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Clyde River captures itself on video

Karen Mackenzie
Northern News Services
Published Monday, April 28, 2008

CLYDE RIVER - Like a digital time capsule, a collection of videos from around Clyde River is one way residents hope to preserve local culture for future generations.

Inside a tiny room at the Ilisaqsivik Family Resource Centre, Mike Jaypoody has been busy archiving about 30 videotapes filmed during a past community healing retreat.

Mike Jaypoody, foreground, and Randy Tassugat work in the video studio at the Ilisaqsivik Family Resource Centre in Clyde River earlier this year. Jaypoody is archiving footage filmed during a previous healing retreat, and hopes to make a digital database available to the community in the near future. - Karen Mackenzie/NNSL photo

The material is being condensed into a searchable database, which he hopes to someday see online for anyone to access.

"For instance if they want to see goggle-making or the stories of the old days, they can just search for it," he said.

The video, which was captured by local filmmakers Limiki Illauq and Peter Ikalukjuak, includes most of the traditional activities which took place during a 2006 healing retreat.

Many of the skills shown, like harness making, were taught by elders.

"Even after the people that we have interviewed are no longer alive, we have all their consent forms to use in the future for the younger people trying to keep the culture alive," said Jaypoody, the video co-ordinator at Ilisaqsivik and community service provider for Qiniq.

"I remember growing up using all Ski-Doos, but we have different varieties of dog teams on film so even the very young will be able to see how dog teams have been used," he added.

The material could also be useful to teachers who come up from southern Canada, "and hopefully in the future we can even show it to other communities so we can have more interconnectivity with them, sharing culturally," he said.

The video studio where Jaypoody does most of his work will eventually be moved next door into the Ittaq building.

For now it hums with computers and the various other high-tech projects Jaypoody is involved with, from Powerpoint presentations to promo videos.

Aside from capturing the old ways, he is also helping a local hip hop group to record their modern dance moves.

"The hip hop dancers have great interest in recording films themselves. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of them," he said.

The group has mainly been taping choreography and routines they recently learned from the Canadian Floormasters in Ottawa, according to supervisor Meeka Paniloo.

"People still like to think that we live like the old days, so we show them that we're living in the modern age now, and that if we work hard we can do what even they do," said hip hop dancer Saila Qayaq.

Qayaq said some of their material will end up on sites like YouTube.