It’s been a long year for the team at Nipaturuq Magazine, who began their journey as a one-shot edition but now have published their third, with more on the way thanks to a $25,000 grant.
By group consensus, the team decided to devote their third issue to mental health in the Beaufort Delta, interviewing eight people from communities throughout the region about what the idea means to them and getting a cross-section of how Covid-19 has impacted the region.
Editor-in-chief Mataya Gillis said the project was eye opening.
“I learned about how the North has high suicide rates but so little support and it makes me really upset,” she said. “The limited mental health resources in the north needs to change. It’s unacceptable.”
In addition to eight pieces on what mental health means to people around the area, the magazine features a front page illustration by Lexis McDonald, a short list of mental health resources available in the Northwest Territories and a piece of artwork by Kyra McDonald. The edition is free and available around town.
Born out the Inuvialuit Living History project, Gillis and her teammate Cassidy Lennie-Ipana ran the first edition of Nipaturuq, which means ‘To Have a Loud Voice’ in the Uummarmiutun dialect, over one year ago in August 2019, running on a $3,000 grant from the Inuvialuit Communications Society. The magazine, which explored What it means to be Inuvialuit, was such a hit the pair were able to produce a second on the impacts of Climate Change.
Now, they’ve received a $25,000 grant from Canadian Roots Exchange to carry out the remainder of their series. Gillis said the next edition would focus on racism and how it is experienced in the north.
“We would like to do interviews but we also want poetry, art, and short stories,” she said. “But it’s all depending if we have people who are willing to.”
With enough funding to cover the costs of up to four more issues, Gillis said her team was still floating around ideas for future editions, but so far the they’re leaning towards an exclusively LGBTQ2S+ focused edition as well as an edition oriented around food security.
“We are super excited,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who continues to support us. We wouldn’t be here without them.”