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Party at Shingle Point

Erin Fletcher
Northern News Services

Shingle Point (Aug 11/03) - For some, a great weekend is about sleeping in, playing games and eating whatever they want.

NNSL Photo

Able Tingmiak reaches sky high during a blanket toss on Shingle Point.

And that's how more than 100 people from Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk and Alaska spent their August long weekend at Shingle Point.

"It was the best weekend. The gathering itself was unbelievable," said Inuvik resident Roy Ipana, a member of the Northern Games Society.

"The hospitality was unbelievable. You couldn't turn anywhere without eating."

Ipana satisfied his hunger with everything from burgers to caribou stew, dried fish and muktuk.

"We ate everything on the menu and we didn't even have to use our own groceries. It was like a flowing fountain of food."

The spontaneous get-together was a joint idea between Aklavik and the Northern Games Society. Traditionally it was a whaling camp for the Inuvialuit.

Today the sandy beach, the Beaufort Sea, the great hunting and fishing, the cool wind and the friendly people bring local families back year after year.

"It's so nice there," said Ipana. "I probably could have stayed there until school started."

The weekend kicked off on Friday with a memorial service dedicated to those who lived, hunted and fished along the same beach over the centuries.

"The memorial service was a really warm service," said Ipana, adding many people built houses, went to school and lived their lives on the Point.

The Northern Games Society chartered a boat so elders could also join in the fun. They especially enjoyed the drumming and dancing and many joined in, said Ipana.

Games abounded and more than 100 prizes were up for grabs. Adults and children played everything from foot races to long jump, tug of war to Inuvialuit horse shoe.

A run of Arctic Char rounded the weekend off nicely. While some people stayed around to play Northern Games, many went out to fish while the run was hot.

Hundreds of fish were caught. Ipana saw one boat come in with 60 after one night of fishing with a rod.

"Nobody wanted to leave and everybody wanted to fish."

Shingle Point is the site for many summer gatherings. This one was the first in a while to include so many people and to celebrate the lives of those who used to live on the Point. Ipana hopes the gathering will become an annual event.