North alleged the flight captain consumed alcohol within 12 hours of reporting for duty, violating company policy, and within eight hours of acting as a crew member, against Canadian aviation regulations.
A Transport Canada incident report stated a security guard at the Iqaluit airport advised Canadian North that a crew member aboard the flight to Qikiqtarjuaq smelled of alcohol. The RCMP met the Dash-8 plane after it landed in Qikiqtarjuaq and a crew member was detained on suspicion of flying with an elevated blood alcohol level.
Grise Fiord jet fuel shortage
Grise Fiord's airport was to only see scheduled flights and medevacs until July 20 as a precaution to ensure the community did not run out of fuel before the sealift resupply.
The situation appeared urgent on June 7 when Nunavut Airports incorrectly reported that the community's fuel supply had run out. An updated notice sent to airmen on the Navigation Canada website lowered the level of concern but said Jet A-1 fuel was available only for medevacs and scheduled flights from June 5 at 4:50 p.m. until July 20 at 6 p.m.
Seven years for deVries
Nunavut Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick sentenced marijuana trafficker and confessed pedophile Ed deVries on June 6 to seven years in a federal prison for drug trafficking and sexually abusing children.
On May 24 deVries had pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs, possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, four counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference related to incidents involving girls under 16.
Devolution negotiators appointed
Lead negotiators were appointed on both sides of Nunavut's devolution deal in June.
David Akeeagok was named the GN's lead negotiator and Dale Drown was named the chief federal negotiator.
Rankin Inlet constable found dead
Many in the community of Rankin Inlet were reeling following the sudden death of RCMP community constable Adrian (Ip) Pilakapsi, whose body was discovered early June 9.
It was later revealed Pilakapsi, 25, had committed suicide.
The young constable was highly regarded in Rankin Inlet after being one of the first group of aboriginal community constables to graduate from the RCMP training academy in Regina in April 2011.
"We, as the RCMP family, are going to go through significant pain and are going through that pain right now in terms of losing a family member and somebody that was so highly regarded as Adrian," said police chief supt. Steve McVarnock.
Narwhal ban lifted in all but one community
The international trade restrictions on narwhal products has been removed by the federal government for all Nunavut communities except Grise Fiord, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. announced on June 5.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a report on May 21 which found the narwhal hunt to be sustainable.
Major ice blocks Frobisher Bay
Vessels were still transiting Frobisher Bay under icebreaking escort as of July 19 because of heavy ice, an unprecedented situation for that time of year.
The ice coverage remains in the bay - an ice pack of about 80 nautical miles - because of the predominantly southeasterly wine, said Roger Provost, an Environment Canada ice specialist in Sarnia, Ont.
Man opens fire on police
Ten Kimmirummiut are being praised for their courage after putting their lives at risk to stop a man who was shooting at the community's RCMP detachment at 2 a.m. on July 28.
The detachment building a police truck sustained considerable damage but no one was hurt, according to RCMP.
Prior to the shooting, two police constables were awakened by a young woman banging on the door of one of the officers' homes, which are attached and located beside the detachment. The woman warned the officers they were in danger, and they took her to the detachment for her safety.
Soon after the three were inside, a mount started firing a rifle at the detachment. They took shelter inside a cell and residents outside took action, successfully apprehending the man and securing him and the rifle while awaiting the arrival of an emergency response team from Iqaluit, which arrived at 4 a.m.
Police shoot dog attacking woman
An Iqaluit woman was taken to the Qikiqtani General Hospital early July 15 with dog bites after police were called to a fight in which a dog owner involved their pet.
Police were called at about 1 a.m. To deal with a fight between two women, and were told they would find a pitbull involved in the fight.
Upon arrival, they found the dog's owner directing the dog to attack the 29-year-old victim. Police tried to tranquilize the dog, but it would not be subdued. They shot the dog, which was running free and continuing to show aggressive behaviour. The dog died.
The owner had been previously warned about the dog's aggressive behaviour.
Inuit child and teen mortality rates high
Nunavut is the only place in Inuit Nunangat where rates of childhood and teenage mortality dropped in the 2000s (mortality rate of 152.5 per 100,000) from what it was in the 1990s (211.2 per 100,000), according to a Statistics Canada health report.
