Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pangnirtung Hamlet Day

Today was Hamlet Day in Pangnirtung.  Pangnirtung is 41 years old!  Since it is an official holiday for the Hamlet I got the afternoon off work to attend the activities!  So at 1:30pm I made my way out past the pack ice to join the community to celebrate.  There were a few games–some 3-legged races…and then the main event a sculpin fish contest.  Kanajuq what you call these fish in Inuktitut! They are UGLY…but we’ll get to that later on with the photos!  It was a wonderful afternoon.

On my walk from my house to the ice… I realized I dressed too warmly.  I ditched a fleece jacket in my friend’s truck at the beach…then when I got out on the ice, my friend helped me take off my long-john thermal top.  She held down my hoodie while I got my arms out of it without taking off the hoodie.  (yep, i have mad skillz!) After that wardrobe change I was able to enjoy the rest of the day. It was a gorgeous day… (the temperature was about -8C with windchill it was about -10!)..a perfect spring day!

Hamlet Day- Pangnirtung Hamlet Day-_0002 Hamlet Day-_0003

Yup, that’s a Kanajuq– they sure are ugly! There were prizes for the smallest and for the biggest caught! I tried to catch one…but didn’t get one.  I enjoyed conversations with people while we were fishing though!

Here’s a Kanajuq my friend caught-straight from the hole!  Below that in the middle is a the only ‘selfie’ I took all day…with my hand my rod and the fishin’ hole! Pangnirtung Hamlet Day Hamlet Day-_0006Pangnirtung Hamlet Day Hamlet Day- SMcMahon 18
The kids are looking at all the fish… the ones on the box are in the running for the smallest, and the ones on the ice are the ‘biggest!’Hamlet Day-_0005Pangnirtung Hamlet Day To end a wonderful day there was an Inuktitut Dance at the Community Centre at 7:30pm!  It was so much fun… I did get up to dance 2 songs.  I left before the end, all that fresh air has made me sleepy!  It was a perfect day, so glad for all the organizers that did the activities! Pangnirtung Hamlet Day

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In other news, a fellow Nunavut Bloggers who live in Baker Lake… asked me to do a guest post for their blog “Nunavut Chillers”.  You can find my guest post HERE. Thanks for letting me share a story on your blog. It’s been great getting to “know” you and your story via your blog! 🙂

Have a great week.

Trip into Auyuittuq National Park…

Today was a fun day- I went into Auyuittuq National Park with an outfitter for the day. Last summer I took a boat ride to the entrance, and now get a chance to go via snowmobile and kamotik.

All the fresh air has left me very sleepy tonight, but I wanted to post a few photos before I head to bed! (There might be more later on this week I’ll post.) Auyuittuq National Park_0011 Joavee, our outfitter, stopped to check the ice.  The warmer temperatures in Pang lately + more sunshine + currents on the fjord in this spot has made the ice start to melt.  He had take us through the pack ice to get past this spot! Auyuittuq National Park_0007Just a quick stop–have to stretch your legs!  We also started to feel wind from the Park’s Entrance… Auyuittuq National Park_0006At the entrance to the park… it was so windy!  But in this photo it looks so peaceful.  (The Cabin is the old ‘park ranger’s cabin’  it’s in the process of being moved I think! ) Because of the wind and lack of snow further on, we didn’t go any further into the park…instead we just enjoyed a few hours at the Entrance! Auyuittuq National Park_0010 I went with my neighbours… Auyuittuq National Park_0009There’s something about these mountains that is just so amazing!
Auyuittuq National Park_0005I took a hike up this mountain… I’ll have to post some reflections and more photos later this week.  Auyuittuq National Park_0004Auyuittuq National Park Here I am 1/2 way into my climb…so happy, and excited to be in this moment…even though climbing up a mountain is not easy work, and even more fun in a pair of Sorrels! Auyuittuq National Park_0008

It was a such a fun time. I’m blessed to be able to live so close to this amazing park…and have the opportunity to visit it!

Her Story – Kennie (Part 1)

After many years of floating around in academic heaven (a.k.a. wasn’t ready for the real world), it finally came to the point where I had to graduate .. there was very little way to extend my tenure at my university, unless I wanted to start an engineering or nursing degree. Eight years living care free in academia land should be enough right? When I finally went in and sat down with my three (yes three) academic advisors, two of them cheered, the other stated that I would never get a teaching job with what I specialized in. Me being me, I dug my heels in, and politely told my advisor that I would prove him wrong, that one did not need to specialize in English or social studies to get a teaching position in Canada. In the summer of 2007 (June to be exact) I accepted a teaching position in the fourth furthest northern community in Canada.

Many thoughts were going through my head at this point – “yippie! I have a position” to “OMG what did I just get myself into” and “well, at least I’m still in Canada”. The rest of that summer was spent packing up my belongings to be shipped all the way up to Arctic Bay, Nunavut and spending many hours scouring the web for any additional details of where I was heading. Fortunately, there was another teacher there who blogged about his experiences in Arctic Bay, which eventually connected me to other community members who held blogs. Prior to getting on the first set of flights, I started my own blog, Tales from the Arctic, to chronicle my adventure in Nunavut. Soon there after I started reading other Northern blogs and eventually got hooked up with Kara, Jen and Tina .. and after I left Nunavut, Sarah.

Our blogs linked us together as a small northern family. These gals were there at all hours (as none of us seemed to sleep for a while) to offer encouraging words when I thought I would just throw the towel in and run back south, to share something absolutely stupid they found online, to be a sounding board when I needed to vent (and it seemed we did a lot of venting at times) and to remind me that the world keeps turning even when we are smacked in the face with a seal flipper.

Eventually it came time for me to decide whether I wanted to stay in Nunavut on an extended contract or move on. Having had no trees for two years, or easy and reliable access to fresh fruit I made the tough decision to head kinda southward to the Yukon. Yet again, the blog chronicled my move cross country. Kara was great as she would update me with info about my community and even drove all the way into town to pick me up from Whitehorse after our orientation session (I followed her and the family back as I had just bought a truck). Thanks to the way things move in the North, none of my belongings were in the Yukon yet so I wound up crashing at Kara’s house for almost  week while I waited (rather impatiently) for my belongings to arrive in Ross River as school was starting soon.

Four years later, I’m still here in Ross River enjoying the freedom that northern living gives.

Wordless Wednesday XXXVII: Coming home…

Pangnirtung Plane landing

More Miles…

My friend Michael Davies  was part of fishing group that went fishing a few weeks ago. Mike is a really talented guy…he’s an accomplished photographer and artist but has many other talents and gifts!  In the last year or so he’s been making movies about life in Pang and places he goes to (you can find the other videos on his youtube channel).

The video below that was made out of a few trips  Mike has taken over the last 2 weeks.  It was compiled out of 15+hours of footage, some of which was shot from the fishing trip I went on, plus some other adventures around town he has been on! At the very end of the clip it shows the Kullik Trail, that I talked about in my last post from my fishing trip!

After watching the video once, I spotted myself two times, both are quick glimpses. The first was as a 2nd rider on a skidoo (without a kamotik) that was following Mike’s. The second was at the fishing lake where I’m standing at a fishing hole jigging(there’s a black bag on the ice beside me). My roll off the back of the skidoo didn’t make the cut for the video. I think I’m kind of thankful for that!

Thanks Mike for putting this amazing video together, and letting me share it with family and friends!

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