Siku girl encounters Covid-19…on paper

Where did the time go? Since the beginning of March to now there has been one story in my life: COVID-19.

Here are all stories I wrote for Nunatsiaq News, which I am putting here as a reference as much for myself as for anyone else who is interested in the infection, or fear of the infection, throughout Canada’s North. It’s affected the entire region: people, education, travel, mining…

At a later time, I will probably organize these stories by themes. But for now, you can follow my reporting about COVID-19 from the bottom to top along with some of the photos I posted on Twitter.

 

Nunavut teachers’ union criticizes premier’s recruitment plans

Food arrives in Nunavut’s Clyde River 

Nunavut’s Kivalliq communities adopt more COVID-19 preventive measures 

Aurèle St-Amant, a pioneer of Nunavik’s co-op movement, dies at 83 from COVID-19

Temporary shelter offers homeless Inuit in Montreal protection from COVID-19

Increased Nutrition North subsidies take effect in Nunavut

Build an inuksuk, show your strength, TI urges urban Inuit youth

School’s out in Nunavut, and one mother says the kids are alright—most of the time 

Ottawa Inuit organization focuses on food security during pandemic

 Migratory geese and ducks are free of COVID-19: researcher 

In Cambridge Bay, schools reach out with activities and food

Nunavik health officials declare two more COVID-19 infections in Puvirnituq

Warrantless entries not justified to enforce Nunavut’s ban on gatherings, says official

When travelling by air, northern travellers now need masks

 Nunavut musician Becky Han steps onto Alianait’s virtual stage on Friday

 Subsidy keeps Agnico Eagle’s Nunavut mine workers on payroll

Nunavut’s ban on gatherings goes too far, says civil liberties watchdog

 Food for the hungry in Cambridge Bay

 COVID-19 restrictions move Inuit arts workshops online

 Canadian Rangers ready for patrol in Kuujjuaq

 Western Nunavut town moves to enforce COVID-19 bans

 Nunavik’s Raglan mine reopens despite outrage from Makivik Corp.

 In COVID-19 measure, Gjoa Haven bans sale of homemade baked goods

 Nunavut government worker’s creation lands on territory’s telephone book cover

 Coronavirus reaches Nunavik community of Inukjuak

Nunavik co-op workers gear up for COVID-19 prevention

After COVID-19 self-isolation, Nunavut student restarts his life

Nunavut canteen chef helps feed the hungry during COVID-19 hard times

 Inuk artist Asinnajaq wins a 2020 Sobey Art Award

 QIA commits $1.5M to aid small Inuit-owned businesses during pandemic

Keep schools closed, teachers home, says Nunavut Association of Municipalities 

Feds announce millions to help the North deal with COVID-19 

Nunavik declares tenth COVID-19 case in Puvirnituq

Nunavut mayors to discuss GN’s decision to recall teachers from outside territory

 After 11 COVID-19 infections, Greenland plans to slowly reopen Nuuk

Quebec may call back Nunavik school staff to help in health care 

Iqaluit man faces charges in connection with weekend firearms incident

Updated: Nunavik declares its 10th case of COVID-19

Under Nunavik’s COVID-19 lockdown, only charter flights travel to the region

If COVID-19 strikes, this Nunavut community is ready

Mining company helps fill hampers in Nunavut community

Nunavik’s COVID-19 alcohol restrictions lead to long lineups in Kuujjuaq

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Creative SocialDistancing: many Nunavut residents have been getting outside and using snow to make great sculptures. This colourful drummer by Bernard Walsh of Cambridge Bay.

Nunavut asks out-of-territory teachers to return by April 21

Kivalliq Inuit Association directs COVID-19 money to elders, traditional activities

Canadian Rangers step up during COVID-19 crisis

To fight COVID-19 spread Greenland erects tent camp for homeless

COVID-19 could have big implications for Nunavut’s mining industry

Nunavik declares three more COVID-19 cases

Southern teachers in Nunavik remain on standby to leave region: union

Nunavut legal aid offices remain closed, but you can still call

Kitikmeot Inuit Association announces support for elders, on-the-land activities during pandemic

Studies underway to see if TB vaccine lessens COVID-19 symptoms

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Remarkable #COVID19 generosity: Erik Hitkolok of Kugluktuk filled his sled with more than 200 frozen white fish and went on social media to offer them to people in his western Nunavut town.

