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Commissioner on an award-giving spree

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Whale Cove (July 26/04) - They have saved lives in their communities and made a difference through volunteering in the Kivalliq region.

Last week, Commissioner of Nunavut Peter Irniq recognized them publicly for their achievements at ceremonies in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove.

Reeling from Nunavut Day celebrations that day, the community hall in Rankin Inlet was packed on July 9 as Taina Kubluitok, Peter Kaput, John Ayaruaq, Margaret Papak, Veronica Papak, and Jenny Tootoo received awards for bravery.

The commissioner also recognized Rankin Inlet residents Thomas Suvissak for his volunteering, and Jenny Tootoo again for acquisition of special skills.

Tootoo has been sewing seal skin booties, zipper pulls made of seal skin and wall hangings with traditional Inuit designs since 1951.

"She is a role model for her community and for Nunavut," said Irniq.

In Whale Cove, Louis Oklaga, Irene Oklaga, David-Leo Kritterdlik Oklaga, Caitlyn-Elise Oklaga and Jack Angoo received bravery awards.

In the second half of the Whale Cove ceremony, Robert Emard, Stanley Adjuk, Gerard Maktar, Robert Enuapik, Solomon Voisey and Eva Voisey all received awards for being outstanding volunteers.

Since December 2001 the commissioner has handed out almost 300 awards.

As commissioner of Nunavut, Irniq has visited every community in Nunavut except Sanikiluaq, Arctic Bay, Nanisivik, and Hall Beach.