After 15 years, this young, restless territory is finding new ways to plot its future. Join us as we talk to the next generation of leaders, movers and shakers about technology, educational reform, and the ability to toss a few controversial ideas on to the table.
By Matthew Mallon with reporting from Samantha Lee Dawson
(Iqaluit cityscape by Angela Scappatura)
Nunavut’s edgier artists push beyond the territory’s old cultural borders
By Peter Worden
Stacey Aglok MacDonald – filmmaker
Deep within the labyrinth of Iqaluit’s Inuit Broadcasting Corporation building, under the rumble of nearby jet aircraft landing, is a tiny windowless studio. And amid a tangle of cords and stage props is a cramped edit suite where you’ll find Stacey Aglok–MacDonald. “It’s just. So. Hot. And dark. We forget what time it is,” she says, not even kidding. As senior producer for IBC’s Inuktitut sketch comedy series Qanurli (“What now?”), currently in its fourth season, working on a lower budget always has an experimental edge to it. “Every season we’re challenging ourselves to do new and different things with the show.” Once the season is a wrap, then—qanurli? Aglok–MacDonald plans to independently write and direct short and feature films. “I kind of want to do it all.”
Tracking down the Fathers - and Mothers - of Nunavut
By Peter Worden
(Photo by Patrick Kane)
When people mention the father of Nunavut, they’re usually referring to John Amagoalik, the 66-year-old simply known to thousands of Inuit as “John A.” Today he can be found reading the newspaper late in the afternoon at Iqaluit’s Navigator Hotel, content to be well out of the limelight. His everyman appearance of ponytail and rumpled leather jacket belie the amount of political influence he’s had on the territory and country.
How are indigenous peoples governing their lands elsewhere?
By Samia Madwar
When Air Greenland started up direct flights between Iqaluit and Nuuk last year, it was picking up a thread from over 30 years ago. In 1981, two years after Greenland gained self-rule from Denmark, it launched its first international flight, from Nuuk to Iqaluit. Greenlanders were looking westward to their Nunavummiut neighbours, hoping to build stronger ties. The route was cancelled after 13 years; now, however, there’s renewed interest on both sides in nurturing an already strong cultural relationship that might lead to something more. And since Greenland gained self-rule 20 years before Nunavut, with added autonomy in 2009, it may be the ideal role model.
And win $1000!
When Sally Manning—a Northern enthusiast, outdoors adventurer and long-time friend of Up Here—first told us that she’d like to start an awards program to mark her deep, life-long passion for Canada’s North, we immediately agreed to help. With Sally’s background as a sportswriter, and the magazine’s mandate to provide a platform where the stories of this region could be told, it didn’t take long for an idea to arise.
As a publication of and from the North, Up Here does what it can to help support and promote the development of aboriginal journalism. And so: this year, we call for entries for the first annual Sally Manning Award for Aboriginal Creative Non-Fiction. Aboriginal writers of all ages from all three territories, as well as Nunavik and Labrador, are eligible.
First prize is $1,000; 2nd is $500; 3rd is $250, thanks to the generosity of Sally. The winning entry will be published in the September 2014 issue of this magazine.
It takes perseverance, scrappiness and a dollop of eccentricity to be an Arctic entrepreneur. Saskatchewan-born Vicki Aitaok has plenty of all three. She’s fighting to bring the world to Cambridge Bay, and to save its history. Should she be?
By Ashleigh Gaul
September 2013 was a tough month for tourism in Cambridge Bay. Skies were a cold grey and the freeze-up came early—several attempts through the Northwest Passage had already been kiboshed because the summer season was cut so short. The last cruise ship of the year with a scheduled stop in the hamlet, Le Soléal, had unexpectedly bypassed Cambridge Bay with up to 260 passengers onboard; this would translate to thousands of dollars in lost revenues for the community and its main tour operator, Vicki Aitaok of Qaigguit Tours. Then, on September 5, some of the first snows arrived early; unfortunately so had Aitaok’s last tour, a contingent of 22 world ambassadors passing through the hamlet on their whirlwind annual visit to the North.
An impossible quest? We went on a hunt of our own to find out
By Ashleigh Gaul, photo by Angela Gzowski
One great thing about Northern parties: every once in a while, near the end of the night, someone will pull out a slab of maktaaq (narwhal meat), much like a whiskered gentleman might produce a pricey scotch in a hazy southern drawing room. Cardboard will be laid down, ulus and pocketknives produced, maybe a little soy sauce or HP, and a good old impromptu country food feast will ensue. When it happens in one of the communities it’s a nightcap—chewing (and more chewing) commences; conversation continues. But in a Yellowknife trailer this past year over Christmas, it triggered something else: a bit of rapture.
By Peter Worden, photo by Eugene Fisher/Barbara Brundege
Three terrier pups and a Shih-Tzu-something-or-other comprise Pangnirtung’s Welcome Committee. Within minutes of touching down at the airport last spring, the loose entourage of muddy-faced canines started trailing me through town, nipping at my bootlaces, yipping for attention. Reluctantly, I had become their alpha.
He was a dogsledding champion and a local hero. His breakthrough hit everyone close.
By Eva Holland, photo by Marten Berkman
The first hint was a set of tracks on Little Atlin Lake, leading up to a hole in the ice.
A musher had been reported overdue the night before, a Sunday, and the police said that a dog team had been found without its driver.