Well, valued readers, I’m back in Rankin Inlet and only a stone’s throw away from starting my 20th year at the helm of Kivalliq News.

I would never have believed almost two decades could go by that fast. I don’t mind admitting I’m more than a little terrified at the prospect of not donning the zebra’s stripes for the upcoming hockey season.

Once the puck drops to begin the new hockey season in Rankin, it’s going to be a completely alien feeling to only be watch from the stands and not get involved on the ice.

I have a personal note I’d like to pass along to you readers. To everyone across the Kivalliq who kept my mom in their thoughts and prayers while she was in a Cape Breton hospital, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mom was well on her way to mending when I returned to work and I’m already looking forward to spending the summer of 2018 with her. I may even risk a trip to the East Coast this holiday season to spend Christmas tied to her apron strings.

Your prayers were heard, thank you.

It promises to be a race to the 2017 finishing line over the next four months. Tensions are building over Agnico Eagle Mines’ performance in Baker Lake and the impact its latest endeavour, the Whale Tail gold project, may or may not have on the environment, wildlife and the community.

Nunavut is also starting to have a little extra trouble attracting teachers and our territorial teaching programs are not meeting the demand.

A number of Kivalliq schools are down in staff numbers as the new school year begins. It promises to be a challenging year, indeed, if those numbers aren’t pumped up during the coming weeks.

There are also rumours swirling around that a number of our top teachers are considering making this their final year in the Kivalliq.

Our region cannot afford to lose any more of our top professionals, especially teachers who are effective, loved and heavily involved in our communities.

It will be a dark, dark day for extracurricular programming across the Kivalliq should our best teachers leave.

Let’s all do our part to let all our teachers know how much we appreciate their efforts.

It’s a good feeling to be back in the saddle again and I look forward to watching the rest of 2017 unfold with you.

Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News