COVID-19 leads to more Canadian North schedule changes

Northern airlines trim passenger service to the basics

Studies underway to see if TB vaccine lessens COVID-19 symptoms

Cambridge Bay bans alcohol imports for two weeks, citing COVID-19 concerns

Qikiqtani Inuit Association rolls out pandemic support plan

Western Nunavut gold producer TMAC reduces operations at Hope Bay

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SocialDistancing during COVID-19 pandemic: Thomas Akilak won this weekend’s snow sculpture contest in Baker Lake, Nunavut: “It is important for us as a community to remain physically active and now that the weather is warming up we can enjoy time outdoors,” the hamlet said.

Greenland introduces temporary ban on alcohol sales in three communities

Snow sculptures keep Nunavut community creative during COVID-19 shutdown

Nunavut RCMP to don masks, gloves during COVID-19 pandemic

Nunavut mine goes into “lockdown” to reduce risk of COVID-19

Nunavik declares its first confirmed COVID-19 infection in Salluit

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A terrific snow sculpture from Arviat, Nunavut where the hamlet organized a community-wide competition to get everyone out of their houses, respecting COVID-19 social distancing: here a large owl by Thomas Aniksak and a polar bear over a seal hole by Angie Curley.

Baffinland continues measures to keep COVID-19 out of Nunavut

Montreal day shelter offers lifeline to homeless Inuit women during COVID-19

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, TMAC keeps Nunavut gold mine going

Inuktut book titles available online for free during COVID-19 school closures

Quebec’s COVID-19 measures force Agnico Eagle to reduce operations in Nunavut

Nunavut artists will take a hit from this year’s Arctic cruise ban

Nunavik’s Raglan mine put into care and maintenance due to COVID-19

Canadian North changes schedule following new COVID-19 measures

Cambridge Bay pulls together to fight COVID-19

Passengers on Canadian North jets face new screening questions

Nunavik’s Raglan mine plans to send northern workers back home

Nunavut RCMP will ask callers about COVID-19 contact

Nunavut air travellers will face restrictions under N.W.T. travel ban

Nunavut mining company tries to quell concerns about potential for COVID-19

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Love this bunny by the family of Jeannie Evalik in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

COVID-19 prompts Air Inuit to cut back flight schedule

Nunavut tells post-secondary students not to book travel home

To prevent COVID-19, Agnico Eagle will let Nunavut workers go home

COVID-19 closes Inuit organization offices in Nunavut

COVID-19 concerns prompt suspension of church services in Nunavut, Nunavik

Nunavut workers at TMAC gold mine will head home to avoid COVID-19

Quebec COVID-19 measures mean Nunavik man can’t visit his mother

Ottawa’s Inuit orgs batten down the hatches during COVID-19 emergency

Canadian North, Air Inuit reduce Arctic air services

Nunavut RCMP takes measures to reduce spread of COVID-19

Canadian High Arctic Research Station acts to reduce COVID-19 risk

Airlines serving Nunavut, Nunavik tighten COVID-19 prevention efforts

More Nunavut communities take measures to keep COVID-19 at bay

Nunavut’s Baffinland gears up its crisis management plan for COVID-19

Stay home and healthy, says Nunavut’s chief medical officer

To fight COVID-19, Nunavut mining company plans to screen workers

Three Nunavut communities ask visitors to stay away due to COVID-19 concerns

Nunavik’s regional airline steps up measures to prevent new coronavirus

Canadian North ramps up coronavirus plan

Nunavut Mining Symposium cancelled due to coronavirus

Nunavut mining company updates infectious disease plan for coronavirus

Greenland evades coronavirus for now

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2019 brings encounters with the heavens, birds, ice, people, food & ransomware

 

Stars and northern lights

I am already in my bed in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on Sept. 30, with a book, when my friend runs in and says “they’re out.” I know what she means and throw on my parka and kamiks and we head out down the road towards Mt. Pelly. We stop before the bridge and step out. Huge pulsating swaths of green light are moving across the sky, curling and reforming.

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The most amazing sight: the stars, like a blanket behind the green light. How would I feel if I could see that every night?

 

Birds

I spend some of my spring watching the ducks as they meet on the lake where I live in southern Quebec. There are so many kinds, some of which are already familiar to me from the North: loons, buffleheads, common and hooded mergansers, Canada geese.

