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This band has healing power

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Pelly Bay (Dec 05/05) - The Kugaaruk Gospel Band is on the road this holiday season in the West Kitikmeot.

The band scheduled two concerts in Kugluktuk this past weekend at the Community Complex and the Church.

The Kugaaruk Gospel Band - back, left to right David Illuitok, Thomas Kayaitok and front, left to right Eva Ittimangnak and Benedicta Kayaitok - travelled to performances in Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk over the weekend. - Navalik Tologanak/NNSL photo

A quick flight change and the Christmas spirit of columnist Helen Tologanak, put Cambridge Bay's Kullik Ilihakvik elementary school on the CD release tour, as well.

The Kugluktuk Radio Society raised more than $20,000 to sponsor the tour.

"The talent and culture out there is pretty awesome," said society director Donna Kaitak. "But there's a real shortage of the Kitikmeot's own supply of tunes and stories."

The band is releasing its first studio-produced collection of popular favourites this month. They play gospel music as well as traditional Inuit songs.

The self-titled CD was recorded in October at Leopard Frog Studio in Kingston, Ont.

Bandmember Eva Ittimangnak said that gospel music helps bring people peace.

"It helps people," she said. "A lot of people need healing and a lot of people are hurt from the past. It really helps when you sing gospel songs. It lets you think."

The band and its still popular tape of a live performance were first introduced to Kugluktuk a couple of years ago by the late community spiritual leaders, Sam and Lena Kikpak.

The singers will receive a shipment of their new discs in time for the holidays.