Nunatsiaq News
FEATURES September 07, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Canadian sailors prep for the perils of iceberg alley

Mock exercise teaches naval crew how to cope with iceberg collision

BETH BROWN

The watch crew standing on the bridge of the HMCS Charlottetown hold on tight on Sept. 2 and brace themselves against the shock of hitting an iceberg.

“Brace for shock, collision imminent, port side forward,” the bridge watch officer, Lieutenant Sonia Allison bellows.

But that collision never...

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FEATURES September 06, 2018 - 9:30 am

Frigate crew hones onboard oil-spill response skills in Arctic waters

"The RCN wants to make sure Arctic waters are used in a lawful manner”

BETH BROWN

When a crew member signals an alarm after spotting oil spilled aboard HMCS Charlottetown, marine engineer Ronald Low is one of the first people to respond.

With him, he brings a handheld “sniffer” machine that detects flammable vapours and oxygen content, along with gases like hydrogen sulphide...

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FEATURES September 05, 2018 - 10:29 am

Access to fuel essential for Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic work

Nanisivik fuel depot set to open next summer, 12 years after project announced

BETH BROWN

Commander Nathan Decicco peers over the port-side bridge wing of HMCS Charlottetown.

He squints, calculating the distance between his ship and the shore.

Below, crew members are throwing lines towards a jetty, as the 134-metre Royal Canadian Navy frigate inches towards a dock at the Greenland...

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FEATURES September 04, 2018 - 11:00 am

Fairy puke and witch’s hair found in Sylvia Grinnell Park

Museum of Nature survey finds much to lichen

JOHN THOMPSON

Fairy puke is green with pink spots. And you can find it in Sylvia Grinnell Park, just outside Iqaluit.

We’re talking, in case there’s any confusion, about a particular species of lichen that goes by the scientific name of Icmadophila ericetorum.

The fairy puke was one of about a dozen species of...

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FEATURES August 31, 2018 - 1:25 pm

Mountain bluebird makes a rare stop in central Nunavut

"A rare sight to see in this part of the world"

JANE GEORGE

Maggie Putulik of Rankin Inlet spied something special when she photographed a tiny blue and grey bird on Monday.

“A mountain bluebird is a rare sight to see in this part of the world. Sighted on August 27, 2018 in Rankin Inlet, NU,” Putulik later wrote on Facebook.

She’s right. According to...

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FEATURES August 30, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Ready for a rescue: Navy conducts man-overboard drills in the Arctic Ocean

“In a real emergency we can’t control the weather”

BETH BROWN

For the navy, five minutes is the benchmark rapid response time for recovering a person from the sea.

For victims of a man overboard, five minutes is an eternity.

“Especially in the Arctic,” said Sub-Lt. Kevin Callahan. “Sea survival time is not good in these temperatures.”

As an officer of the...

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FEATURES August 30, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Tundra roots, leaves and seeds on the menu

Iqaluit workshop teaches traditional uses of tundra plants

COURTNEY EDGAR

Hungry on a hike but forgot your lunch? Snack on that pink dwarf fireweed that grows almost everywhere in Iqaluit. The leaves, flowers and roots can be eaten raw and taste a bit like spinach. If you boil the leaves for tea, it can even help with an upset stomach, according to Inuit...

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FEATURES August 28, 2018 - 10:30 am

Navy for a day: Iqaluit ship tour wraps up Op Nanook

Frigate crew practise board and search, gunnery and antisubmarine warfare in Arctic military exercise

BETH BROWN

When heavy ice in Lancaster Sound put Devon Island out of reach for the navy vessel HMCS Charlottetown last week, waters in and around Frobisher Bay became a second choice for practising ocean scenarios that were part of the military’s annual Arctic exercise, Operation Nanook.

But while there...

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FEATURES August 23, 2018 - 11:30 am

Greenlandic researcher explores the power of Inuit food

"We need to discuss what healthy food is"

JANE GEORGE

COPENHAGEN—Tiny microbes present in traditionally prepared Greenlandic foods—similar to those eaten by Inuit in Canada, Alaska and Russia—may help prevent chronic health issues, such as diabetes and allergies.

The hidden health power of the traditional Greenlandic diet is what Greenlandic...

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FEATURES August 16, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Nunavut hunters, harvesters rejoice over bowhead whale catch

“This was a very good, successful second hunt. It means a lot to people here in Iqaluit”

BETH BROWN

Mealia Sheutiapik was visiting Iqaluit’s Elders’ Qammaq on Tuesday afternoon when she heard the news that hunters from the Nunavut community had successfully captured a bowhead whale.

The catch marks the first bowhead harvested in Iqaluit in seven years and only the second one in around a...

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FEATURES August 16, 2018 - 8:30 am

Gene mapping holds promise for Arctic residents: researchers

In Greenland, genes point the way to better prevention and treatment

JANE GEORGE

COPENHAGEN—Personalized health care is on its way to the Arctic.

This care, using “precision medicine,” will involve the use of genetic testing to guide the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of many chronic illnesses or rare diseases.

The many possibilities of this new targeted health care were...

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FEATURES August 15, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Art made by Cape Dorset youth on display at Nunavut legislature

“We call it youth art but it stands on its own”

COURTNEY EDGAR

Cape Dorset youth have their artwork on display at Nunavut’s legislative assembly.

Embassy of Imagination, an Inuit youth art collective led by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, is running their exhibit “Uvanga and Imagine If” from Aug. 12 until Dec. 1. Uvanga means “myself”—which corresponds...

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FEATURES August 15, 2018 - 10:59 am

Jack “Sig” Sigvaldason, northern news trailblazer, dies at 84

"He had a fearless appetite for skewering the bureaucracy”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The late Jack “Sig” Sigvaldason, 84, a big man with a big vision who brought the printed word to every corner of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, died Aug. 9 in Ottawa, nunavutnews.com reported last week.

