Iqaluit’s Inuksuk Drum Dancers look back at busy 2017

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The Inuksuk Drum Dancers had a busy year representing the territory in Iqaluit and beyond.

“They perform traditional and contemporary Inuit music throughout Iqaluit and the rest of Canada. One of their mandates is to promote and preserve Inuktitut,” said Inuksuk High School choir director Mary Piercey-Lewis.

“Inuksuk Drum Dancers rehearse during their lunch hour three times a week.”

photo Vincent Desrosiers/Alianait
Simon Winsor performs at National Aboriginal Day with the rest of the Inuksuk Drum Dancers at Joamie School in Iqaluit June 21.

That’s above and beyond regular student duties and other commitments.

“Many graduating choir members go on to post-secondary institutions and become confident, successful leaders in their communities. They are the movers and shakers of the future!”

Next up, the group will represent Nunavut at the Arctic Winter Games in the Northwest Territories in March.

Rachel Michael, Leanna Wilson, Natalie Maerzluft, Angela Austria, Tooma Laisa, and Catherine Suclan, with members of the Asham Stompers from Manitoba. The two groups shared the International Stage at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto August 17 to 25.
photo courtesy Inuksuk Drum Dancers
The performers enjoy some downtime in Toronto while performing at the Canadian National Exhibition in August. Back row, from left: Angela Austria, Tooma Laisa and Natalie Maerzluft. Middle row, from left: Leanna Wilson and Catherine Wilson. Front row, from left: Mary Piercey-Lewis and Rachel Michael.
photo courtesy Inuksuk Drum Dancers
Jacqueline and Josephine Gibbons and the group perform at Unisong at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Canada Day.
photo courtesy Inuksuk Drum Dancers
Inuksuk High School’s choir director Mary Piercey-Lewis conducts the Inuksuk Drum Dancers and the National Arts Centre orchestra members, along with Leela Gilday, Sylvia Cloutier, Jerry Laisa, Colleen Nakashook and Qaggiavuut staff and board members, in a rendition of the Charlie Adams favourite Quviasuppunga in December.
photo Vincent Desrosiers/Qaggiavuut/Alianait
Looee Arreak performs with the Inuksuk Drum Dancers. Arreak wrote a special song for the group – Qaujimavuunga Kinaummangaarma (I Know Who I Am), which they sang at a concert with Gryphon Trio and the Cantiamo Girls’ Choir at St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit May 8.
photo courtesy Inuksuk Drum Dancers
Josephine Gibbons, Teresa Kolola, Chidinma Umenwofor-Nweze, Simon Winsor, Catherine Suclan, with throat singers Leanna Wilson, Tooma Laisa, and Alika Komangapik perform with the Cantiamo Girls’ Choir at Dominion Chalmers United Church in Ottawa July 5.
photo courtesy Inuksuk Drum Dancers

 

 

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Michele LeTourneau first arrived at NNSL's headquarters in Yellowknife in1998, with a BA honours in Theatre. For four years she documented the arts across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Following a very short stint as a communications officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Michele spent a decade at a community-based environmental monitoring board in the mining industry, where she worked with Inuit, Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives Dene and Metis elders to help develop traditional knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit contributions for monitoring and management plans. She rejoined NNSL and moved to Iqaluit in May 2014 to write for Nunavut News. Michele has received a dozen awards for her work with NNSL.