Our Featured Celebration
June 4th marked Flag Day in Finland. And what better time to pay tribute to this unjustly neglected jewel of the Baltic, quite a long way from Cairo and lots of miles from Vietnam. The world’s leading exporter of depressing films, heavy metal polka and mobile phones, Finland is also the only country in the world with more saunas than automobiles. The national sport of Finland, Wife-Carrying, has curiously failed to win a large international following, despite its simple rules: a official track of 253.5 meters with two dry obstacles and a water obstacle one meter deep, and a fine of 15 seconds for each time the wife is dropped. Kaija, Leila, and Joanna – this one’s for you.
The friendly new voice you’ll hear on the phone this summer during Jennifer Bradshaw’s vacation belongs to Alyssa Whiteduck, Stonecircle’s new summer student. An engineering student at the University of Ottawa, Alyssa hails from Pikwakagagan (Golden Lake) First Nation. She’ll be helping all three companies to develop databases in a number of areas; and as as accomplished hoopdancer, she’ll be raising the general awesomeness level of the Fabled Third Floor. Welcome Alyssa!
Aarluk is pleased to be working with the Inuit Heritage Trust and other heritage sector organizations in Nunavut to update their five-year strategic plan. In 2004 Aarluk worked with these groups to prepare their first strategic plan, Sivumut Kajusiniq (Moving Forward). Aarluk’s Chris Grosset, Galin Kora, and Christian Cloutier will be working on the updated strategy.
Aarluk is continuing to work with the community of Kugaaruk, and the Nunavut Territorial Parks and Special Places Division of the Government of Nunavut, on the mapping of cultural landscape resources in the Pelly Bay area. The community and government are interested in developing a territorial park in this area, and the inventory of the landscape is an important step in identifying the preferred location of a park. In May, Chris Grosset and Marla Limousin were in Kugaaruk (see photo above) to travel to the study area by snowmobile. They were joined by Becky Torretti of the Parks Division, and the trip was guided by Jessie Apsaktaun, Barthelomy Nirlungayuk, and Otto Apsaktaun. To say this trip was amazing would be an understatement: the group enjoyed beautiful scenery, dozens of archaeological sites, wildlife sightings, and a dinner of arctic char stew - and they accomplished a lot of work towards the park study.
Greg Smith and Alex Ker continue to work with the Nunavut Community Wellness Project Steering Committee and team to plan for and incorporate an evaluation methodology and tools as the pilot project rolls out in six Nunavut communities. Aarluk has been hired by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) to conduct an evaluation of the project, which will continue until March 31, 2010.
Aarluk was asked in early April to assist INAC’s Resource Policy and Programs Directorate in coordinating a consultation tour on draft legislation for its Nunavut Land Use Planning and Impact Assessment Act, the last federal legislative obligation related to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA). Relying on the unmatched logistical and organizational skills of uber-organizers Alex Ker and Chuck Gilhuly, with the help of Terry Rudden, Galin Kora, Leslie Sutherland, Jennifer Bradshaw and Geoff Rigby, which included the preparation and translation of all communications materials, notification of communities and stakeholders, and logistical coordination of travel for three teams comprising INAC and Aarluk representatives as well as interpreters, a dedicated Aarluk team of David Boult, Terry Forth and Ron Ryan, set out on an incredible journey to 10 communities in each of the three regions of Nunavut, as well as in Yellowknife, NWT by May 1st. Despite the very tight timelines and uncertain weather, the tour was a resounding success.
Following the meetings, the team will prepare a consultation report and related materials to be included in the Minister’s briefing package for the proposed legislation. INAC intends to introduce NLUPIAA in Parliament in early June.
Jennifer David is continuing her work with Aboriginal Services at Carleton University on updating the Centre’s promotional materials and developing a communications plan to raise the profile of all the Aboriginal initiatives and services at the university.
Comprehensive Land Claims organizations, academics, Aboriginal leaders and government representatives spent three productive days at Claiming our Future: Implementing Land Claims Agreements for Social and Economic Prosperity, held May 11-14. Led by Patti Black and the team from Stonecircle and Consilium, delegates enjoyed a comedy evening with Mitch Factor, as well as plenary and breakout sessions with Aboriginal academics and leaders. Conference proceedings and photos will soon be available at www.landclaimscoalition.ca/conference Here is a collage of some images from the conference.
Jennifer David and Terry Rudden completed the final report and conference proceedings from the Assembly of First Nations Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit conference, held in March.
High profile northerners, academics and bureaucrats gathered for three days to discuss themes of climate change, pace of change, land claims agreements, science policy and a new strategy for Canada’s north. Co-chaired by Mary Simon and Tony Penikett, 2030 NORTH was a major northern policy conference organized by the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC), and jointly sponsored by the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). Highlights included keynote speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier; session chairs Dr. Rob Huebert, Dr. Oran Young, John Donihee, Dr. David Hik and Dr. Franklyn Griffiths, and an impressive roster of esteemed panellists. The event was masterfully coordinated by Patti Black of Consilium, with the assistance of a cast of Consilium thousands.
The Stonecircle Team conducting the Process and Impact Evaluation of the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) has delivered its draft report to NAHO. The evaluation has been ongoing over the past year, and involved document and file reviews and interviews, and a case study of an Inuit midwifery project. Greg Smith is Project Manager, assisted by Jennifer David, Patty Saulis, David Boult, and Terry Rudden.
Two adjacent birthdays to celebrate this month – the Aarluk’s distinguished managing partner Terry Forth, June 15 (Sneak a Kiss Day) and Alex Ker, June 16 (Father’s Day)!
The Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce held its 2009 Nunavut Trade Show at the AWG Arena in Iqaluit during the first week of May. Chuck Gilhuly, Geoff Rigby, and Christian “The Clootch” Cloutier manned the Aarluk booth for two days, dispensing a record number of Official Commemorative Aarluk notepads to frenzied attendees. The event ended with a gala dinner, which included a silent auction and a delicious meal of musk-ox, char, and turbot prepared by the Skills Canada crew, with the help of the Inuksuk High School Robotics team.
Most of us relax over the summer by reading a book: Jennifer David will be spending her summer holidays writing one. This September marks the 10th year anniversary of the launch of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). Jennifer is putting together the stories of the launch of the network, including the pivotal players and process that led to the inaugural broadcast of APTN.
Greg and Marianne Smith have returned from an extensive trip to Southern Africa, stopping en route in England to visit friends. Landing in Cape Town, they spent five weeks driving and touring through South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, as well as a day in Zimbabwe visiting Victoria Falls. They also picked up a 100 TRILLION dollar bill in Zimbabwe, whose currency has unfortunately been cancelled, thus dashing Greg’s dream of using it to pay off the US and Canadian national debts, and banking the balance to fund his retirement. During the trip they logged around 7500 kilometres, and crossed paths with a large number and variety of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, baboons (one even stole part of their picnic lunch at the Cape of Good Hope), crocodiles, lions, buffalo, kudus, antelopes, vultures and others. Other highlights included a visit to Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell on Robben Island, sunset from Table Mountain, and driving through the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains and along the stunning east coast of South Africa, as well as the Kruger National Park. They also spent several days in Gaborone, Botswana, but failed to meet up with Mma Precious Ramotswe. This was Greg’s second trip to the region, and Marianne’s first, and we wish her a full recovery from the nasty bug she picked up towards the end, making the 40 hour return journey a real ordeal.
SEPARATED AT BIRTH?
Left: Chuck Gilhuly, Consilium Consulting Group General Manager. Right, some guy who looks like Chuck Gilhuly, Consilium Consulting Group General Manager.
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