Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik August 01, 2018 - 11:30 am

Nunavik volleyball team disappointed by treatment at Québec Games

“They named the 19 regions and did not name us”

A team of young female volleyball players from Nunavik had a disappointing experience this year at the Quebec Games sports competition held in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Unlike the last time when the Nunavik team participated in 2010, the team was discouraged from wearing their own uniforms, were not announced during the opening ceremony and did not get the same banner that all the other teams received. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PHILIPPE PARADIS)
A team of young female volleyball players from Nunavik had a disappointing experience this year at the Quebec Games sports competition held in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Unlike the last time when the Nunavik team participated in 2010, the team was discouraged from wearing their own uniforms, were not announced during the opening ceremony and did not get the same banner that all the other teams received. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PHILIPPE PARADIS)

A series of disappointing experiences at a provincial sports tournament this week turned into a lesson about cultural pride for a Nunavik volleyball team of teenage Inuit girls.

Since Nunavik is not an official delegation at the Quebec Games, Philippe Paradis, the general director of Nunavik Volleyball, had to arrange for his team of a dozen 12- to 16-year-old girls to be invited by another team to participate.

They still paid the estimated $40,000 to enter the competition, held in Thetford Mines this year, but their status as an invited team meant all the difference this year.

It was not the first time Nunavik Volleyball had been an invited team at this sports competition. But in 2010 things were a lot different.

Then, Nunavik’s players were allowed to wear their own uniforms. But this year, the girls found out shortly after arriving they were expected to wear the uniforms of the team that invited them.

Paradis said that Sports Québec later apologized for how the team was treated.

“A few months before, we had directives to do our own shirt,” Paradis said. “But it was never clarified. When we got there, two hours before our first game, we were told we had to wear the shirts of Chaudière-Appalaches because we were an invited team.”

Paradis said that Sports Québec told him at that time that the uniforms had to show the names of the tournament sponsors.

Prior to the tournament, someone with Sports Québec told the Nunavik team they needed to provide their own uniform, said Paradis. But that person later left the organization, and there was a “gap in communication,” he said.

“There was a lot of rigidity and rules,” Paradis said.

Sports Québec later offered a compromise: the team could wear their own jerseys underneath Chaudière-Appalaches jerseys. But the Nunavik team decided to flout the rules and just wear their own uniforms.

“I was very proud,” Paradis said.

However, the problem with the shirts was just the first speed bump.

During the 2010 games, Nunavik was introduced and welcomed like all the other teams. Not so this year.

“They named the 19 regions and did not name us,” Paradis said. “That was the toughest part.”

He said he could see the hurt in the girls’ eyes when they looked at him wondering why they were not announced.

As well, in 2010 the Nunavik team, like the rest, had a professionally printed banner hanging behind their benches.

This year, while every other team had their name printed in professionally designed calligraphy, Nunavik’s was written, seemingly as an afterthought, in black marker.

“Someone just dropped the ball and no one picked it up,” Paradis said.

After Paradis started speaking to reporters and making complaints about the experience, the general manager met up with his team the next day to offer apologies and say it would not happen again at future Quebec Games.

Paradis believes the bad experience was not intentional and plans to return with his team in two years at the next Quebec Games.

In the end, Paradis’ team lost all of their matches. Most of the Nunavik girls had very little experience at volleyball—some only a few weeks—and had come just to play, practise and have fun.

“We weren’t expecting to win but the context was just overwhelming,” Paradis said.

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(20) Comments:

#1. Posted by Playing Snake on August 01, 2018

Leave them alone until they ask you kindly to participate, acknowledge you as Inuit from Nunavik. No one should be treated this way.

#2. Posted by Nunavik teen on August 01, 2018

How dare Kuujjuamiut say team Nunavik.Its always them them them. All the services, all the events and all of the exciting stuff. Projects, jobs, regional bodies head offices, all the helpful southerners, direct support for Arpik Jam from REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS lead by their fellow Kuujjuamiut. Same in sports. When ever a team Nunavik is created, its 99% Kuujuaq and the rest, 1% NUNAVIK.

I bet if it was organized good, they’d have NUNAVIMMIUT on the team, they’d have more than just one sport with one gender and have ownership of the QC games. Not just one community getting all the help. When are me and my friends getting picked?

I know its old hearing"Kujjuaq has it all” but thats bcuz nothing ever changed.

#3. Posted by David on August 01, 2018

“In the end, Paradis’ team lost all of their matches. Most of the Nunavik girls had very little experience at volleyball—some only a few weeks—and had come just to play, practise and have fun.”

I am sure there are two sides to this story.

Taking a non-competitive team to a highly competitive tournament is a sure recipe for disaster for the kids involved.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

“Prior to the tournament, someone with Sports Québec told the Nunavik team they needed to provide their own uniform, said Paradis. But that person later left the organization, and there was a “gap in communication,” he said.”

