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Cultures celebrating together

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mother Nature cooperated for the second year in a row so a huge crowd of merrymakers could come out to celebrate Nunavut Day in Rankin Inlet on July 9.

NNSL photo/graphic

Elder Emilia Nokkitok takes care to get her bannock just right during Nunavut Day activities in Rankin Inlet. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The event, hosted primarily by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), featured a number of events for kids of all ages, including live entertainment, adult games, elder tea-and-bannock making, boat races, prize draws and a clown for the kids.

Rankin Mayor Pujjuut Kusugak, who also works fulltime for the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA), said the community's been lucky with the great weather on Nunavut Day during the past few years. He said it was great to see live performances by local talent throughout the celebration.

"It was nice to see people out enjoying themselves in the great weather and coming together to celebrate Nunavut Day," said Kusugak.

"I didn't see too many of the events myself, because I was too busy handing out hamburgers and hotdogs all afternoon.

"I barely had a chance to look up from what I was doing, it was so busy.

"We went through an awful lot of food, with lines of people being served non-stop for at least three hours."

Kusugak said the KIA allowed any of its employees to help with the festivities who wanted to volunteer their time, as long as they let NTI know of their intentions.

He said there were a lot of employees from both NTI and KIA who helped run the various events.

"Speaking as the mayor of Rankin Inlet, it felt pretty good to see Inuit and non-Inuit alike out having a good time and enjoying the day.

"It really showed how well Inuit and non-Inuit get along together in Nunavut.

"We all need to be able to work, live and enjoy celebrations like this together.

"It really makes our community more cohesive for anybody, and having that welcoming factor is always great to see because it goes a long way for people who have just moved to Rankin, or who are visiting, to feel part of our community."

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