Nunatsiaq News
Pack up your popcorn. There’s a film fest coming to Iqaluit to celebrate Inuktut-language month, on the afternoon of Feb. 24 at the Astro Theater. The films include Roselynn Akulukjuk’s The Owl and the Lemming, which was named best animation at the American Indian Film Festival last year. Look for the upcoming article on nunatsiaq.com. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELYNN AKULUKJUK)
Pack up your popcorn. There’s a film fest coming to Iqaluit to celebrate Inuktut-language month, on the afternoon of Feb. 24 at the Astro Theater. The films include Roselynn Akulukjuk’s The Owl and the Lemming, which was named best animation at the American Indian Film Festival last year. Look for the upcoming article on nunatsiaq.com. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELYNN AKULUKJUK)
NEWS February 19, 2018 - 10:30 am

Nunavut judge tosses Harper-era mandatory sentence

Mandatory minimum on firearms charge "grossly disproportionate"

JIM BELL

A mandatory minimum sentence of four years in jail for reckless discharge of a firearm would be “grossly disproportionate” and in breach of the Charter of Rights were it applied in the case of a young first-time Inuk offender from Baker Lake, Justice Earl Johnson has ruled.

Johnson, now a deputy...

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NEWS February 19, 2018 - 9:30 am

Scientists track DNA of seabirds killed in Nunavut turbot fishery

“Does the local fishery kill local birds or is it killing international birds?”

BETH BROWN

Each year, a few hundred seabirds die in Nunavut fishing nets.

Whether the birds themselves are from Nunavut isn’t clear.

That’s what researcher Jennifer Provencher is trying to figure out.

The dead birds, usually northern fulmars, become part of a vessel’s “bycatch,” and are recorded by the...

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NEWS February 19, 2018 - 7:59 am

Nunavut cops grab 4.5 pounds of weed bound for Igloolik

Joseph Auksaq, 39, charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Nunavut RCMP have seized a 4.5-pound shipment of marijuana headed for Igloolik, police said last Friday in a news release.

Police seized the drugs at the Iqaluit airport on Jan. 31, after searching a man’s luggage with a warrant.

Three RCMP entities—the Iqaluit detachment, “V” division...

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TAISSUMANI February 17, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Taissumanni, Feb. 17

Thank you, Peter Freuchen

KENN HARPER

Sometime this spring a small cheque will arrive in my mailbox.

It will come from the Public Lending Right Program of the Canada Council for the Arts. It will be based on a sampling from certain libraries of the number of my published copyrighted titles that were held by Canadian libraries during...

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NEWS February 17, 2018 - 1:30 pm

This week in good news: Feb. 10 to Feb. 17

A baby is born safely to a Nunavut woman in a Winnipeg hotel room

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

A baby’s safe birth is always a reason for celebration—and this was particularly the case with the unexpected and sudden arrival of little Michael who was born Feb. 12 in a Winnipeg hotel room.

Angela Okalik, 27, was in her hotel room at the Canada Inn in Winnipeg on Feb. 12 with two of her...

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NEWS February 17, 2018 - 11:00 am

New book celebrates Annie Pootoogook’s art

Cutting Ice seeks to put the acclaimed Inuit artist’s short life within its proper context

JOHN THOMPSON

Cutting Ice isn’t just a beautifully packaged, representative collection of the drawings of Annie Pootoogook—although it is that.

The book, released this month by Goose Lane Editions, also helps put the life and art of the groundbreaking Inuit artist in its proper context.

That includes a...

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NEWS February 17, 2018 - 9:29 am

Iqaluit City Council dumps CAO, appoints acting boss

For 15 years, Iqaluit's top administrative job has been a poisoned chalice

JIM BELL

Less than three years after he started, Muhamud Hassan is gone from the top administrative job at the City of Iqaluit, the city said yesterday afternoon in a news release.

Hassan’s current employment contract for the chief administrative officer position “is soon to expire,” and city councillors...

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NEWS February 16, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Health officials say Nunavik man’s 2017 death was from TB

"It was the first death in Nunavik in several decades directly related to TB"

SARAH ROGERS

(Updated Feb. 17)

A young man from Nunavik has died from tuberculosis.

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services confirmed the death only this week, although the victim died at home in June 2017.

“While the death occurred last June the coroner’s report only recently [in January]...

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NEWS February 16, 2018 - 1:30 pm

What you read on Nunatsiaqonline.ca from Feb. 4 to Feb. 11

Coverage of the trial of Nunavik woman's alleged murderer among the most-read stories

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The top five stories on Nunatsiaqonline.ca this past week described some alarming events: a violent attack, a murder trial and a suspected murder.

The most-read story of the week described how an axe-wielding Iqaluit man was arrested after a brawl with police.

Daniel Caza, 29, of Iqaluit faces...

FULL STORY
NEWS February 16, 2018 - 10:30 am

Nunavik health officials want equal benefits for Inuit staff

Discrepancy between Inuit and non-Inuit employee benefits has created racial tensions, inquiry hears

SARAH ROGERS

Nunavik’s health agency says it needs to offer more incentives and better pay to recruit and retain Inuit employees of the region’s health care system.

Minnie Grey, director of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, told a Quebec inquiry Feb. 13 that a discrepancy in pay and...

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NEWS February 16, 2018 - 9:30 am

Crown attempts to cast doubt on accused murderer’s credibility

Prosecutor arranges demonstration to show deceased Nunavik woman could not have attempted suicide

COURTNEY EDGAR

MONTREAL—On the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 14, Kwasi Benjamin spent his second day in the witness box, testifying in own defence at his second-degree murder trial in connection with the 2015 death of his girlfriend, Nellie Angutiguluk of Puvirnituq.