Despite this, young Nunavummiut were still almost five times more likely than other Canadians to die young. Suicide remained the number one cause of death among youth.
Ice gap strands hunters
Six narwhal hunters were forced to call for a helicopter rescue after a gap in the ice stranded them on land 35 km north of Arctic Bay.
One of the men, Niore Iqalukjuak, said they expected to recover their snowmobiles, qamutiit and maktak, all of which they had to abandon at the site so they could be rescued, after shifting ice stranded them.
"The only thing that worries us is that maybe polar bears will eat the seats, as they have a tendency to do that," said Iqalukjuak.
Mercury risk in seal liver
Country foods are safe to eat but ringed seal liver should be consumed in moderation as it tends to have high concentrations of mercury, according to a report released in July based on the Inuit Health Survey.
Millions won from feds
The federal government was ordered to pay $14.8 million in damages for delaying the implementation of the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan in a June 27 Nunavut court of Justice ruling.
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. had sought the payment arguing that the federal government had saved $14 million in delaying the implementation of the monitoring plan, which would track social, economic and environmental changes in the territory.
Security guard beaten
Iqaluit security guard Yohan Grandjambe was attacked from behind and left pinned under his wheelchair and bleeding from his head on June 6.
Grandjambe, who uses a wheelchair because muscular dystrophy has diminished his mobility, blacked out and hit the ground while trying to run away. He woke up pinned by his chair and unable to get free. This happened at 11 p.m., and he wasn't found until the next morning at 7 a.m.
Grandjambe survived but suffered lingering effects from the attack. He had severe nerve damage in his right arm, a big scar on his forehead, and injuries to his shoulders and left leg. He also suffered a concussion, black eye and far lip.
The police had no leads and hoped someone would come forward with more information.
Police calm distraught armed man
Local RCMP officers and the emergency response team from Iqaluit were able to calm a tense situation in Clyde River on Aug. 20 after responding to a complaint about a distraught armed man who was home alone.
No specific threats were made, but the fire department blocked off the area to make sure no one was hurt.
Negotiators were able to secure the man's arrest without incident after more than 12 hours. A 41-year-old man, whom police said had numerous weapons on site, was to be assessed by a doctor.
More charges laid against teacher
Police were considering bringing more charges against former Sanikiluaq teacher Johnny Meeko, 58, who currently faces 29 sex charges involving eight complainants.
The charges against the retired teacher date from 1984 to 2006.
Crown appeals ruling in Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. case
The federal government announced it was appealing a court decision that awarded Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. $14.8 million for delaying the implementation of the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan.
Justice Earl Johnson of the Nunavut Court of Justice had agreed with NTI that the federal government saved $14 million by delaying the implementation of the monitoring plan.
The federal government argued in its appeal with the court erred in finding the government had an obligation to act in NTI's best interest in the development and implementation of the plan, and that it erred in determining the damages.
Nunavut low credit risk
Moody's Investors Service announced on Aug. 21 it has assigned the Government of Nunavut an Aa1 credit rating, meaning lending to the GN carries a low credit risk; only Aaa rating is higher.
Moody's stated the presence of stable federal transfer payments played an important factor in that rating.
Big ice island breaks off Greenland
Ice islands breaking off the Petermann Fjord in northern Greenland are behind ice congestion in Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound in August, according to an ocean scientist at the University of Delaware.
"That's the ice that's being flushed out of the Arctic," said Andreas Muenchow, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering, during a stop in Iqaluit. "That's the effect of the Arctic losing its multi-year ice."
He said these issues could continue to arise for at least the next few years.
Second plane in airspace before Resolute crash
According to a Transportation Safety Board advisory, First Air Flight 6560 was not alone in the airspace above Resolute on Aug. 20, 2011, and traffic control was performed differently for Operation Nanook 2011 on Aug. 20, the day of a fatal crash that claimed 12 lives.
Flight 6560 and the other plane were not a safe distance from each other, according to the federal agency, and the military radar at the Resolute airport was not completely installed,
Three minutes before the crash, a second aircraft entered the Class D control zone, set up around Resolute during the operation, without proper instrument flight rules separation.
