Members of Team Nunavut attending the 2023 Arctic Winter Games in Wood Buffalo, AB., are thrilled to finally get the chance to compete against other Northern teams.
These will be the first Arctic Winter Games since the ones hosted in the NWT in 2018. The 2020 Arctic Winter Games were cancelled due to Covid-19.
“I’m thrilled that our young athletes are able to practise their sport again to represent Nunavut after the pandemic cancellations,” said Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok.
Taking place from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, athletes from Nunavut, NWT, Yukon, Alaska, Greenland, Nunavik and the Indigenous peoples (Sami) of Norway, Sweden and Finland will be competing.
“I’m very excited,” said Pearl Uluqsi, an athlete from Rankin Inlet competing in futsal. This will be her first time attending the Arctic Winter Games.
Uluqsi, alongside River McCluskey (futsal), Maiya Nadrowski (female hockey) and Jerrid Nester (male volleyball) are just some of the Inuit representing Nunavut in the Arctic Winter Games. The territorial contingent will number 274 athletes, coaches, mission staff and cultural performers.
At a small ceremony at the Nunavut Legislature on Jan. 20, Team Nunavut unveiled its walkout uniforms and pin sets. The pins, when fully assembled, form a group of Inuit building an iglu.
“As an alumni of Team Nunavut, I can tell you that pin-trading is an unofficial sport of the games. It’s very fun to be trading and getting to know new people,” said David Joanasie, minister responsible for sports and recreation and Team Nunavut.
Joanasie added Nunavut’s athletes, “will be easy to spot among the 2,000 participants in Wood Buffalo” with these uniforms.
Joanasie and Akeeagok will be travelling with the athletes to cheer on Team Nunavut.
For Nadrowski, who’s from Iqaluit, it was an achievement being named to Team Nunavut.
“It was very tough,” she said. “There were lots of girls who came to play in the hockey tryouts.
“I really like the gear this year, I think they did a good job,” she added.
Nadrowski previously attended the Arctic Winter Games in 2018, also in hockey.
“I play hockey because it’s a passion of mine. It’s been a passion since I was eight years old,” she said. “It’s not just an honour to represent my hometown but all of Nunavut.”
Nunavut’s first independent participation separate from the NWT in the Arctic Winter Games came in 2002, the same year Iqaluit and Nuuk, Greenland co-hosted the games.
ᐃᓚᒋᔭᐅᔪᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓂᑦ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᔪᓂ 2023−ᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ Wood Buffalo, ᐋᓪᐴᑕᒥ, ᖁᕕᐊᕐᔪᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᕕᒃᓴᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᓵᓚᖃᕋᓱᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓂ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᐅᔪᓂ.
ᐅᑯᐊ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐸᐅᓗᑎᒃ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂ ᑲᒪᒋᔭᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᓂ ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᕐᒥ 2018−ᒥ. 2020−ᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ ᓄᖅᑲᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᔾᔪᑎᖃᖅᑐᒥ ᓄᕙᒡᔪᐊᕐᓇᖅ-19−ᒧᑦ.
“ᖁᕕᐊᕐᔪᐊᖅᐳᖓ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᖁᑎᑦᑎᓐᓂ ᐱᙳᐊᒃᑲᓐᓂᕈᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᓗᑎᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐊᒥᓱᓄᑦ ᖃᓂᒻᒪᓐᓇᐅᔪᒥ ᓄᖅᑲᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᐅᓚᐅᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᓯᕗᓕᖅᑎ P.J. ᐊᕿᐊᕈᖅ.
ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᓂᐊᖅᖢᓂ ᔭᓄᐊᕆ 29−ᒥ ᕕᕗᐊᕆ 4−ᒧᑦ, ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ, ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᕐᒥ, ᔫᑳᓐ, ᐊᓛᔅᑲ, ᑲᓛᖦᖠᐅᑉ ᓄᓈᓐᓂ, ᓄᓇᕕᒃ ᐊᒻᒪ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂ ᐃᓄᖕᓂ (ᓴᒥ) ᓄᐊᕙᐃᒪ ᓱᐄᑕᓐ ᐊᒻᒪ ᕕᓐᓛᓐᒥ ᓵᓚᖃᕋᓱᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ.
“ᖁᕕᐊᕐᔪᐊᖅᐳᖓ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐴᕈᓪ ᐅᓗᖅᓯ, ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᐅᔪᖅ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ ᓵᓚᖃᕋᓱᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᕗᑦᓵᓪᒥ. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᕆᓂᐊᖅᐸᖓ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᓂᕐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ.