I don’t believe any of that. The Quebec games didn’t have the rules participants needed to follow in writing, that’s BS. Provincial level games don’t have the rules in writing, garbage. There was a “gap” all right, you didn’t read what you were supposed to.

#4. Posted by Inuujugut on August 01, 2018

#2, Maybe, no one is trying hard enough in Nunavik?!

I am proud of Kuujjuamiut team, they aim high, leave drugs or early drinking alcohol behind, they work hard, their coach push them harder, and support them, I don’t know how other communities, their coaches are pressuring their own athletes.

Why not, start raising funds through funding requests from over all organizations from your area, regional government, makivik corporation, sell your baking goods, raffle tickets for mini iPad, ipod, any useful items, hunting gears and all etc.

That is how they were raised & taught from their supporting teams, Parents with strong support, with strict structures.

Atii, gunnarivusi, not only Kuujjuaq! Nunavimmi pigutjituiinnatugut!

#5. Posted by Northen Guy on August 01, 2018

$40K to attend a volleyball tournament?!? ... Yikes! There are probably better ways to spend that money.

#6. Posted by entitlement needs to end on August 02, 2018

This sense of entitlement is common among northern communities. They think they need to be given special status in every event and awards just because of where they come from. The tournament clearly has a set of rules, and it seems the team failed to comply with them. Not to mention, the level is way higher than the random group of girls they decided to take. Northern teams lose badly in Southern tournaments in all sports mostly because those given most minutes to play are sons and daughters of certain people rather than the best candidates.

#7. Posted by The full picture on August 02, 2018

This speaks very loud and clear, if you can read between the lines. A few concerns here: 1). Many of our kids are not in shape educationally of physically. Too much exposure to alcohol, drugs, some hard pills, and most smoke cigarettes. They don’t exercise or practice either. This exposure to chemicals are much greater numbers than counterparts in south. 2). There’s so much negativity back and forth between inuit and southerners, that young inuit teams are suffering backlash from two way racism. Nunavik name is becoming less famous in the whole of Quebec. Quebecers are tired of all the news about alcohol, drugs, and neglect. Our kids are suffering for it when in south. 3). Remember Thetford mines is not far from Victoriaville. A young woman from there was murdered in Kuujjuaq this summer. People have that on their mines too.

#8. Posted by But they can’t spell on August 02, 2018

Yes, I agree with comment #6. Favourites are picked from who is you. The real test from the picks come when kids are in a spelling bee, with a competent teacher, and only those that can spell words are awarded accordingly, not because of being Johnnie or Jennifer, my boss’s daughter. Too bad athletes are not selected the same way. Thats why we get nowhere in Nunavik, because we pretend too much, and believe in fairy’s.

#9. Posted by David on August 02, 2018

The article keeps referring to 2010.

What about 2012, 2014 and 2016? What did they do then? Eight years later you expect everything to be the same, and it’s their fault when it’s not…..seriously???

I don’t believe $40k is all they spent ether, how much was airfare alone?

All that money spent, and nobody bothered reading the rules or knowing what was coming.

Sad really.

#10. Posted by NVP Philippe on August 02, 2018

To DAVID : The controversy of the shirts involved our overalls that we did wear at the opening ceremonies. Our playing received no complaints. For the opening ceremonies, we were asked to wear the Chaudière-Appalache appearal 2 hours before the ceremony even if we argumented that we were told to get our on gear by a former employee. We strongly feel that our girls had the right to be presented in Nunavik uniform. It is also important to note that Sport Quebec acknowledged that they drop the ball. There is not 2 sides of the story, we are now all on the same page.
As for our participartion to the Quebec Games. The girls went from recreation volleyball to a difficult 3 week training and they did great. Yes we lost all of our games but some teams were equivalent to us strength wize. And our girls battled hard. Nobody contested our presence there and we need to start somewhere to catch up. Nunavik Volleyball thinks Nunavimmiuts should have equal changes of integrared high level sports

#11. Posted by Funny comment on August 02, 2018

With all good intentions, commentor #4 lays out the dreams and aspirations, all the while, deliberately or unaware of reality. Don’t tell me kids are passing up on the chemicals in Kuujjuaq, some are, too many aren’t. The amount of exposure in Kuujjuaq is phenomenally frightening to say the least when comes to alcohol, drugs and little pills. It’s totally saturated with young and old alike, seeking escape via the buzz. The results are totally unhealthily living. That shows up in wannabe athletes, and adult workers alike.