"Had the First Air flight not hit the ground, there could have been a risk of a mid-air collision," stated the advisory.
Astro Theatre sold
Nunavut's only movie theatre was sold to Piksuk Media Inc. by Bryan Pearson in August.
The Clyde River-based, majority Inuit-owned company now owns and manages the Astro Theatre and Conference Centre, the product of about nine months of negotiations.
Cook walrus before eating, GN advises
Walrus meat distributed in Iglulik in August contains a parasite which causes trichinosis, according to the health department.
The GN advised residents to cook the meat to kill the parasite, which does not die during freezing or fermentation.
Sex assaults in capital
An Iqaluit man faced six charges after two women were sexually assaulted on Aug. 14.
One woman had been assaulted and held against her will before the attacker released her, and soon after a concerned citizen called police to say another sexual assault was in progress outside a residence.
The 24-year-old man was charged with two counts of sexual assault, one of forcible confinement, one of uttering threats and one of assault and one of breaching probation.
Missing teen found dead
A missing Kugluktuk teen was found dead in late August, according to RCMP
The 14-year-old male had been reported missing on Aug. 9 before he was found deceased a short time late.
Foul play was not suspected and his name was withheld at the family's request.
Cambridge Bay on Google Street View
Cambridge Bay was the first Nunavut community featured in Google Street View as images of its streets were to be captured by a person on a camera-mounted tricycle from Aug. 20 to 24.
Feds fund Cambridge Bay
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $142 million for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, $275,000 for a renewed search for the lost ships of Sir John Franklin, and the appointment of Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq as Canada's chair of the Arctic Council, during a stop in Cambridge Bay on Aug. 23.
Paddlers rescue children
A group of young paddlers rescued a handful of children stuck on a cliff in Kugluktuk on Aug. 8.
No one was injured in the afternoon incident by the Coppermine River, said Cathy Allooloo, owner of NARWAL Adventure Training and Tours.
During a canoe safety course involving 12 youths aged nine to 14, the paddlers came across about five children crying and stick on top of a cliff. The group, using what they had been learning, formed an assembly line along the cliff, passing the children one to another until they were all safe.
Iglulik mayor steps down
Iglulik Mayor Nicolas Arnatsiaq announced he would resign by the end of August because the proposed Mary River iron ore mine project put him in a conflict of interest, as he is also Baffinland's community liaison in Iglulik.
Man waving rifle arrested
A man faced nine criminal charges after police say he pointed a rifle at RCMP in Iglulik.
The man was arrested without incident after two hours of negotiations on Aug. 7, according to police.
Baffinland passes big obstacle
The proposed Mary River iron ore mine on north Baffin Island was one step closer to reality after the Nunavut Impact Review Board stated the project should proceed, albeit in accordance with 184 terms and conditions.
Rankin Inlet man found dead
A 44-year-old man died after a fishing trip gone tragically wrong near Rankin Inlet.
David Tattuinee had left Rankin the morning of Sept. 12 to tend to some fishing nets. When he did not return later that day, family members initiated a search and found his all-terrain vehicle on one side of the river and an overturned boat on the other.
His body was found by divers the next day.
Seatbelts on in Iqaluit
As of Sept. 15, Iqalummiut were to be the subject of enforcement of already-existing legislation requiring vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts.
Chief municipal enforcement officer Kevin Sloboda said the law will now be enforced, as the city is growing and these laws will soon be necessary to maintain residents' safety.
Ottawa announces money for airport overhaul
The federal government announced it would pay $77.3 million to help the Government of Nunavut rebuild the Iqaluit International Airport.
Drug seizure in Cape Dorset
RCMP seized more than 1.2 kilograms of marijuana and 677 grams of hashish at Cape Dorset's airport on Sept. 19.
Acting on a tip from the public, Cape Dorset intercepted a male passenger returning to the community from Montreal.
Alternate TB vaccine supply found
Parents were soon to regain the option of immunizing their babies against tuberculosis after Health Canada announced it found a new supply of the vaccine.
The previous supply had been recalled due to conditions at the Toronto-area factory of its supplier, Sanofi Pasteur.
The GN was hoping to have the vaccine in place by October.