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Sometimes the ducks form a line and race back and forth across the lake after the ice melts. The water is frothing behind them. I watch them for hours. They are just having fun. In my next life, I want to be a migratory duck.

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In the North, I watch the snow buntings and redpolls. This photo shows two birds at the feeder at the same time. That only happened once when both the birds were hungry.

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Ice

Moving from north to south I see the ice break up and freeze over and over again. In April I see the melting ice under a bright red sunset at the lake.

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Then, again on June 8, it’s about midnight when the melting ice in Frobisher Bay turns pink.

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In the autumn I watch ice form in Cambridge Bay producing frost flowers.

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Then, again, back by the lake, it’s freeze-up again. This time, the island looks like it’s ready for Christmas.

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Cabins

I go to Mt. Pelly near Cambridge Bay in September with a friend to her cabin. We’re lucky because it’s warm enough to walk around on the half-frozen land. Only later we learn about the big grizzly bear that’s out and about in the vicinity at the same time.

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When I’m not in the North, I spend a lot of my time off-grid in my island cabin.

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People

What keeps me going in 2019 are people.

Here I am at the Legion in Iqaluit on a tired Friday evening in April, at the left, with a group of my former co-workers. At that moment, we have no worries.

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Food

Sometimes a good meal can make everything go smoothly. One day in Iqaluit, in June when I am recovering from a bad cold, I get two portions of the best sushi I’ve ever tasted, of Arctic char and caribou, at the Nanook food truck in Iqaluit.

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A friend in Cambridge Bay makes us a flight of drinks one night.

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And how about the neighbour’s fish? Who needs a freezer in Cambridge Bay?

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Ransomware

I am finally planning on taking a weekend off when the Government of Nunavut is hit by ransomware on Saturday, Nov. 2. On that day, I am not even sure what that is, but, from then until the end of December, I go on to write maybe 20 stories for the Nunatsiaq News about its impact on the GN, on social assistance recipients and on the delivery of health care.191213_NNLayout_6 copy.jpg

Now…

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It’s been six years since I started this blog, and I’m sure many who end up here have no idea about a series about my experiences in the Arctic in the 1990s, which I wrapped up in the spring of 2013.

In Like an iceberg, I talk about an exorcism, brain surgery with a hand drill, robins in Iqaluit and a visit to the High Arctic’s fossil forest — as well as some big issues like censorship of the press, sexual abuse and violence.

There are also many photos you won’t see anywhere else…

So, here are all the links — and relive those times with me.

Like an iceberg: on being a journalist in the Arctic

Like an iceberg, 1991…cont.

Like an iceberg, 1991…more

Like an iceberg, 1992, “Shots in the dark” 

Like an iceberg, 1992, “Sad stories”

Like an iceberg, 1993, “Learning the language of the snows”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., “Spring”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., “Chesterfield Inlet”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., more “Chesterfield Inlet”

Like an iceberg, 1994: “Seals and more”

Like an iceberg, 1994, cont., “No news is good news”

Like an iceberg, 1994 cont., more “No news is good news”

Like an iceberg, 1994 cont., “A place with four names”

Like an iceberg, 1995, “More sad stories”

Like an iceberg, 1995 cont., “No place like Nome”

Like an iceberg, 1995 cont., “Greenland”

Like an iceberg, 1995, cont. “Secrets”

Like an iceberg, 1996, “Hard Lessons”

Like an iceberg, 1996 cont., “Working together”

Like an iceberg, 1996 cont., “At the edge of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1996, more “At the edge of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1996, cont. “Choices” 

Like an iceberg, 1997, “Qaggiq”

Like an iceberg, 1997, more “Qaggiq”

Like an iceberg, 1997, “Qaggiq” cont.

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Qaggiq and hockey”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Brain surgery in POV”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont.: “Masks on an island”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Abusers on the pulpit”

Like an iceberg, 1998, “Bearing gifts”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “At the top of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “A bad week” 

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont.: more from “A bad week”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “Memories”

Like an iceberg, 1999, “The avalanche”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “An exorcism, followed by a penis cutting”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., more on “the Avalanche”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Robins in the Arctic”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Fossil hunting”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Where forests grew” 

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont.,”And then there was Nunavut”