September 27, 2019
Hunting moose via smartphone, Yellowknife marches for the future, and Alaska’s changing colour. Plus, there’s gold in that thar maple syrup. All in this week’s newsletter.

Jason McCullough took this shot of Yellowknife's ravens mid-dance. (via Facebook)


You may have read we killed off our longtime imaginary contributor, Martin Dover. Jessica Davey-Quantick has the details of the pseudonym's creation in our September/October issue. There was actually some serious debate in the office on if we should write this piece. Chief among those concerns was whether or not anyone would care. And while some southern journalists were surprised to learn of the phantom reporter's demise, Martin Dover himself is strictly “no comment.”

As always, thanks for reading,
Jacob Boon 

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Cornelia Hahn Oberlander escaped from the Nazis, attended Harvard and eventually became one of the world's most-lauded landscape architects. Her work is also all over the North. Oberlander designed the array of saxifrages and mats of cloudberries planted around the Northwest Territories’ Legislative Assembly (designed by her friend and collaborator Gino Pin). But one of her crowning achievements is the sophisticated environment elegantly organized around Inuvik's East Three School. (
Landscape Architecture Magazine)

Moose calls? Yup, there’s an app for that. Aklavik’s Jessi Pascal recently bagged and butchered her first moose after downloading an app to her phone and broadcasting calls in the bush. If you’re in Aklavik, Pascal is sharing the meat with community members through Facebook. (CBC)

If Nunavut were an independent country, it would have the highest suicide rate in the world. So writes Helen Epstein in a long, emotional piece for New York Review of Books. “Almost one-third of Nunavut Inuit have attempted suicide, and most Inuit I met confided, without my asking, that they had done so at least once.” (NY Review of Books)

The CBC has this story of two photographers who left behind Newfoundland and fell in love with the North. One of those fellows is Frank Reardon, whose work has been featured in Up Here and was actually profiled by former editor Herb Mathison in this story about Arctic shutterbugs. (CBC)

Gold mining and maple syrup come together, at last, thanks to the new Yellowknife business Aurora Maple Gold—a maple syrup infused with flakes of 24-karat gold. It’s unclear if the gold is actually from the NWT, but the syrup comes from New Brunswick (by way of distributors in British Columbia). (MyYellowknifeNow)
A bitterly cold September day didn’t stop hundreds from marching in Yellowknife on Friday as part of global climate strikes.
The waters are warming. The latest dire report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is focused on oceans, seas, and waterways. Declining glaciers are already affecting water quality and availability for those living downstream in mountain regions. Sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and increased carbon is dramatically altering ocean chemistry. Bad news for Chinook salmon, which due to climate change are not long for this world. How long is not long? "Maybe 20 years." (NY Times)

“Outside the Arctic, jiggering numbers and suppressing scientific reports to promote drilling is completely in line with an administration rarely encumbered by empirical fact when fiction is more politically expedient. But in the Arctic, it’s resonant with a much longer history, one in which misrepresenting the true profits—and costs—of resource use is terribly familiar.” The Boston Globe looks to Old Crow. (Boston Globe)

Nunavut’s government has approved a new polar bear management plan; five years in the making. The new plan allows for one-to-one selective harvesting of male and female polar bears. Previously, nearly all Nunavut communities could only hunt one female polar bear for every two male bears. (Nunatsiaq)

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has appointed its first ever curator of Inuit art. Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk will oversee the acquisitions of new art and work to forge closer ties between Inuit communities and the Montreal museum. (Apollo Magazine)

How’s this for a family vacation: Leanne Robinson and Dwayne Wohlgemuth journeyed 1,500 kilometres through the Northwest Territories’ backcountry, making 116 portages over 100 days with two children under the age of five. (CBC)

For 60 years it’s been the biggest project on the Northwest Territories’ to-do list. Will the next government of the NWT finally decide to put rubber to road and complete the 1,500-kilometre Mackenzie Valley Highway? (CBC)
Sheep on Orkney, looking over the Bay of Skaill and St Peter's Kirk. (via Instagram)


Welcome to the Arctic clubhouse, Scotland. The UK country presented its very first policy framework this week for Arctic issues. Scotland’s barely-populated Orkney and Shetland Islands are just under the 60th parallel, but Brexit uncertainties have a more independent-minded Scotland looking to secure its connections to Nordic neighbours. (High North News)

Speaking of non-Arctic nations with big Arctic plans: China’s circumpolar hopes may have less to do with the Polar Silk Road and more to do with keeping Shanghai above water. Thomas NIlson argues rising sea levels are a clear and present danger for China's coastal mega-cities. (Barents Observer)

Welcome to the Greenlandic soccer championship, where the multi-day journey across wild, rocky coasts to get to the game is just as draining for the teams as actually playing. (Irish Times)

Congratulations to Bodø, Norway, which will become the European Capital of Culture in 2024. It’s the first time the ceremonial title has ever been awarded to a city north of the Arctic Circle. (High North News)

Retreating sea ice is changing the colour of Alaska. (Alaska Public Media)

Illegal guitars made from expensive Brazilian rosewood were confiscated on their way to Hong Kong and donated to the kids of the Anchorage School District. The guitars were designed by Paul Reed Smith, who produces handmade instruments for legends like Carlos Santana. American Fish and Wildlife Services officers say the 10 instruments have a combined value of nearly $54,500 US. (CBC)
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