Fireworks, booze seized from luxury yacht
Police sized large quantities of alcohol and fireworks from a luxury yacht moored outside Cambridge Bay in September.
The owner of the yacht was charged with providing liquor to a minor and being in possession of liquor other than when authorized.
Sea ice continues to decline
Arctic sea ice coverage decreased by more than a half-million square kilometres by the end of September after setting a now-broken record for lowest summer sea ice coverage, 4.10 million sq. km, on Aug. 26.
Escaped prisoner turns himself in
The 22-year-old inmate who escaped from the Baffin Correctional Centre on Sept. 18 during recreational time turned himself in later that night.
Cpl. Denis Lambe told Nunavut News/North that "all signs point" to Lucassie Simeonie hopping the fenced-in outdoors area to make his escape.
Troubling rates of suicidal thoughts
Almost half of Nunavummiut surveyed in 2007 and 2008 said they've seriously considered suicide, according to a report released late September.
The report, part of the Inuit Health Survey, showed 13 per cent of respondents had scores on the Kessler's scale indicating serious psychological distress, and 48 per cent of respondents had thought seriously about committing suicide.
Man dies in RCMP cell
A 26-year-old man died in an RCMP cell in Iglulik on Sept. 23, according to police.
He had been arrested for assault and police said he appeared highly intoxicated. Shortly after putting him in a cell, he was found unresponsive.
He was examined by RCMP, a guard and a nurse and resuscitation was attempted, but their attempts failed.
Sheutiapik enters new political job
Former Iqaluit mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik took a job with Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq as one of her three regional officers, overseeing the Nunavut region as director of regional affairs.
She resigned in September as president of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.
Cafe owner risks life for woman in bay
An Iqaluit cafe owner braved frigid waters to save the life of a woman who almost drowned in Frobisher Bay on Sept. 30, RCMP announced in early October.
After one of his employees spotted the 19-year-old woman in the bay, Brian Twerdin retrieved her and brought her to the shore near his business.
The woman was treated for minor hypothermia and was held for a psychiatric assessment.
Language protection becomes law
Nearly two weeks after Nunavut legally required municipalities to provide documents and services in Inuit languages, it appeared all were complying.
"The municipalities as a whole have always tended to communicate with the public in a language understood by the majority, even without being legislated to do so," said then-languages commissioner Alexina Kublu.
More fuel spilled than estimated
A 2011 fuel spill in Resolute let loose about 13,000 litres more than what was initially estimated, the Government of Nunavut announced in October.
Approximately 100,000 litres of fuel was released at the Resolute tank farm in October 2011.
Dejaeger pleads not guilty
A convicted pedophile and former Iglulik Catholic priest facing 76 charges pleaded not guilty across the board on Oct. 1. Eric Dejaeger, 65, will go to trial in 2013. Of his charges, 68 are sex-related.
The right decision
Three Cape Dorset students received accolades from their school and community after finding a loaded rifle and promptly alerting RCMP. Jordan Kelly, Matt Jaw and Kov Adla found the gun on Sept. 26.
"We didn't even touch it," said Kelly. "We rant to the police station and told the police."
Fire leaves one dead
A fire at a duplex left one woman dead in Cambridge Bay on Oct. 1. The six firefighters who answered the call at 9:55 p.m. managed to get the fire under control within 15 minutes of arriving at the duplex, said Fire Chief Keith Morrison. He said the fire was extinguished by roughly 10:30 p.m.
A dark but necessary lesson
The impacts residential schools had on Inuit and the challenges survivors face are covered in a residential school course now being offered to Nunavut high school students.
Taught in Grade 10 as part of the social studies course, the newly-added content includes the positive and negative impacts residential schools had on students.
Minister lies under oath
South Baffin MLA Fred Schell was found guilty of lying under oath and using his ministerial authority to exact grudges on two government employees.
Ordered to pay $10,000 but allowed to keep his job, Schell finally stepped down from cabinet after sitting for seven months without a portfolio. He remains an MLA.
Pangnirtung stung by break-ins
Pangnirtung's Co-op faced over $100,000 in damage and lost business after vandals cut power lines into the building in early November.
Two nights later, the store's seacan containers were robbed. Thieves broke the lock and stole baking goods, according to assistant manager Stephen Acheson.
