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Something fishy in Repulse

Cultural theme popular at tail end of semester

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Repulse Bay (May 14/03) - Being a student at Tusarvik school in Repulse Bay can really stink this month.

That's because the school's cultural theme is fish.

The school attempts to feature a different theme every month for the academic program to rotate around.

Long-time Tusarvik teacher Leonie Aissaoui says in addition to being fun and informative, the cultural theme allows students, staff and community members to spend some quality time together.

"We 've been trying to add different themes for many years," says Aissaoui.

"It seems we always had people either sewing or in shop. That was it.

"There's much more to Inuit culture than that."

This month's fishy theme is proving itself quite popular among students.

Aissaoui says there's lots of research material available on the topic, and elder John Tinashlu came to the school to give students a practical demonstration.

In fact, one might say the students have scaled great heights of material, and really hooked onto the subject matter in order to reel in as much information as they could.

"Our elder not only demonstrated the proper way to cut and clean a fish, he also showed the students the different organs inside and explained what each was for."

The best part of having a theme such as fish is that it includes culinary skills.

And the Repulse students have spent a good deal of time tasting a variety of dishes.

Since most people in Repulse boil their fish, oven roasted became the early favourite among taste buds.

However, after a rough start, the oven was toppled by a newcomer to Repulse cuisine when Sister Marianna Jung introduced sushi.

"At first, a lot of the students didn't want to taste it, especially when they saw it was rolled in seaweed.

"But, at the end, there was nothing left. What they didn't eat, they took home to their parents.

"They also took turns preparing their own sushi and really had a lot of fun."

Aissaoui says the school paid for the gas and enlisted the aid of people who had to perform community service to provide the fish.

"Those same people are going out on the bay to prepare fishing holes for the students this week.

"Once they're ready, we're going to hold our own little fishing derby."