Arctic Bay at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games saw its Dene games team win seven medals for Nunavut, which included a gold medal.

Lloyd Willie got the gold in the Dene games snow snake open male competition and a bronze during the stick pull while Horizon Willie got a bronze in the 2006 or late female snow snake competition and Joy Attagutaluk got a bronze for the 2004 or later female finger pull competition.

In the final team tallies, Team Nunavut overall got silver for Dene games hand games 2004 or later in both male and female categories as well as a bronze in the Dene games pole push open male competition.

“It’s an exciting feeling, seeing the people who you will go up against with and (also) make friends with,” said Joy Attagutaluk.

Attagutaluk added she did, in fact, make new friends at the games.

“Everywhere from all over Canada,” she said, “even some from all the way in Alaska.”

The field-houses and stadiums of Wood Buffalo, AB were “very open places,” said Attagutaluk, bigger than any of the venues she has seen in Nunavut.

She was very proud to be a part of a smaller community that punched above its weight.

“We had hard times but we all pulled through it and tried our best,” said Attagutaluk, “We are all proud of ourselves.”

She added she would go again with her teammates if given another chance.

While she won bronze for the finger pull, Attagutaluk’s favorite were the hand games. “Hand games was my absolute favourite to play.”

”Let’s go Team Nunavut!”

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