November 6, 2020
Red foxes might be invading the Arctic, Inuttitut operas, and the North says goodbye to Max Ward. This and more in the Up Here newsletter.


Ah, the post-Halloween transition. Have you eaten all your candy yet? Is that pumpkin still on your step? I promise I don't usually get this nostalgic (except that's a total lie, I am a reminiscence machine), but the alternative is to either launch immediately into December festivities—which, as a purist, I cannot allow—or spend my introduction in an anxiety-fuelled spiral about what's happening south of the border. The future is uncertain, the present is a nightmare. So yeah. How about those pumpkins, eh?

Let's focus on some northern news instead.

Thanks for reading,
Kahlan Miron

Editorial Intern

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Legendary pilot Max Ward passed away this Monday at age 98. Ward came to the Northwest Territories as a bush pilot after World War 2 and made a major impact on the territory’s aviation industry as the founder of charter company Wardair. The company became the third-largest airline in Canada before it was sold in 1989. Inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1975, Ward left a significant mark on the territory he loved. He died in his hometown of Edmonton. (Up Here)

One fourth-grade student in PEI went above and beyond for her school assignment with online help from Northerners. Assigned to do a project on the Northwest Territories, Lily wasn’t content with Googling basic facts on the territory. So she posted questions to a Yellowknife Facebook page, asking for stories and fun facts about the northern city. The post received over a hundred responses. Thanks to that northern hospitality, Lily’s assignment was a major success. (Cabin Radio)

Soccer in the Arctic? It’s not as unbelievable as you might think. Read about how players adjust their favourite sport to the tundra environment, and how the game supports mental well-being, in this FIFA article that interviews President of the Nunavut Soccer Association Joselyn Morrison. (FIFA)

Speaking of soccer, have you seen Up Here's article on the connection between the sport and Kinngait's soapstone sculptures? I recommend the read. (Up Here)

Red foxes may be moving North—another effect of climate change—which is bad news for the Arctic fox. The white-coated creature already experiences fluctuations in food availability each year, plus they’re dealing with the impacts of climate change on top of that. The Arctic fox doesn’t need this extra competition. And yet, crowdsourced animal sighting website has reported red foxes in Inuvik during summer months. (My Yellowknife Now

Opera singer, writer, composer—Deantha Edmunds is, without question, a highly talented Inuit artist. In this Q&A with Inuit Art Quarterly, Edmunds explores the cultural and familial influences on her music career. And if her words aren’t enough to entice you, maybe her music will. (Inuit Art Quarterly; Youtube)

Three crew members on a stranded ferry were rescued from the middle of an “ice-choked” Liard River in the NWT Wednesday, after becoming stuck on Monday. The ferry was being moved to a safe docking site when the accident happened. The workers are safe and in good health. (The Star)

Since a September storm wrecked their government liaison office, Sanikiluaq residents haven’t been able to apply for or renew their driver’s licenses or other pieces of government photo ID. To make matters worse: those pieces of ID are needed to board planes for medical travel. While Allan Rumbolt, MLA for the Belcher Islands community, raised this issue in the legislature, he also went on to talk about the need for flights from Sanikiluaq to Iqaluit. (Nunatsiaq News)

In additional news from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut reported its first COVID-19 case from that community today. (CBC)

Yukon artist Ivan Coyote has announced a new book to be published in 2021. It will be a collection of correspondence, including letters, Facebook messages, and the like. Coyote describes the book, entitled Care Of, as “an 11-year-long conversation about family, loss, grief, hope, compassion, addiction, pain, transphobia, homophobia, and people coming around on those things." (CBC)

In further northern artist news, Yellowknife musician Digawolf made NPR's New Music Friday list of top 10 albums released this week, for the album High Arctic. (NPR


Efforts are in motion to better recognize John Rae, a man long sidelined in historical memory. Rae discovered the gruesome ending to Sir John Franklin’s Arctic expedition, but his fellow Victorians disliked his conclusion that the crew resorted to cannibalism. The backlash led to him being “airbrushed” out of history. Now, centuries later, the John Rae Society wants to renovate the 18th-century Hall of Clestrain, near Stromness in Orkney, where Rae lived in his early years. (The Press and Journal)

Want to know more about John Rae? At Up Here, we recently explored the newly published collection of Rae’s journals. (Up Here)

Dried cod and whale meat, seal soup, narwhal blubber, lumpfish roe—get a taster of these traditional Greenlandic dishes in this The Travel article. (The Travel)

In horrifying world news, QAnon is gaining ground in Finland as supporters grow. (Helsinki Times)

The Norwegian Paradox is a term from the New York Times, which refers to the country’s status as both a climate leader and oil machine, as it produces low domestic emissions at the same time as high oil exports. That paradox is under a spotlight this week as the Norwegian Supreme Court hears a climate lawsuit on whether the court can direct the government to stop issuing licenses for oil drilling. (Arctic Today)

The future is now! In 2018, the crew and passengers of an icebreaker ship put a time capsule in a North Pole ice floe. This week, the capsule landed in Ireland after floating around 3,701 kilometres from the Arctic Circle. The capsule wasn’t expected to be found for 30 to 50 years. (The Guardian)
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