Continued birthday wishes to Qaapik Attagutsiak

Qaapik Attagutsiak holds a letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday, June 27, sending her birthday greetings and wishing her well for the year ahead. Arctic Bay resident and regular Nunatsiaq News contributor Clare Kines delivered the letter to Attagutsiak, who was making bannock when he arrived. (Photo by C. Kines)

Over 200 protesters in Iqaluit call for mental health help “now”

A moment of silence is held on Friday afternoon in Iqaluit to remember those who have died by suicide in Nunavut. A crowd of over 200 gathered at the city’s main intersection, carrying signs with the names of loved ones lost, and that called for mental health support. The protesters marched to Nunavut’s legislature and handed a list of those names to Premier Joe Savikataaq. The crowd heckled Savikataaq when he said the government is doing everything it can. People shared stories of their healing journey and their struggles to get the mental health care they need. The protest’s leaders are demanding more front-line workers immediately and that mental health be taught in schools. Similar protests took place at the same time in communities across Nunavut. (Photo by Meagan Deuling)

Celebrating dedication to Inuktut

Katie Kalluk is the first recipient of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s Inuktut Language Award. She received the honour during her graduation ceremony at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit on Tuesday, June 23. The $1,000 award, created as a partnership between QIA and the school, aims to celebrate students dedicated to using Inuktut throughout high school. “I started speaking Inuktut pretty early, when I was in early elementary school,” Kalluk said in a news release from QIA. “I plan to develop my Inuktut skills further in the future.” Kalluk, originally from Resolute Bay, plans to attend the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program in the fall of 2021.

Coast guard declares northern crews all clear of COVID-19

COVID-19 tests have all come back negative for roughly 75 crew members aboard the first two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers to head north this season, the CGS Pierre Radisson and the CCGS Terry Fox, said spokesperson Benoit Mayrand. The coast guard expects to test about 960 personnel during the summer, including those in two future crew changes. The testing by nose swab follows all public health guidelines and standards, Mayrand said. “This testing is an additional layer of protection to the measures we have implemented to protect crew members and northern residents, which include body temperature screening, health questionnaires and strict cleaning protocols for coast guard vessels,” he said. Here, the Icebreaker Terry Fox anchors in Frobisher Bay, near Iqaluit, while on icebreaking standby in July 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Coast Guard)

All smiles

Arviat’s Bart Aggark receives his diploma on June 19 from John Arnalukjuak High School’s acting principal, Chi-chi Arinze, as Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. looks on. In August, graduates will receive their official government diplomas, special awards and prizes. (Photo by Patrick Taleriktok)

One proud mother

Arviat high school graduate Russell Suluk is accompanied by his proud mother, Theresa Suluk, as families head off to take part in a community parade on June 19 to celebrate this year’s graduating class of 40. There were food hampers distributed to all the grads’ families in lieu of the banquet the school normally hosts. (Photo by Daniel Nipisar)

One newly minted Nunavut grad

Sharon Akammak, a graduate of Arviat’s John Arnalikjuak High School, celebrates receiving her diploma on June 19 as she heads off to take part in a community parade, accompanied by her chauffeur, Aaron Ivuniryuk. (Photo by Daniel Nipisar)