His legacy is Northern News Services Ltd., the company he began building in 1972 after...

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FEATURES August 13, 2018 - 9:30 am

Iceland uses Blue Lagoon spa to lure Arctic air travellers

More than one million visitors a year dip into its waters

JANE GEORGE

NEAR KEFLAVIK, ICELAND—Some places in the Arctic appear luckier than others: while Iqaluit worries about its municipal water supply, Iceland has managed to transform its plentiful geothermally heated water into a source of power, heating and money.

The best example of this Icelandic miracle is the...

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FEATURES August 09, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Whales of tales found in new book by northern historian

Kenn Harper releases Arctic whaling history with Inhabit Media

BETH BROWN

In 1839 a young Inuit man from Cumberland Sound helped put his home, quite literally, on the map.

The man’s name was Inuluapik, and he had often traded with European whalers who travelled near his home.

That year Inuluapik sailed to Scotland with explorer William Penny. That winter, he and Penny...

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FEATURES August 08, 2018 - 8:29 am

Nunavut’s Premier Savikataaq spells out his priorities

Home care, cannabis regulations and education reform are front-burner issues

SARAH ROGERS

In the late summer of 2013, Joe Savikataaq stood on the shore of western Hudson Bay in a T-shirt and jeans, his hands pushed into his pockets, and talked about his plans for Nunavut.

He was then a wildlife officer and Arviat hamlet councillor, making his first run for territorial politics, to...

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FEATURES August 07, 2018 - 11:30 am

Arctic experiences summer of extreme weather

July heat brings new insects, while cool conditions mean snow

JANE GEORGE

Record-breaking extremes have marked the summer weather of 2018 in the Arctic: July’s varied conditions left some northern residents scrambling for ways to escape the heat and others looking for shovels to clear new snow off their steps.

In many parts of the Arctic where the heat was on in July,...

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FEATURES August 03, 2018 - 1:30 pm

For northern museums, exhibits of Indigenous art are increasingly community efforts

Indigenous curators can provide the extra details for museum exhibits that otherwise would be lost without their interpretation

ARCTIC TODAY

KEVIN MCGWIN

You don’t have to search hard to find Indigenous art in the world’s museums. Often, you can even find it in the world’s art museums. But, no matter where it is placed, finding exhibitions that have been curated by representatives from Indigenous groups themselves can be somewhat more...

...

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FEATURES August 02, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Once-forbidden Inuit songs to be heard in Iqaluit public performance

"When the Christian missionaries started coming in, Inuit were not allowed to sing the pisiit any more"

COURTNEY EDGAR

Updated on Friday, Aug. 3 at 9:40 a.m.

When Rhoda Ungalaq was growing up, sometimes a man would sing pisiit under his breath, in a whisper, just loud enough for her to hear. As a child, she did not particularly like the songs, but Ungalaq realizes now that was mostly because she just did not...

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FEATURES July 30, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Climate change means bigger Arctic spiders—and that could be a good thing

When wolf spiders get bigger, they seem to change their diet in ways that help the tundra ecosystem

ARCTIC TODAY

KELSEY LINDSEY

Warmer temperatures in the Arctic may lead to more, and larger, wolf spiders. But this might be good for the region, according to a new study released in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

Wolf spiders, which stalk and ambush their prey rather than catching...

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FEATURES July 27, 2018 - 9:40 am

Iqaluit fire chief dishes on latest dump fire

“I said, 'We are losing this, we are losing this'”

COURTNEY EDGAR

Black smoke filled the air ahead of Fire Chief Luc Grandmaison July 11 as he and his crew prepared to hose down the latest fire at Iqaluit’s landfill.

Then the explosions began. There were three loud booms, heard about 30 metres from the fire, occurring between him and another firefighter. It...

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FEATURES July 26, 2018 - 3:25 pm

And no sanderlings sang

Breeding Arctic shorebirds thwarted by Greenland's stubborn spring snow

ERLING FRIIS-BAASTAD

When the fog lifted on June 14, Jeroen Reneerkens’ small chartered plane could finally land on the tundra of northeast Greenland. The Dutch avian ecologist, who has a special passion for the small wading birds, especially the ubiquitous sanderlings, quickly realized that something was wrong on the...

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FEATURES July 19, 2018 - 1:10 pm

Nunavik bones to be laid to rest

“We are happy the right thing will be done―putting them back where they belong”

COURTNEY EDGAR

Inuit bones will be returned to the Hudson Bay coast this summer, after having been removed by an archeologist more than 50 years ago.

Elmer Harp collected the bones from two graves while travelling along the eastern Hudson Bay coast, between Umiujaq and Kuujjuaraapik in northern Quebec, in

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FEATURES July 19, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Inuk art dealer wins right to wield igloo stamp

Debate underway over what kinds of Inuit art should receive the iconic igloo tag

COURTNEY EDGAR

Lori Idlout, the owner of Iqaluit art gallery Carvings Nunavut, has a new tool to help show her customers that the artwork she sells is the real deal.

It’s the iconic igloo tag—a stamp that has been used for the past 60 years to indicate that artwork is authentically hand-made by Inuit.

Idlout...

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FEATURES July 17, 2018 - 9:30 am

Iqaluit men’s shelter moving in new direction

“It is more than just a shelter … it is the getting the clientele back into work, back into their rightful place in the community”

COURTNEY EDGAR

The men’s shelter in Iqaluit is making some big changes this summer.

With the appointment of a new acting director, Dan Laffin, two weeks ago, the Uquutaq men’s shelter wants to teach its clients how to begin living independently.

“If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a night. Teach him how...

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