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NNSL Photo/graphic

The members of the Sanikiluaq Home and School association check out the two-headed polar bear rug made by Nuiyak school students. The consensus around this table was that $15,000 is too low a price. From left are Betsy Meeko, Marilyn Dunford, Annie Inuktaluk, Maria Kudlurarok, Tim Hoyt, Dinah Kavik, Mary Kavik, Davidee Kowcharlie, Bill Fraser, Margaret Leggs and Caroline Iqaluk. - photo courtesy of John Jamieson

Two heads are better than one

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services

Sanikiluaq (Apr 10/06) - What's white, has two heads and can be found in Sanikiluaq?

It's the mysterious two-headed polar bear, and residents of the tiny island hamlet expect to cash in on this unique creation.

No, there is no such thing as a two-headed polar bear - they are usually found in the bland one-headed variety. John Jamieson from Nuiyak school thought that if they added another head to the bear, it would be a hot item at a trade show in Quebec.

The price tag for this one of-a-kind monster is $15,000, which Jamieson sees as a reasonable price, considering the effort involved. Mounting a two-headed bear took the work of fur program instructor Hannah Kavik and a team of her students a week to put together.

"This one took more sewing. They worked hard and I'm happy," said Kavik.

Nunavut News/North asked four of Kavik's students - who all worked on the two-headed bear - the most important question: what would you do if you saw a two-headed bear on the land?

"I'd have a heart attack," said Martha Cookie. She added, "This was a lot of fun. It was different and scary."

Silatik Cookie had the most honest answer of the bunch, saying, "I'd pee myself." For her next project, she would like to work on an Arctic fox.

Caroline Meeko was very practical. "I'd be scared, then I'd shoot it," said Meeko. When asked what she had learned from Kavik, she simply answered, "Everything."

Louisa Sala would "run to a house and tell them" if she saw the two-headed bear. She has learned a lot from Kavik, saying, "I'm a better sewer now."

The fur program is run through the local non-profit daycare centre. With $15,000, they can afford to buy more furs, turn them into rugs, and keep adding to the bottom-line of the daycare.