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June 28, 2019
Climate change, carbon taxes and music festivals, oh my! 
Beth Brown captures the final performance at the Alianait Arts Festival 

UP HERE IN THE NORTH 

Jacob is off doing something East Coast (we’re assuming it involves manhandling a lobster but we’re waiting for pics to confirm), so this week I’m stepping up to the newsletter plate.

Canada Day rolled in with a boom this week: literally, as the NWT welcomed the stat holiday with rain, rain, and then a little more rain to round out the week. Celebrations in Yellowknife moved indoors to the multiplex, and I scurried for shelter camping outside Hay River. My slightly ridiculous air mattress may have gotten soaked, but the weather didn’t faze the bison—I spotted a huge herd on the highway, fluffing their way into the last dashes of sunlight. Check out our Instagram (which you totally follow right?) for pictures!
 
Jessica Davey-Quantick 
Editor
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COLD SNAPS

 
June ended on a high note with Iqaluit’s 15th annual Alianait Arts Festival closing its roster of long weekend performances with a visual art and circus show worked by Iqaluit’s Taqqut Productions Inc. and Igloolik’s ever popular circus troupe Artcirq. Editor Beth Brown grabbed some photos, so be sure to check out our Instagram for more (but you already do that, right?). It was only the second time the group put on the new show, which will debut officially in January at the National Arts Centre. Artwork by Germaine Arnaktauyok was projected onto the stage at Nakasuk Elementary School, and was used in the telling of Inuit creation myths. The collab show was called Unikkaaquat (the old stories).
 
On the Saturday of the festival, July 29, Alianait opened its evening showing to the public for free, bringing together the community after a day that saw a string of fires and an armed standoff. 
 
First Nations husband and wife band Digging Roots headlined the opening night concert, bringing their Juno Award-Winning folk rock to the Nunavut capital. The weekend also saw performances by Greenland rock artists The Small Giants and Nick Ørbæk. From Nunavut, familiar faces on stage were Joey Nowyuk of Pangnirtung and Corey Panika of Rankin Inlet. In the daytime, festival goers checked out workshops on drum dancing and square dancing.
 
The rest of the North is gearing up for more festivals this month, with Yellowknife’s Folk on the Rocks taking the stage next weekend, and the Dawson City Music Festival turning up the volume on July 19. But you knew that right, because of course you’ve read our guide to the best music festivals in the North! 
 

Elizabeth May spoke to a group of young people during a stop in Yellowknife.
 Photo by Jessica Davey-Quantick
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May visited Yellowknife this week. On July 3 she spoke to a packed house of more than 200 people about what the Green Party thinks needs to be done for Canada to take a stand on the climate crisis—including stopping new fossil fuel development in the North. She also put forth a plan for a nationwide energy grid that would connect the North, and stop Northern Canada’s dependence on diesel. "The federal government has the power to do what is required in a climate emergency, which means banning new fossil fuel development anywhere,” she told CBC’s Katie Toth. "That's going to be controversial. But it must be done." The next day she spoke to a collection of young Green’s at a coffee chat and stressed the importance of doing something right now, and the impact young people can have on Canada’s future. “We don’t have another election to make a difference in this country,” she said. “If every millennial voted Green, I’d be Prime Minister.” (CBC)

 

Driver’s in the Yukon braced for higher prices at the pumps after the Yukon introduced a carbon tax. The territory now joins the rest of Canada in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Starting this month, each tonne of carbon will be taxed by $20, climbing each year by $10 until peaking at $50 in 2022. For Yukoners, this means they’ll pay 4.42 centres more per litre of gasoline, 5.37 cents for diesel and 3.10 cents for propane. By 2022, they’ll be paying another 11.05 cents per litre for gas, 13.41 cents for diesel and 7.74 cents for propane. (Yukon News

 
 
Tourists camping in Fort Simpson got a taste of Northern hospitality when their children’s bikes were stolen, and then replaced by a summer time Santa Claus. As Cabin Radio’s Sarah Pruys reported, Margaret Doerksen’s campsite was right beside the playground at the Fort Simpson Territorial Campground, where the three bikes went missing. One of the bicycles was eventually found, and she’d almost given up on finding the other two when Normand Prevost saw a Facebook post about the missing vehicles and swooped in, replacing the bikes. "[The kids] were super happy. They were driving bikes all evening," Doerksen said. (Cabin Radio)
 
 

Canada’s only Inuk soprano released her first solo album at the end of June. Featuring some of her favourite songs of Labrador, Deantha Edmunds told CBC that music was a way of connecting with her home and her father’s life growing up in Labrador, especially the theme song to the television program Labradorimiut. "When I went away to university in Nova Scotia, I actually put my old ghetto blaster up to the TV so I could tape the anthem so I could listen to it when I was away,” she told Heather Barrett of CBC. Her father, Albert Edmunds, was an Inuk from Hopedale, Labrador and she grew up in Corner Brook before she went on to study classical music. She blends both those traditions in her unique sound. (CBC

 

Resolute Bay youth joined forces with Inuit Knowledge Working Group members and Parks Canada staff in Qausuittuq National Park for the annual snowmobile patrol. A new temporary camp was established by staff deep within the boundaries of one of Canada’s newest parks, ready for the upcoming season, where youth had a chance to learn on-the-land with traditional knowledge holders.
Youth go on the land in Qausuittuq National Park

 
The Beaufort Delta region has suspiciously low water levels, and the beluga whales aren’t pleased. The animals can’t take their normal pathways, which means the hunters are also on the hunt for new routes. "It's the lowest I've ever seen it in my years living in Aklavik," Manny Arey, an Aklavik, N.W.T., resident who served many years on the community's hunters and trappers committee, told CBC. Scientists in the region say can have longer term effects as well. (CBC)


Beavers beware: the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee are offering up 15 free beaver trapping kits to its members. The kits include two types of traps, a lure, a fleshing tool, a beaver-skinning knife, a chisel and a scoop: everything you need to hunt beavers. It’s not all fun with fur however; the kits are a way to help hunters combat beavers making dams in their fishing areas. "People that do trap, they do see beavers are having an impact on their way of life," Michelle Gruben, with the Committee, told CBC. (CBC

ELSEWHERE IN THE ARCTIC

 

Greenland is far from Green (more really a shade of white and beige), except for its buildings. Perched along the hills are brightly coloured houses and buildings in a swathe of primary colours—red, black, yellow, green and blue. This isn’t just all for the ‘gram though: the Daily Times reports that the colours are actually a code that dates back to the 18th century, when wooden houses arrived from Scandinavia as timber kits (colonial Ikea). With no house numbers, each of the five basic looks represented professions and trades. Red represented the church, either buildings related to it or where a priest or clerk lived. Doctors and nurses lived in yellow houses, while green proclaimed the presence of radio communication and later telecommunications. The Greenlandic Technical Organisation and factories got to be blue. "The reasoning behind the colour coordination was, of course, to make it easier to distinguish between the houses and to create a system in a time before street names and house numbers,” Ujammiugaq Engell, from the Greenland National Museum and Archives, told MailOnline Travel. Today, while there are more options for paint colours, hospitals are still yellow and the cathedral in Greenland is still red. (Daily Times)

 
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