ᐅᓗᖅᓯ, ᓴᓂᓕᖓᓂ ᕆᕗᕐ ᒪᒃᓚᔅᑭ (ᕗᑦᓵᓪ), ᒪᐃᔭ ᓇᑦᕋᐅᔅᑭ (ᐊᕐᓇᓄᑦ ᕼᐋᑭ) ᐊᒻᒪ ᔨᐊᕆᑦ ᓂᐊᑦᓱᕐ (ᐊᖑᑎᓄᑦ ᕚᔨᐹᓪ) ᐃᓚᐃᓐᓇᒐᓛᖑᕗᑦ ᐃᓄᖕᓂ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᔪᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ. ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᐅᔪᓂ 274−ᖑᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓂ, ᐊᔪᕆᖅᓱᐃᕙᒃᑐᓂ, ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᐅᔪᓂ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᒧᑦ ᖁᙱᐊᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᑐᓂ.
ᒥᑭᑦᑐᒥ ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒍᑕᐅᔪᒥ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᔭᓄᐊᕆ 20−ᒥ, ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ ᐊᓂᔭᖅᑐᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᓐᓄᕌᒃᓴᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑲᑭᖅᑯᐊᓂ ᑲᑎᙵᓂᐅᔪᓂ. ᑲᑭᖅᑯᐊᑦ, ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓱᖅᑕᐅᑦᑎᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓯᕗᑦ ᑲᑎᙵᓂᐅᔪᓂ ᐃᓄᖕᓂ ᐃᒡᓗᕕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑐᓂ.
“ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᐅᖃᑕᐅᓯᒪᓪᓗᖓ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓂᑦ, ᐅᖃᐅᑎᔪᓐᓇᖅᐸᒋᑦ ᑲᑭᖅᑯᐊᓂᔾᑕᐅᖅᓰᓂᕐᒥ ᐊᓯᐊᒡᒍᖅᑐᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᕗᖅ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ. ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᑦᑐᒻᒪᕆᐊᓗᒃ ᑕᐅᖅᓰᑲᑕᒃᖢᓂ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑕᑯᔭᕆᐅᓂᕐᒥ ᓄᑖᓂ ᐃᓄᖕᓂ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᑕᐃᕕᑦ ᔪᐊᓇᓯ, ᒥᓂᔅᑕ ᑲᒪᒋᔭᖃᖅᑐᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑭᐱᙳᐃᔭᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓄᑦ.
ᔪᐊᓇᓯ ᐃᓚᒋᐊᖅᓯᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓂ, “ᐊᔪᕐᓇᔾᔮᙱᓚᑦ ᑕᑯᔭᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᐅᑯᓇᓂ 2,000−ᖑᔪᓂ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᔪᓂ Wood Buffalo−ᒥ” ᐅᑯᓇᓂ ᐊᓐᓄᕌᕆᔭᐅᔪᓂ.
ᔪᐊᓇᓯ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐊᕿᐊᕈᖅ ᐊᐅᓪᓛᖃᑕᐅᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᐅᔪᓂ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓱᐃᔭᖅᑐᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓂᑦ.
ᓇᑦᕋᐅᔅᑭᒧᑦ, ᐃᖃᓗᖕᒥᐅᑕᐅᔪᖅ, ᑎᑭᐅᑎᓂᕐᔪᐊᖑᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐊᑦᑎᖅᑕᐅᖃᑕᐅᓂᖓᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐱᙳᐊᖅᑎᓄᑦ.
“ᐊᒃᓱᕈᕐᓇᕐᔪᐊᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ,”ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ. “ᐊᒥᓱᐊᓗᖕᓂ ᐊᕐᓇᓂ ᐱᙳᐊᕆᐊᖅᑐᓚᐅᖅᑐᓂ ᕼᐋᑭᒥ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ.
“ᐱᐅᒋᕐᔪᐊᖅᐸᒃᑲ ᐊᓐᓄᕌᖏᑦ ᑕᒪᑐᒪᓂ ᐊᕐᕌᒎᔪᒥ, ᐱᓕᕆᑦᑎᐊᕆᓚᐅᖅᐸᒃᑲ,” ᐃᓚᒋᐊᖅᓯᕗᖅ.
ᓇᑦᕋᐅᔅᑭ ᓯᕗᓂᐊᓂ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ 2018−ᒥ, ᕼᐋᑭᒧᑦᑕᐅᖅ.
“ᕼᐋᑭᓲᖑᕗᖓ ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᒋᕐᔪᐊᕋᒃᑯ. ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᒋᕐᔪᐊᖅᓯᒪᕙᕋ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂ ᐅᑭᐅᑲᖅᑎᓪᓗᖓ 8−ᒐᓚᖕᓂ,” ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ. “ᐅᐱᓐᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᙱᓚᖅ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᓂᕐᒥ ᐊᖏᕐᕋᓐᓂ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥ ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᓕᒫᒧᑦ.”
ᓄᓇᕘᑉ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐸᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᐃᒻᒥᒃᑰᖅᖢᓂ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᕕᒃᓯᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᕐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒥ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ 2002−ᒥᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ, ᑕᐃᑲᓂᑦᑲᑕᐃᓐᓇᖅ ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᓅᒃ, ᑲᓛᖦᖡᑦ ᓄᓈᓐᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖃᑎᖃᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᓂᐅᔪᓂ.