Celebration in the Keewatin
Spotlight on Addictions

Marty Brown
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (Nov 11/98) - Jenny Mariq, the drug and alcohol co-ordinator, is planning on starting a Gamalon, an organization for gamblers patterned after Alcoholic Anonymous.

"It's time we got serious," she said. "If we're not going to move, nobody is."

And Mariq does seem to be moving. Two or three times a month, she and drug and alcohol worker Mary Kreelik go to the school and talk to students about the perils of drinking and sniffing.

The community approached the Tunganiq Addiction Project, where they work, for information on liquor regulations.

"The community has a choice of having an open hamlet, which means you can do pretty much as you like, or a prohibited community, which means you can't buy it but can drink it and make it, or a dry community, which means no alcohol at all. The community wants a plebiscite but they want information first," Mariq said, adding that meeting was scheduled for last night.

Currently, the community is open.

The women run a weekly information radio show every Tuesday night, dealing with different addictions. Mariq hopes to do radio shows on self-esteem in mid-December.

Not everyone in the Keewatin will be celebrating National Addictions Awareness Week, Nov. 16 - 20.

Andy Kowtak, the drug and alcohol worker in Whale Cove will be travelling for a month, so he's planning on having a program in the new year.

Susan Pameok in Arviat will be holding drug and alcohol programs in February.

The Chesterfield Inlet drug and alcohol workers' position is vacant right now, so there's nothing happening there this month.

Aqsaaraq Addictions Project in Rankin Inlet will be busy the week of Nov. 9-15.

Lynne Rudd, who works in the Aqsaaraq office, has issued a challenge to all smokers in the hamlet: She wants smokers to drop off a loonie for every package of cigarettes they buy during Addictions Week.

"All proceeds go to the Deacons Cupboard, the food bank in Rankin," Rudd said.

Also in Rankin Inlet, on Thursday afternoon, there's an open house at the Aqsaaraq office and at night there'll be a radio show on Alcoholics Anonymous. Do you want to learn about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects? On Friday afternoon there will be an information at the Community Wellness Centre on FAS/FAE.

AA/Aqsaaraq are jointly sponsoring a dry dance at the Siniktarvik Hotel on Friday night. The dance is limited to only 100 people. Advance tickets are available at Aqsaaraq.

How about lunch and listening to a speaker from AA? That takes place Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Community Learning Centre. An open AA meeting will follow.