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Celebrating life in Nunavut

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (July 07/03) - Joatanie Davidee, 27, said the highlight of his life in Iqaluit was the birth of Nunavut on April 1, 1999.

He worked as a parking attendant in the capital city on that day and said although he did not get to partake in the festivities, the joy on everyone's face was enough to make him happy.

NNSL Photo

Joatanie Davidee has lived in Iqaluit all of his life. He has traveled to many of Nunavut's communities and said he's proud to live in this great part of the North.

"I was excited. It was nice to see the creation of a new territory and to witness it," he explained.

For Davidee, giving the Inuit a territory to call their own was amazing. He's traveled to communities all over Nunavut and said the birth of the territory has really reinforced the culture that he calls his own.

He believes that in order to keep the Inuit culture strong, everyone must use the Inuktitut language.

"That's one of the ways to keep our culture going -- by speaking our own language more often," he explained.

"The younger generations should start looking to the elders now and the education system should have more cultural programming."

For Davidee, a big part of keeping the culture alive is participating in community events. If there's a community feast or a barbecue, he'll be there.

When he's not out there having fun in the community, Davidee is working for the Iqaluit Housing Authority. He is also an indoor soccer and hockey referee.

"When I was about 14-years-old there was no hockey officials or soccer officials. I like sports, so one day I just decided to get into it," he explained.

It's as an officiate in these sports that Davidee has been able to travel so much.

He does love sports and that's apparent in how much he participates.

Davidee plays badminton, softball, hockey, soccer and the list goes on and on.

It's all of these things -- the sports, the job and the excitement of watching a new territory grow -- that makes Davidee want to stay in Iqaluit. He said he won't promise to be here forever, but he's definitely planning on living in the capital for many years to come.