October 9, 2020

Northerners are making their mark on the world through art and education, while a certain Canadian actor is giving back to a Nunavut community. Plus, the Yukon is about to get a whole lot greener. All in this week’s Up Here newsletter.

(Photo by Rita Leistner)


The newsletter-writing cycle has completed its first round, so now we’re back to me (Dana)! I hope you enjoyed the last couple newsletters from Kahlan and Jacob. 

Here at the magazine, everyone is busy putting together our next issue of Up Here. That's right–the November/December issue is only weeks away. It's hard to believe how fast the season is going and that the Thanksgiving long weekend is just about here. That means the colder weather is soon-to-come here in the North. In fact, it's already snowing in Iqaluit.

And with that, here’s the news…

Thanks for reading,
Dana Bowen

Associate Editor

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Actor Ryan Reynolds is giving back to his fellow Canadians, after teaming up with parka brand, Canada Goose. The partnership means they are donating parkas and Baffin footwear to more than 300 students
 in Arctic Bay. “It came to my attention students at Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay were going without adequate winter clothing. Of course, it highlights a larger issue of basic needs going unmet in Canada’s northern communities,” said Reynolds in a statement. (CTV News)

Screaming produces a lot of respiratory droplets, according to NWT health officials, which is why you should avoid indoor haunted houses this year. The territorial government released its Halloween guidelines, which recommends outdoor haunted houses and gives the OK for treat-or-treating, as long as precautions are in place. (CBC)

The Yukon is banning single-use plastics, as well as paper bags. "I think most people are very aware that we have a significant concern with plastic, but what is also very problematic is how much energy it takes for paper bags to be produced," Bryna Cable, director of Yukon's Environmental Protection and Assessment Branch, told CBC North. If approved, the ban could come into effect July 2021. (CBC)

Chaslyn McKay, from Fort Resolution, just placed fourth in Miss Canada Globe. The 18-year-old competed in the pageant this year, where she performed a Red River jig in Dene-inspired clothing, while advocating for missing and murdered Indigenous women. Now, she says her next venture will take her to Miss Intercontinental in the Dominican Republic. (
CKLB Radio)
Nicole Favron is the Yukon winner in the 2020 BMO 1st Art! Competition, for a video titled 5.5. Hours Of Shoveling So I Can Walk In The Path of A Moose. Her work can be seen at the University of Toronto’s Art Museum, or you can see it 
online. (Yukon News)
In honour of World Teachers' Day, the winners of the Prime Minister’s Award were announced and include three NWT Educators. This year’s NWT recipients are Kim Ivanko in Hay River, Carolyn Matthews in Fort Smith and Jennifer Kravitz in Yellowknife. The annual award celebrates outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers throughout the country.  (
Press release)

As part of a series on Inuit names, CBC North is talking about Project Surname–which made Inuit register surnames in the 1960s, despite it being an uncommon practice in their culture. CBC spoke with Peter Irniq, who changed his name back to its traditional Inuit pronunciation in 1999. It wasn’t until after that point that the government announced Inuit would no longer have to pay to change their names or the spelling of their names as a result of Project Surname. (CBC)
If you’re in search of a new northern book to settle into this fall, NWT author Jamie Bastedo’s latest may be what you’re looking for. Bastedo recently published his book, Protectors of the Planet: Environmental Trailblazers from 7 to 97. It features interviews with people from across Canada who are protecting the environment, including 12-year-old climate change activist Sophia Mathur and Inuk leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier (CBC)
Yellowknife is getting an ice cream and coffee shop just in time for winter. The owners of Sundog Adventures told Cabin Radio that they plan on opening the café by December, where they will make their own ice cream. (
Cabin Radio)
In our latest edition of Up Here, we explored the realms of space and its connection to the North. In fact, many scientists and astronauts have set up shop in Nunavut because spots like Devon Island act as a stand-in for Mars. (
Up Here)

Jacob Boon spoke with cultural anthropologist Chris Cannon about traditional northern Dene astronomy across Alaska and the Northwest Territories.
Cannon has spent a decade learning about Dene constellations and the legends behind them. (Up Here
We also looked to the past, like the time a Russian satellite crashed near Thelon River, NWT. The crash involved millions of dollars of cleanup, while the stories and artwork that rose from the incident made Yellowknife a part of Cold War history. (
Up Here

If you’re planning on travelling to Nunavik anytime soon, get ready to take two sets of COVID-19 tests. The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services announced Thursday that travelers will be tested before boarding the plane and then again seven days after arrival. The 14-day quarantine period will still be in place as cases continue to rise in Quebec. (EyeontheArctic)
(Photo courtesy of Houghton-Mars Station)


Nunavik is not the first place to instate double COVID-19 testing. Iceland has been giving those who enter the country two options: either do the 14-day quarantine or take one test upon arrival and then another one five or six days later. The government just announced that the rule will stay in place until at least December 1. (EyeontheArctic)

This year, scientists have discovered Arctic summer ice is at its second lowest in 40 years. Many predict that by 2050, we will see an ice-free Arctic summer. But one organization is hoping to change that through geoengineering. The Arctic Ice Project is still in the testing phase, but if successful, they will be able to slow down ice melting in the near future. (CBC)
A group of Alaskans had trouble submitting their ballots for the primary election, as the government didn’t know they existed. Apparently, the Alaska Division of Elections didn’t know people were living in the new community of Mertarvik, so the town never received supplies for its election...what an oversight. (Ktoo)
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