Permanent skatepark coming to Inukjuak

Teacher leading project hopes to develop ‘skate life,’ provide new summer activity for community youth

From left, Sophie Moorhouse, Avery Kasudluak, Scarlet Kasudluak, Gabriella Kadsudluak and Katrina Berthe with their skateboards in Inukjuak. Teacher Caroline Gleason said the five young skaters are excited for the new skatepark being built in their community. (Photo courtesy of Caroline Gleason)

By Jeff Pelletier

Young people in Inukjuak will soon have a permanent spot for skateboarding.

The new park, which will be located in what is currently an undeveloped lot behind a daycare centre in the community’s downtown area, is set to open Aug. 20.

Local teacher Caroline Gleason has been leading the project for several months. She said she wanted to see a skatepark built for kids who spend their summers in the community.

“There’s a whole group of kids who stay in the village, and they don’t have much to do,” she said.

“It’s really a place that they can go and they can make their own, that we can look to have reach-out programs there with community leaders.”

To get the project rolling, Gleason brought together a variety of partners from the private and public sectors.

Notably, she was able to secure the support of CRT Construction — the company building a nearby dam for Hydro Quebec — which is helping ship materials to the community, provide workers and offer advice for some of the weather-related construction challenges.

Other partners Gleason listed include the Northern Village of Inukjuak, Pituvik Corp., the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, the non-profit Make Life Skate Life, and several local stores.

Gleason described the skatepark as a “well over a million-dollar project.” But with the amount of donated materials, she only needed to apply for approximately $315,000 from the Inukjuak Infrastructure Fund.

“It’s really, I think, so needed and such a beautiful thing that the community is coming together to support youth,” she said.

Once the park is up and running, Gleason said programming such as skateboarding and safety lessons will be offered.

But before that happens, the park will host an opening ceremony with an appearance by professional skateboarder Joe Buffalo.

Buffalo, who is from the Samson Cree Nation in Alberta, is a residential school survivor who was also the subject of a 2021 New Yorker short documentary, executive-produced by American skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

“We wanted to also have someone like Joe Buffalo come in and show what’s possible,” Gleason said, noting that skateboarding is now a sport at the Summer Olympics.

She said she hopes the skatepark will lead to the growth of a skateboarding community. While some kids skate down Inukjuak’s gravel roads, she said she hopes a safe, permanent facility — along with a supply of boards and safety equipment donated to the village — will help make skateboarding a part of community life during the warmer months.

“There’s no skate community in Inukjuak, so it can be really, really inclusive,” Gleason said.

An undeveloped area behind Inukjuak’s daycare, pictured here, will be the site of a new skateboarding park for youth in the community. (Photo courtesy of Caroline Gleason)

 

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sk8r on

    Very positive story. I kind of want to move to Inukjuak now.

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  2. Posted by Bravo Gleason for Inukjuaks kids on

    Thanks to people like Gleason Nunavik sees some positive things. Not going to knock down the community leaders, but I will hope for them to get involve , and do more for children. We been hearing on fm about the land holding of kuujjuaq dedication to starting a beer and wine store, making it two in the town of kuujjuaq, if only kuujjuaq had more people like Gleason, maybe kuujjuaq kids wouldn’t be developing into delinquency. Nothing there for kids. And nothing planned in near future.

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  3. Posted by Kids need more on

    That’s so nice for the kids of inukjuak, thanks to Gleason. Kids need more in Nunavik. Not much investment in our kids. From education to recreational, kids are the left behind in Nunavik. DYP takes up the slack, so does group homes. That the result of neglect to the kids. Landholdings getting another alcohol outlet, shows how kids are and will continue be neglected. More beer, more kids grow up in the name of drunken adults, Nunaviks life story of Inuit progression towards a better future that will never happen. What a life.

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  4. Posted by There’s a man going around taking names on

    As Johnny Cash sings: there’s a man going around taking names. But not a man for Nunavik kids, but a group of healing workers going around taking names about Inuit children being fostered out of territory. The sad part about it, they’re taking names of foster parents, and not considering that the culprits of destruction to the kids are not the foster parents , but namely the biological parents who are abusing the kids. Foster parents would not even exist , if the real parents stop the neglect.

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