Organizers of the annual national Indigenous Day barbecue in Rankin Inlet are taking a wait-and-see approach as to when they’ll be able to host the event this year, but host it they will in one form or another said Kissarvik’s general manager.

Inuujaq Leslie Fredlund, left, and Bernice Niakrok throat sing during the 2016 Indigenous Day celebration in Rankin Inlet. Kissarvik Co-op and the Rankin Inlet detachment of the RCMP have been sponsoring the Indigenous Day barbecue in the community for more than a decade. NNSL file photo

Walter Morey said he’s hoping more restrictions surrounding Covid-19 will be lifted in the near future that will allow the barbecue to go ahead.

He said there was some discussion at a recent Co-op meeting regarding the event and wait and see was the path chosen at that time.

“We certainly want to do it but we just weren’t able to do it on the day we traditionally host it on June 21 because of the Covid-19 restrictions currently in place,” said Morey.

“So we’re going to hold out for a bit and if the restrictions lift we’ll do it.

“But if they don’t lift the restrictions in, say, the next month, it’s possible that we’ll look at a different way of recognizing and celebrating the day.

“I don’t know what that may look like just yet if that’s the case.”

The Kissarvik Co-op and the Rankin Inlet detachment of the RCMP have partnered to host the national Indigenous Day barbecue for more than a decade.

Morey said funding for the event has all been approved by the Government of Canada to celebrate the day.

He said the Co-op’s partner in the event, the RCMP, who chip in to host the barbecue, are also not prepared to do anything as long as the current Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

“We’re certainly not going to do anything to violate the restrictions in place. We’re going to play it safe and be careful.

“We’re seeing some restrictions being lifted now. This past Monday we were able to open our restaurants at half capacity.

“So we’re hoping that in another two weeks we’ll see another portion of the Government of Nunavut’s reopening plan go into effect that will allow larger gatherings.

“Sometimes we get as many as 300 or 400 people out to the barbecue, so we have to be sure we’d be OK to host that many when we finally go ahead with it.”

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News

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