Twenty years ago, in March 2001, Nunatsiaq News was reporting about a looming city workers strike, then-governor general Adrienne Clarkson’s visit to Nunavik and filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk’s new movie making ‘a splash’ at its opening in Iqaluit. (File photo)

Yesterday’s News: Aglukark, Kunuk and an Iqaluit strike made headlines in March 2001

A weekly glance at Nunatsiaq News’ back issues during paper’s 50th anniversary

By Nunatsiaq News

Nearly 22 years ago, Iqalummiut were bracing for a strike by city workers, Nunatsisaq News reported on March 23, 2001.

That week’s paper had echoes of a breaking story this week, when 23 unionized workers at the Iqaluit Housing Authority went on strike Friday over contract talks that have been stalled since August.

But back in 2001, it was city workers who were threatening to bring garbage collection to a halt and shut down recreational services. They were also warning of a possible reduction in water and sewage services.

City workers did go on strike; their action lasted until late July of that year.

What was then still just a looming strike was front-page news, running alongside an unrelated standalone photo of singer Susan Aglukark visiting an elder in Kuujjuaq.

Aglukark was part of a visit to Nunavik by then-governor general Adrienne Clarkson, and the story was written by longtime Nunatsiaq News reporter Jane George.

Clarkson was the first immigrant to Canada to hold the position as the Queen’s representative in Canada.

Nunatsiaq News ran a teaser picture of Clarkson wearing a fur-lined parka and tuque, along with what appeared to be ski goggles. The picture told readers to see two pages of coverage inside about how Nunavik rolled out the red carpet for the vice-regal representative.

Twenty years later, of course, an Inuk woman, Mary Simon, set another first — becoming the first Indigenous person to hold the post.

Next to the picture of Clarkson was a teaser photo pointing readers to an inside story about Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, an Inuktitut movie by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk that had its opening in Iqaluit.

Just last week, Kunuk received the Commissioner’s Arts Award from Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak. The award was announced in November, but was formally presented at a ceremony at the territory’s legislative assembly on March 6.

By 2001, Nunatsiaq News was owned by Nortext Publishing. Its masthead featured the now-familiar image of an Inuk drum.


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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Water is Life on

    Back in 2001(?), the city strike left people without water for weeks. This was particularly difficult if you had young kids. I hope that this strike doesn’t affect the tenants to the point of them suffering day to day.

    • Posted by Kanuwhipit on

      Yes, the strike in 2001, I remember the garbage was piling up beside the Old Arena/City Hall.

  2. Posted by Ben Decko on

    I remember when Susan Aglukark changed her diet, becoming vegan, and people were near riot in Nunavut.
    I guess The Charter of Rights and Freedoms didn’t apply for her.🤣

    • Posted by oh ima on

      What INuk in their right mind becomes a vegan! Haha, or anyone, for that matter. Animals are here for our consumption.

      • Posted by Ben Decko on

        Maybe some little thing about “Freedom of Choice” or something.

      • Posted by iThink on

        “Animals are here for our consumption”

        Hilarious… I bet you think jesus put them there for you right?

        Either way, I’m not a vegan, but the fact is on average vegans live longer and have less health issues than non-vegans. Knowing that I suppose the question becomes, who in their right mind wouldn’t become a vegan?

        Okay sure, you don’t have to care. But why care what anyone else does?


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