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Elders play out the past

Workshop educates public on shaman rituals

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Aug 21/02) - The weather in Rankin Inlet plays no favourites.

So it comes as no surprise the weather of the past seven weeks wrecked havoc with programs of the Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre.

Noah Tiktak, a youth program development co-ordinator with the centre, says several additional programs could have been held if the weather had been more co-operative.

"We did hold our annual char run at the Diane River, but we weren't able to do any boating at all," says Tiktak.

"The weather this summer hasn't co-operated for anyone, let alone our program."

Tiktak says the centre was able to hold a successful elders program, despite the inclement weather.

He says nine elders from around Nunavut joined with an instructor from Lavalle University in Quebec and another from Holland to conduct a week-long workshop.

The two instructors made the trip because of their keen interest in spirituality or shamanism.

Tiktak says the workshop involved shamanism and life skills, but mostly focused on shamanism.

"The elders made up and acted out their own play on how shamanism was used years ago in our culture.

"The play took place at Ollie Ittinuar's cabin. It was videotaped and the community was invited out to watch."

A youth workshop scheduled for June has been rescheduled for January 2003.

Tiktak says the friendship centre was also hoping to hold a back-to-school bash for local youth before school resumed.

The weather played a role once again, however, and the prizes ordered for the event never arrived on time.

The centre is now looking to hold the bash during the last weekend in August.

Tiktak says the event will feature two days worth of games and prizes at three or four different locations.

He says the focus of the gathering is to bring kids of all ages together.

"We want to see more interaction between the older and younger kids. Hopefully, if the kids get to know each other better, they'll develop new friendships and improve their attitudes towards each other in school."