The Iqaluit Action Lab teamed up with Polar Outfitting and Solomon Awa to organize two Elder and Youth boating trips in August 2017. Working with Iqaluit’s Elders (and almost-Elders) Elisapi Aningmuiq, Simon Nattaq, Jacobie Atamie, Ben Kovic, Rosie Naulaq, and Solomon Awa, they shared stories and skills. There was a public callout for up to six Iqaluit youth (13-18 years) to join in a day outing on Saturday August 26, and another six youth on Sunday August 27. Youth participants needed to have their parents or guardians sign a permission form. We drew names and confirmed a full participant list on Thursday before the weekend trips.
The youth learned boat safety, trip planning, how to set up a tent, light a qulliq, collect material for fire, make fishing and sealing nets. They also listened to stories about navigation, survival skills, safety kits, and experiences of living on the land. They helped make tea, soup, bannock, and collect berries. They also were involved in butchering and eating freshly hunted seal.
This activity was offered to youth at no cost. Elders and Polar Outfitting were paid for their service. Thanks to Solomon Awa and Alex Flaherty for taking leadership. This project was funded by the Government of Canada as part of Canada150 activities.