April 5, 2019
This week, Nunavut turns 20, the Arctic is melting (faster than we thought), and “Yukon” pizza is served up in Las Vegas.


Penny, the Cabin Radio puppy, is a big fan of our latest issue. Editor Jessica Davey-Quantick was on the airwaves this week, along with APTN's Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs, to talk about their collaboration on Nunavut's 20th anniversary. You can read Jess's exhaustive feature all about the future of the territory right here, and a bit more about what went into making the special project here. (Be sure to also check out APTN's Nunavut20 coverage throughout the month.)

Hey! We put up our sign. The darn thing's been cluttering up the office for the last few months, but with the warmer weather it was finally hung this week. Looks sharp, no?

As always, thanks for reading,
Jacob Boon



By no means were we the only outlets covering Nunavuts 20th birthday. The CBC asked Nunavummiut to reflect on the territory’s growth these past two decades. Canadian Geographic broke down the people, the agreement, the land, and the territory. Nunatsiaq News put together a special supplement reviewing the territory’s successes and challenges. And Nunavut News Online interviews Bert Rose, the man who spent 15 months doing nothing but planning Nunavut’s first birthday party.

Part of that special supplement from Nunatsiaq is this thorough exploration of Nunavut’s musical scene—from pioneering performers like William Tagoona and Charlie Panigoniak, to mainstream superstars such as Susan Aglukark, along with up-and-coming acts like Kelly Fraser and Hyper T.

Inuk performers are actually all over the music media landscape this week. Elisapie spoke to NPR’s All Things Considered about leaving the community of Salluit as a teenager, Pangnirtung’s Riit tells The Fader about the importance of Inuktitut, and Tanya Tagaq graces the cover of the U.K.'s Wire magazine.

Speaking of Tanya Tagaq, she and several other prominent Inuit artists are boycotting the Indigenous Music Awards over cultural appropriation concerns. Cree performer Connie LeGrande (Cikwes), who uses throat singing in some of her work, is nominated for an IMA this year against two Inuk performers. And throat singing, laments Tagaq on social media, isn't some “pan-Indigenous free for all.” Lisa Meeches, head of the IMAs, tells CBC that cultural appropriation isn’t possible within the Indigenous community. Unsurprisingly, those comments have not been well received

A terrifying new report from Environment Canada shows this country is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the world. Average annual temperatures have increased across the globe by 0.8 degrees C since 1948. Canada’s annual average temperature, on the other hand, has jumped by 1.7 degrees. The North has seen a 2.3-degree increase. “The human factor is dominant” as a cause, warn federal scientists.

In unrelated news—that’s absolutely 100-per cent related—NWT’s Chamber of Commerce is paying blogger Vivian Krause to come up from British Columbia and speak at its AGM. Krause’s “research” involves spreading conspiracy theories that American philanthropists are using charitable donations to Canadian environmental organizations as a way to prevent Canada from exporting oil. Renée Comeau, the Chamber’s executive director, says Krause wasn’t invited to speak about her views on climate change. She’ll just be speaking about “the amount of regulation stalling the industrial economy.” Not related at all!

Elsewhere, the North’s freakish heat wave continues its rampage. Inuvik’s igloo village is the latest victim of the early melt, which has already impacted ice roads, snow castles, and Inuvik’s muskrat jamboree. (CBC)

Yellowknife may play host to next year’s Hockey Day in Canada (provided there’s any ice left). A briefing note prepared for city councillors says Rogers considers Yellowknife "the ideal location" for Hockey Day 2020. (Cabin Radio)

Yukon MLA John Streicker marked 25 years of the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre and the overall beauty of swans by letting loose a couple of commemorative honks in the Legislature. (CBC)

Those swans flying back from the south might want to stop over in Las Vegas for a taste of home. Alex White’s Yukon Pizza makes Neapolitan-style pies out of a sourdough starter his great-great-grandfather started way back in 1827 in the Yukon. (Nevada Public Radio)

“Sign of spring in Whitehorse as people keep dressing up the bust of Pierre Berton,” tweets CBC’s Philippe Morin. Cool shades, Bert. (Twitter)



