A couple of quick hits to finish out 2020 and what was a most difficult year for most of us, valued readers.

First up, a tip of the hat to everyone involved with changing the direction the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KivIA) was heading in and getting the organization to open the field and allow Inuit to shop at all stores that service the Kivalliq region with the $1,500 to each Inuit household the KivIA is distributing from its Covd-19 relief fund.

The funds for the regional Inuit association’s gift card program made their way to the KivIA through the $8 million granted in federal government Covid-19 relief via Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

I knew there were businesses out there that wouldn’t take the snub without responding when I read the original release from the KivIA in regards to its second stage of Covid-19 relief, which stated that the $1,500 in relief to each Inuit household could only be used at an Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. outlet.

No one doubts the fine job the various co-op stores across our region do in servicing the Kivalliq, nor, for that matter, does anyone doubt the fine job Kono Tattuinee has done in his various roles associated with Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. over the years.

But this was about providing a fair opportunity to the other stores that have also serviced the Kivalliq for many, many years and, in the end, hats off to the KivIA for making the right decision in regards to its gift card program.

I’ll close this little segment by saying I would have had a hard time believing anyone who told me that KivIA president Tattuinee would not answer calls from Kivalliq News for any reason after he was elected to his position.

A big two thumbs up to the charitable efforts of the Rankin Inlet Soccer Association, the Rankin (ROCK) Inlet Minor Hockey Association, the Laura Gauthier Memorial women’s volleyball folks, the members of the Terence Tootoo Memorial senior hockey championship committee and the Rankin Inlet Fire Department for throwing some coin together and having a neat little toy drive to brighten the Christmas of many a little tyke here in Rankin Inlet.

A tip of the hat, also, to the Hilton Hotel in Winnipeg for its kind donation to the cause.

And a big thanks to our own Kissarvik Co-op store, the Northern store, Kativik store, Eskimo Point Lumber Supply/Home Hardware and the Quliit Skate Shop for cutting a few deals on the presents purchased so even more kids in Rankin would have one more reason to smile this holiday season.

And, finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention the kind-hearted elves who wrapped all the presents for the kids to tear through with glee — Lisa Oolooyuk, Rachel Oolooyuk and Kylie Aksalnik. Awesome job you three.

Merry Christmas to all you who had a hand in this wonderful Christmas happening.

To all those across our region who agreed to the Government of Nunavut’s request to not travel home to the south to spend the holiday season with friends and family members, we have it on good authority that a good number of you were moved from the naughty list to the good list as a result of your most caring decision.

We know the decision to forgo travelling home to be with loved ones in the south was not an easy one to make. And, we congratulate you for being strong-willed enough to put the health and safety of others ahead of your own wants and desires for the holiday season.

God bless you each and every one.

And, finally, on a personal note, it’s been a terribly trying year for me on the health front and I’ll be so happy to flip the calendar to the year of 2021 in just nine short days.

To all those who helped me get the job done throughout the past year (and you know who you are) thank you so very much. Your kindness and sensitivity will never be forgotten by this old hack, not ever!

To all my valued readers across the Kivalliq and abroad, our wishes here at Kivalliq News go out to each of you for a safe and merry Christmas and a happy new year.

We’ll see you all in a brand new year of 2021. Yay!

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News