Land camp number five
Youth learn hunting, survival skills

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (May 03/00) - A total of nine youth, four elders and a youth co-ordinator took part in the Makktut Sangitilirput (Youth Getting Stronger) program's fifth land-skills camp.

The group set up camp at Isluurtuuq, located about 40 kilometres southwest of Rankin Inlet, with elders Jack and Aline Kabvitok, Monica Bruce and Peter Ipkornerk sharing their knowledge with the youth.

Youth co-ordinator Dale Smutylo says the focus of the program's fifth camp was hunting and survival skills.

"All the youth shot a caribou," says Smutylo.

"For Margaret and Josephine Ussak, Sam Curley and Sam Ayaruak, it was their first caribou and a time to celebrate.

"Getting their first caribou was pretty special and their grandparents were extremely happy about that."

After the youth brought their caribou back to camp, Jack Kabvitok and Peter Ipkornerk taught them how to skin and prepare their animals.

Jack Kabvitok, who also taught the youth how to build iglus, only took a couple of participants hunting at a time to increase the odds of everyone getting a caribou.

The youth also spent some time fishing and had a lot of fun celebrating Jack's birthday on April 18.

"Jack's birthday was made even more special when some of his family and friends came in from Rankin to help celebrate the occasion.

"He had three birthday cakes, which everyone thought was pretty cool.

"We played games and had a bunch of prizes."

There was another surprise in store for the youth on Kabvitok's birthday when his wife, Aline, and Monica Bruce decided to teach everyone how to cook caribou heads.

"That was really good, really delicious," says Smutylo.

"There's a real knack or technique to it and it was a lot of fun to learn.

"All the youth and the elders seemed to really enjoy their time together.

"This camp was a positive experience for everyone involved."