October 16, 2020

Turkeys and pianos are flying through the North, plus Trickster star Anna Lambe has a message for aspiring Inuit artists. Also, get ready for a deep dive into the globalized cloudberry industry. All this and more in the Up Here newsletter.

Turkey time!


Hey everyone! It's me, Kahlan, back for newsletter-writing round two. 

After a much appreciated long weekend, the Up Here team is back and speedily completing the newest issue of the magazine. We also have snow in Yellowknife now! ...Opinions vary in the office on how exciting that development is, though. The roaring winds don't help. (Personally, I'm just happy that I finally get to bundle up and wear my winter jacket.)

In Yellowknife newbie news, I discovered that the local dollar store—a regular dollar store, the kind you see all the time in the south—also sells fur pelts and real-deal beading supplies. I mean, the shelves transition seamlessly from chocolate bars to flimsy Halloween masks to rabbit furs. My mind is blown.

But enough about the weather and unexpected fur purveyors. Let's enjoy some northern news.

Thanks for reading,
Kahlan Miron

Editorial Intern

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Did you enjoy a turkey dinner last weekend? At least 1,440 Yukon families did. Last weekend, volunteers distributed 1,440 turkeys "far and wide across the territory," says Dave Blottner, executive director of the Whitehorse Food Bank Society. But where did these turkeys come from? The answer lies in the federal government's surplus food fund, a $50-million program that redirects surplus food products to vulnerable people during the pandemic. Around 10 per cent goes to northern communities. The amazing part of this story, though, is that volunteers delivered the turkeys in a single day. The turkeys travelled hundreds of kilometres, to far-flung places like Watson Lake and Carmacks. They had to, after the food bank ran out of storage space. Are Thanksgiving miracles a thing? (CBC)

Pianos have to be one of the top 10 most difficult objects to move—but at least you haven’t had to airlift one into your home. (At least I hope not. For your sake, but also I don’t know how to live in a world where that’s a common occurrence.) Yellowknife’s Eric McNair-Landry now holds that claim to fame after moving a piano into the third floor of his house via helicopter last week. McNair-Landry lives in Old Town’s “eraser house,” a 1970s architectural oddity from famed architect Gino Pin that sits on a cliff. Rather than convince his friends to maneuver the family heirloom up the house’s sharp flights of stairs, McNair-Landry did the common sense thing and rented a helicopter instead. Don’t worry, the piano made a safe landing. (CBC)

Pond Inlet got its first ambulance this year. The Nunavut community received the vehicle in August as a donation from the Peel Region Paramedic Services in Ontario. It arrived ready to be put into service, as the Peel Paramedic Services fully equipped the ambulance before shipping it via sealift. They also included instruction manuals and a step-by-step video on how the ambulance works. (Kamloops This Week)

Community leaders are not happy with Baffinland’s Mary River mine expansion plan. The mayor of Clyde River said that if he had a military, he’d deploy it, and the chair of the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization said he was very unsatisfied by the outcome of the latest regulatory meeting. Plans for expansion have sparked worries over the environmental impact on marine wildlife, which would subsequently impact Inuit culture. Nunatsiaq News delves into the meeting that took place. (Nunatsiaq News)

COVID-19 has required a whole new approach to education, inspiring a number of online strategies and resources. The Northwest Territories has added one more teaching tool to its roaster with Your Big River Journey, a virtual canoe adventure that supports the NWT fourth grade social studies curriculum. With 32 historical and cultural stops along an interactive map, students learn about Inuvialuit, Dene, and Métis ways of life. (Cabin Radio)

Iqaluit-born actress Anna Lambe, who earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination from her work in The Grizzlies, reflects on her new role in the CBC series Trickster. CBC writes: “Lambe hopes her story will help inspire other youth to take a chance, and to let them know there are opportunities to pursue your passion. ‘Inuit are so talented, we're so artistic,’ Lambe said. ‘And even if your passion is not acting, maybe your passion is music, there's so many opportunities that exist out there. And even if we don't see them, they're there. They're waiting for us.’” (CBC)

Speaking of Inuit arts, two teens just received $25,000 in funding from Canadian Roots Exchange for their Inuvialuit youth magazine, Nipaturuq. The magazine was founded a year ago and is published by Inuvik's Tusaayaksat magazine. (CBC)


Read Cryopolitic’s deepdive into the cloudberry—a traditional treat and a modern labour nightmare. Learn about the global Arctic's berry-picking traditions and how a growing worldwide demand for cloudberries is impacting migrant workers. (Cryopolitic)

Take a moment to check out this mammoth sculpture, literally, in the Russian village of Suntar. The mammoth is entirely made out of tree branches. The artist isn’t named, but here’s a picture via Twitter.

A little piece of John Lennon’s legacy is in Iceland to mark his would-be 80th birthday. In 2010, on what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio sealed four time capsules to be opened in 2040. One of the time capsules is in Iceland, and will be on display until December 8 in the Reykjavik City Library (COVID-19 measures permitting), along with the library’s other Beatles-related holdings. Meanwhile, the other three time capsules can be found at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Liverpool School of Art and Design, and an unspecified location in Japan. (Iceland Review)

Interested in archeological finds? Last month, archeologists found the remains of a 1,200-year-old Viking temple for Norse gods like Thor and Odin in the Norwegian village of Ose. The large wooden building would have been used for worship and sacrifices to the gods during midsummer and midwinter solstices. (Live Science)
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