On Nov. 18, the hamlet office was broken into but nothing was stolen.
Also, earlier in November, the Pang Youth Centre was broken into with vandals cutting the wire to the security camera.
Girl found dead in Hall beach
The death of a 17-year-old girl in Hall Beach in the early morning hours of Nov. 24 was under investigation by the RCMP.
Sudden death in Cambridge Bay
A man found unconscious outside died in Cambridge Bay.
Cambridge Bay RCMP performed CPR on a man found laying outside a residence in the community at about 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 7 as they transported him to the health centre, but to no avail.
Man dies in Kivalliq blizzard
A 51-year-old Rankin Inlet man succumbed to the extreme cold during a blizzard in Rankin Inlet in November.
Paul Aupilardjuk's body was found by the community shoreline shortly before noon on Nov. 16 following an intensive search involving police and search and rescue.
Suspected arson in Iqaluit jail
The Iqaluit fire department put out two small fires Nov. 12 at Baffin Correction Centre, and ordered an evacuation shortly after arriving on the scene at about 10 p.m.
The first of the two fires, believed to be arson, started in the bathroom ceiling of the main dorm area and the second started in the gym, according to a GN press release.
Missing man found dead
A man missing for one week in Taloyoak was found dead near the community's airport. Putuguk Jayko, 52, who had been reported missing on Nov. 17, was last seen alive leaving the community for a cabin about six kilometres away via snowmobile. His body was found on Nov. 23.
Work ahead for Mary River
After the federal government okays Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.'s Mary River location, anticipation was building in nearby communities expecting to see economic development from the estimated $4-6 billion project.
Six communities in particular are now gearing up for work preparation: Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Iglulik, Iqaluit and Arctic Bay. The project will require a workforce 4,000 during construction and nearly 1,000 throughout the expected 21-year mine life of the first deposit.
The hamlet of 1,300 continued to be plagued by trouble and mischief this month. A Dec. 3 break-in at Attagoyak high school, in which two disguised vandals stole cases of canteen supplies, followed a November full of similar crimes.
Plane crash remembered 40 years later
Forty years after Martin Hartwell's Beechcraft 18 aircraft crashed 322 km from Yellowknife, the story of the pilot and his three passengers story was remembered.
Two passengers, a pregnant Neemee Nulliayok and nurse Judy Hill, would die from the impact of the crash, while an injured Hartwell and 14-year-old David Pisurayak Kootook would stave off starvation for weeks - Kootook by eating bark and lichen and Hartwell by eating a piece of meat from Hill's thigh.
In the end, only Hartwell would survive, being rescued on Dec. 9, 1972 by a Canadian Forces para-rescue team responding to a distress beacon from the downed plane.
Iglulik woman dead in homicide
On Dec 10, police identified Tracy Utak, who was found dead in an Inglulik residence on the evening of Nov. 29.
A 16-year-old Iglulik youth was charged with murder, break-and-enter with the intent to commit murder and breach of an undertaking, but the Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits releasing the name of the suspect.
Police expressed their condolences to Uttak's friends and family, and thanked the community for its support in the investigation.
New mayors, councils in Nunavut
Nunavummiut went to the polls Dec. 10 to vote for new hamlet councils and, in Qikiqtarjuaq, Grise Fiord and Gjoa Haven, mayor as well.
In Qikiqtargjuaq, new mayor Mary Killiktee said she had waited 20 years for the moment, and plans to host a mayor's open house in the new year. In Grise Fiord, Liza Ningiuk was elected mayor, and in Gjoa Haven, Allen Aglukkaq was re-elected mayor. Also, after a referendum in Cambridge Bay, residents voted to name the arena complex Ookpik Youth Community Arena.
Towtongie wins again
With a total of 1,366 votes by Nunavut Land Claims Agreement beneficiaries, Cathy Towtongie was re-elected president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. on Dec. 10.
Towtongie will hold another four-year term as head of the organization to ensure promises made under the NCLA are carried out. Living in Rankin Inlet, Towtongie said she will move to Iqaluit in the new year to work on such issues as education to prepare Inuit for jobs and funding for search-and-rescue centres across the territory.