Benjamin’s trial, before Quebec Superior Court...

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NEWS February 16, 2018 - 8:00 am

Judges hear appeal on Kivalliq Hall residential school dispute

Decision could take several months

STEVE DUCHARME

A panel of judges will now spend several months mulling over how to decide an appeal by the Government of Canada, demanding that Rankin Inlet’s Kivalliq Hall be struck from a list of Indian Residential Schools, after lawyers delivered arguments at the Nunavut Court of Justice, Feb. 13.

Kivalliq...

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NEWS February 15, 2018 - 2:30 pm

PM Trudeau proposes sweeping new Indigenous rights plan

"We need a government-wide shift in how we do things"

JIM BELL

Declaring that Canada has a responsibility “to do better, to be better,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the House of Commons yesterday that his government will create a big new plan, prior to the next federal election in October 2019, to fully recognize and implement Indigenous rights.

To...

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NEWS February 15, 2018 - 1:30 pm

New building in the works for Tukisigiarvik

August sunset date for Iqaluit healing centre

BETH BROWN

Iqaluit’s Tukisigiarvik Society may get the new home it needs before its current building is demolished this summer, its executive director told Iqaluit city council this week.

That’s if all the paperwork pans out.

The cultural healing centre wants to relocate to Building 534 on the Road to...

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NEWS February 15, 2018 - 10:30 am

Alianait seeks budding Nunavut songwriters

Up-and-coming artists wanted for Iqaluit workshop

BETH BROWN

Nunavut songwriters take note: Alianait has an opportunity for emerging musicians that includes a trip to the territorial capital.

Juno-award-winning singer-songwriter William Prince will join six emerging Nunavut artists in Iqaluit March 25 to March 30 for a songwriters’ workshop hosted by...

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NEWS February 15, 2018 - 9:30 am

Nunavut mom gives birth in Winnipeg hotel room

Baby Michael was born quickly but safely on Feb. 12

SARAH ROGERS

By all accounts, Angela Okalik was well-prepared to give birth.

The mom from Whale Cove arrived in Winnipeg late January ahead of her Feb. 19 due date, when she was expecting her third child.

She travelled from the Kivalliq to Winnipeg with the support of an escort, her aunt Simona Teenak, while...

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NEWS February 15, 2018 - 8:00 am

For Inuktut language month, QIA targets readers and writers

“Inuktitut is key to preserving our culture and identity as Inuit"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is hosting a number of initiatives and events throughout the region this month to celebrate and promote Inuktut.

Across Nunavut, February is Inuktut-language month, Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, and the theme of this year’s celebration is Inuit beliefs and myth.
...

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NEWS February 14, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavut’s status of women council seeks photos for women’s day exhibit

Photos of families on display March 8 at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

If you live in Nunavut and like to take photos, you may wish to enter the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council photo competition for International Women’s Day 2018.

Selected photos, including the top 10 winning photos, will then go on display in an exhibition at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit...

FULL STORY
NEWS February 14, 2018 - 1:45 pm

Montreal police locate missing Inuk teen

Eva Kudluk, 14, had been missing since Sunday, Feb. 11

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

(Updated Feb. 14)

Montreal police have located a young Inuk woman who had been reported missing in Montreal since last weekend.

Eva Kudluk, 14, had been missing since Sunday, Feb. 11. Montreal police posted a photo of the young woman from their Twitter account on Feb. 12.

“We fear for her...

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COMMENTARY February 14, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Legal Ease, Feb. 14

How can lawyers exclude jurors?

JAMES MORTON

In a Canadian criminal jury trial, both the prosecution and the defence are allowed to block a certain number of people from sitting on the jury without giving any reasons for excluding them.

The right to block someone from sitting on the jury without any explanation is known as a peremptory...

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NEWS February 14, 2018 - 11:30 am

Accused murderer denies killing Nunavik woman in 2015

"It was a pretty good relationship, but we had our ups and downs"

COURTNEY EDGAR

Special to Nunatsiaq News

MONTREAL—Kwasi Benjamin, 32, who stands accused of second-degree murder in the May 2015 death of Nellie Angutiguluk, took to the witness box in his own defence on Tuesday, Feb. 13, insisting he did not strangle the woman and that he thought she was sleeping.

Angutiguluk,...

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LETTERS February 14, 2018 - 10:30 am

Iqaluit reader fed up with cold weather service stoppages

"Never did the city come to a screeching halt just because of temperature"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

It would be interesting to know who is responsible for this new policy of discontinuing municipal services when the wind chill causes temperatures to drop below -50.

I have lived here almost 30 years and unless there was a severe blizzard, services were never stopped.

Until Iqaluit became the...

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Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette speaks to reporters Feb.15 at the Quebec City airport, where the province’s air ambulance is stationed. Government officials announced the province has made accommodations to the Challenger jet to allow parents to accompany their children “most of the time.” This is in response to demands from a group of Montreal physicians who complained about sick children travelling south unaccompanied—especially Inuktitut-speaking children from Nunavik. (PHOTO COURTESY OF GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC)
Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette speaks to reporters Feb.15 at the Quebec City airport, where the province’s air ambulance is stationed. Government officials announced the province has made accommodations to the Challenger jet to allow parents to accompany their children “most of the time.” This is in response to demands from a group of Montreal physicians who complained about sick children travelling south unaccompanied—especially Inuktitut-speaking children from Nunavik. (PHOTO COURTESY OF GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC)