Arviat celebrates safe return of missing hunter
Thomas Hiatalaaq Alikaswa’s return home a ‘good way to end the week,’ mayor says
Arviat residents celebrated Friday afternoon after a hunter who had been missing on the land for several days came home alive.
Hundreds watched at the airport as Thomas Hiatalaaq Alikaswa touched down in a helicopter.
In a Facebook Live video shared by Alikaswa’s daughter-in-law Norma Jean Kablutsiak, a crowd is seen at the airport cheering, singing and honking their vehicles’ horns as they welcome Alikaswa and his rescuers.
Alikaswa had been missing for several days, according to several social media posts.
Around 1 p.m. CT Friday, people began sharing news that Alikaswa had been found safe.
Two hours later, they gathered at the airport.
Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. said spirits are good in the community, knowing that a fellow resident is alive and safe, adding he’s thankful for everyone who helped out with the rescue.
“It’s a good way to end the week,” Savikataaq Jr. said.
“So everyone, thank you very much for all the help, and it’s a very good ending.”
Daniel Alareak, Arviat’s search and rescue co-ordinator, told Nunatsiaq News Friday evening he would provide a more thorough update Monday.
In a Facebook message, Kablutsiak provided a brief update on her father-in-law’s condition after he arrived back in town via parade.
“He is doing great!” Kablutsiak said.
“We are all very grateful.”