Two-hour specials scheduled next week on APTN channel

Inuit TV programs focus on men, youth, childbirth

By JANE GEORGE

Men who want to be the best they can be, youth eager to take on the world and women who helping make birth a more positive experience are the focus of three television programs to air next week on APTN North.

The two-hour programs, "Angutiilli qanuiliqpat? – How are we as men?, " "Makkuktuuvunga, upimmavunga – I am young, and I am proud," and "Nutaraqtaarniq Nunalingnirmiunut Alianaippuq – Birth, a joyous community event," feature short pre-recorded video segments from all Inuit regions of Canada, Alaska and Greenland.

The programs, presented by Karliin Aareak of Iqaluit, also include live discussions between panel members, a studio audience in Iqaluit, focus groups in Inuit communities and viewers at home.

The goal of the series, called "Qanuqtuurniq – Finding the Balance," is to raise awareness of wellness and well-being, encourage Inuit to talk openly about wellness issues and showcase some of the efforts of community-based wellness groups, said Dianne Kinnon, director of Inuit Tuttarvingat, which produced the series with money from the federal government's International Polar Year program.

A short video segment about the spousal abuse counselling program in Rankin Inlet's Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre is part of the May 11 program, "Angutiilli qanuiliqpat? – How are we as men?"

This episode also features a segment on the Qajaq Men's Network in Kuujjuaq, a regional organization for Inuit men.

There will be a live panel discussion and phone-in about men's emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Panelists include Natan Obed from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and counsellors Martha Greig and Jacob Partridge from Kuujjuaq.

The Rankin Inlet Birthing Centre is featured on the maternity care episode, "Nutaraqtaarniq Nunalingnirmiunut Alianaippuq – Birth, a joyous community event", which airs May 12.

Nowyah Williams, a maternity worker, talks about the important role the centre plays in families' lives.

In a video segment about Nunavik's Inuit midwife apprenticeship program, viewers hear about the 22-year-old midwife training program and see two newly-trained Inukjuak midwives, Brenda Epoo and Aileen Moorhouse, receive their midwifery licences.

This episode also travels to Greenland where the government supports a community lay-midwife program.

There, Helene Lennert, a midwife in Sisimiut, who recently completed her training in the apprenticeship program for midwives, talks with the chief medical officer for the local hospital about what it means for the women and families to receive care in their own language and from a Greenlandic midwife.

Panelists for this episode include Taqramiut Nipingat Inc. broadcaster Elashuk Pauyungie, Puvirnituq midwife Akinisie Qumaluk, Annie Buchan, the community health representative for Taloyoak, and Natsiq Kango from Nunavut's midwives association.

Jesse Mike from National Inuit Youth Council, Iqaluit Jesse Tungilik from Students On Ice, and former National Aboriginal Role Model, Shawn Kuliktana of Kugluktuk, who is now studying in Hay River, N.W.T. are among the panelists for the May 13 program on Youth, "Makkuktuuvunga, upimmavunga – I am young, and I am proud."

One video segment in this episode talks about the Iqaluit-based Inuusivut Inuit Youth Media Project, which encourages youth to use art, videos, music, photography and other multimedia to express themselves.

Another segment tells the story of ArtCirq, a youth performance group that helps youth communicate and develop physically and spiritually through traditional Inuit games and circus acts.

In "Project Life" from Alaska, which uses digital story telling to help youth to connect with their culture, viewers also meet Stacey Harris, a young Inupiaq woman who says her life has been changed through her involvement in the "Project Life" program.

This episode introduces a song recorded by students at the Nunavut Sivuniksavut post-secondary program in Ottawa, which is used as the opening theme song for the series.

"Qanuqtuurniq – Finding the Balance" series will be broadcast in Inuktitut, with English captioning, on May 11, 12 and 13, 8-10 p.m. EST on APTN North and through a live web cast on www.niyc.ca.

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