Baffinland is ramping up its PR game, as the company looks for approval to expand its Mary River mine. “Inuit employment is only going to grow at Baffinland under all scenarios,” CEO Brian Penney said, ahead of this week’s Nunavut Mining Symposium. “And hopefully someday Baffinland will be run by Inuit, totally.” (Nunavut News)

The company announced this week it's signed a new MOU with the territory, and a new air contract with Arctic Co-Op. Baffinland also poached Nunavut’s deputy minister of economic development, Udloriak Hanson, as its new vice president of community and strategic development. (CBC

For decades, Canada and Denmark have had a friendly rivalry over who owns Hans Island—a tiny, uninhabited speck in the Kennedy Channel. Now, a Canadian geologist has filed a mineral exploration claim for the aforementioned “pimple of rock” in hopes of settling the boundary dispute once and for all. “It was done on a bit of a lark.” (City News)

Teslin has become a world leader in biomass heating. The Yukon community's waste-wood boilers were purchased by the Teslin Tlingit Council last year with a $595,000 investment from the feds. The system now heats 10 of Teslin's buildings and has been visited by hundreds of curious policymakers. (CBC)


National Canadian Film Day opens wide on April 17, with screenings of classic Canadian films—and also the Corner Gas movie—in theatres, libraries, schools and public spaces across the country, including several throughout the territories. (CFD)

Kids in Yellowknife will get the chance to meet Melissa Haney, the first female Inuk commercial airliner pilot, when she arrives later this month for a series of workshops put on by Elevate Aviation. The Edmonton-based non-profit wants to get kids—especially young girls—excited about potential careers up in the air. (Cabin Radio)

And it's not exactly an event to participate in—more of a thing to go purchase—but make sure to pick up the new issue of Canadian Art magazine, which is devoted to Inuit art and artists. (CanadianArt)


When I started this project I didn't think I’d be writing so much about literal crap. “Climate change could melt decades worth of human poop at Denali National Park in Alaska,” says USA Today. The 66 tons of frozen feces left on Denali’s summit could start melting as early as this summer. Meanwhile, dog poop and pee are having a hazardous impact on Finland’s urban environment. (Radio Canada

Some other Alaskan news this week, including long-overdue honours for five Tlingit veterans from World War II who used their Indigenous language to help the military hide secret communications. Unlike the more famous Navajo Code Talkers in the south, the Tlingit soldiers were ordered to never talk about their mission in case the unbroken codes were needed in the future. “Their families had no idea that the five men were heroes.” (Associated Press)

Two important rulings in U.S. federal courts for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, including one that concluded Donald Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed the country’s longstanding ban on offshore drilling in the wilderness area. We’ve already covered how vital those lands are to the Porcupine caribou herdOddly, though, nobody seems to know how much oil there actually is under the ANWRDecades ago a single test well was drilled. Its findings “have been one of the oil industry’s most closely guarded secrets,” reports the New York Times. Until now. The newspaper found some clues about the well's results hidden 4,000 miles away from the Arctic, in a Cleveland courthouse’s archives. (NY Times)

Finally, this summer's most thrilling blockbuster is a 73-second video of a massive glacier collapsing in Jokulsarlon, Iceland, sending huge waves towards desperately fleeing tourists. Thankfully, no one was hurt. (Daily Mail)
 Pictured above is award-winning APTN journalist Cullen Crozier, being held by his grandfather, the late Peter Fraser. Crozier, adapting a story recorded by his grandfather, is this year’s winner of the Sally Manning Award for Indigenous Creative Non-Fiction. The shaggy-duck story he submitted tells the tale of a young trapper, Fraser, befriending an injured waterfowl and ultimately enlisting the talents of his new feathered friend for hunting: 

“I brought the duck back to camp, wrapped him in an old blanket, put him in my sleigh and babied him all the way home. It wasn’t a long trip, maybe three miles or so, and the going was easy enough. Every now and then, we’d hit a bump and the duck would pop his shiny-green head up out of the blanket and have a look around. Sometimes he’d even glance back up at me, wondering who this strange boy was and where the hell I was taking him, I imagine.”

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