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Celebrating at the barbecue

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hundreds of people turned out for a barbecue to mark National Aboriginal Day in Rankin Inlet on June 21.

NNSL photo/graphic

RCMP Sgt. Louis Jenvenne takes his cooking seriously during the annual National Aboriginal Day barbecue in Rankin Inlet on June 21, 2012. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Then Gov. Gen. Romeo LeBlanc proclaimed June 21 as National Aboriginal Day in 1996 to recognize aboriginal people, their culture and history, and how they helped build our country.

Three years later, LeBlanc also signed the proclamation for the creation of Nunavut on April 1, 1999. The annual National Aboriginal Day barbecue in Rankin has been a team effort of the Rankin detachment of the RCMP and the Kissarvik Coop store for the past four years.

Sgt. Louis Jenvenne said when he first arrived in Rankin in 2009, the Co-op and Rankin detachment held their own barbecues. He said it only made sense to combine the two into a bigger event.

"The partnership has worked extremely well because the Co-op is a community organization and we're a community organization," said Jenvenne.

"The fact we can work together so well shows how Nunavut is going to get ahead; by people and organizations co-operating. And, to me, that's what matters."

Jenvenne said the two organizations pool their resources so they can offer a better barbecue for everyone.

He said the event has attracted an excellent turnout during the past four years.

"The RCMP allows us a certain amount of dollars for each community to provide this service.

"We purchase hot dogs, buns and stuff from the Co-op, and it provides the prizes given away at the event.

"I don't know if we supply the total amount for the food every year, but we do donate quite a bit of money.

"We work together to put on a nice show for the community."

Jenvenne said, judging by the annual turnouts, people are still quite enthusiastic about National Aboriginal Day in Rankin. He said the detachment always looks forward to hosting the barbecue with the Co-op.

"I'm at the barbecue every year, and any member who's available shows up.

"All our members are keen to take part in this."

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