#12. Posted by NVP Philippe on August 02, 2018

Many ugly comments without knowing the facts.
First, Nunavik Volleyball started in Salluit and has now integrated 8 communities. 3 communities (That had experience enough players to go through this camp) were reprensented and it will grow in the next year.
For the comment on norther people wanting more… euh we justed asked for the same (Represent our region; Have Nunavik mentionned in the region represented; printed boards for the games like other regions and not crayon and paper, etc..). For the rest of the comments (not reading the rules and so forth), please no the facts before making these kinds of assesments. Things happen, because of misscommunication following the departure of an employee that had a huge impact on the girls that felt completely different from other athletes. So before making unfounded comments, think about our young players that put their hearts out for this. Thanks for encouraging young athletes and coaches and not degrade them please

#13. Posted by Entitlement on August 04, 2018

Agree with comment number 6. Everything is fake in Nunavik. From education to sports, even living off the land. Look at all the training course. Years and years off pushing otherwise unqualified, uneducated people thru the system, and issuing certificates to lie to them that they are now qualified. No real challenge, just issue the papers, done, forgotten, and now the damage of fake living. Between the fake southerners, and Inuit confusion.  NOT close to being qualified. Sending kids off on a competitive sport is another example, when they are not prepared. Same goes for so call high school graduates. They go to Montreal college, and are so far behind the southerners that it’s shocking. Makes inuit look bad. People go out on the land today, no skills what so ever. They, think that they’re living traditional style, all the while with southern foods and plastic supplies, don’t forget the beer. Yes, beer, in the traditional ways. Hunting , fishing , camping and buzzed. It’s all fake.

#14. Posted by Inuujugut on August 06, 2018

OMG, so much creative drama been given to these innocent athletes, not all people are into alcohol or drugs, they are shining for Youth, working hard to achieve their goals.

Why are they given disappointment?!
Is it because of other’s alcoholic & drug problems?!

Very little may participate, they could be eye factor to bring up other more ideas.

Will people stop bringing negative comments, why not switch positive figures to these beautiful athletes!

The racial, bullying & discrimination should be destroyed!
And help out to bring suicidal to diminish in all Nunavik-Nunavut issues

#15. Posted by Dumbed Down on August 06, 2018

#13 Your comment is very true, the same applies in Nunavut. It is in nearly every sense of the phrase a land of “make believe.”

#16. Posted by Inuujugut on August 06, 2018

so many foul & drama, gees, blaming & framing will not work. As if all people are alcoholics & drug attics.

Don’t fail these beautiful given people, trying their hard work, and they get slapped at not by their own faults.

Applause to these shining & brilliant hard working athletes!

#17. Posted by Nunavik teen on August 07, 2018

NVP Phillipe, sounds like you want to be the new Joe Juneau. I don’t think volley ball will bring in the same salary as hockey though.

#18. Posted by Robert Gougeon on August 08, 2018

This story is very sad. The problem is twofold. First the population size of Nunavik compare to the other regions. Second, a structural problem (???) of Les Jeux du Québec. Each region must have competitions to determine who will represnt the region for every sports. Each individual must me affiliated to the sport federation in which he is to be involve. Each regional structure is fairly elaborate…

I think that the best way for Nunavik kids to take part in the games, is for Nunavik to become aregular invited guess within the structure of SportsQuébec.

Keep in mind that winning isn’t everything (there is only one winner:the gold medalist) but just being part of the competition is a great boost for self confidence and self esteem.

#19. Posted by NVP Philippe on August 09, 2018

Post #18 - Robert Gougeon
Thanks for your constructive post. Indeed, a set up like being a permanent invited delegation considering the population and pool of athletes is something thats on the table. But also, I think people don’t realize how crazy good athletes there are in Nunavik. Above average when given the just. Per example, running clubs have been popping everywhere in Nunavik. started off in Salluit and a few years back, Sallummiuts kids actually won races in Hawaï... They were well coach and gave their selves fully. Some girls on my team had weeks, not years, of volleyball and they were still able to compete against the best. I think the right support, athletes good do very good at these games in the future.
Post #17: Ask Sallummiuts about me, and you can hear for yourself why i’m doing this. Live there for many years!  Please support positive initiative! Would be better for all Nunavik

#20. Posted by let's move on, start a new chapter on August 16, 2018

Well or not, please stop back stabbing others!

Why not act normal & stop acting like being higher than anyone else, we need to stop ourselves attacking each, we all learn mistakes, why not bring ourselves forward, as our Elders always teach to move forward!

And, I wish people would stop bringing up alcohol & drugs issues, teach our children survival skills, positive opportunities, spread love not hate!

When a remote community is funded, they follow size of the community, number of athletes participating, and so on.

Southerners are the ones that brought alcohol & drugs to North at very beginning, this is why our culture is disrupted by their foul moves. Elders are disappointed because their monthly allowances are being targeted by their grand-children for alcohol & drugs, learn North!

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