Tea Talk: Remembering elder June Okalik Klengenberg

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AIK. HILA QAUMALIQTUQ QUANA. HIQINIQ QULVALIQTUQ. NUNAKPUT PINNIHIJUQ ILLAA. INUIN NAAMAINNAQTUT IKALUKTUTIAMI. OKALIK ITQAUMANIAQTAVUT. PUIGUKTAILUGU ILLAA. MIQHUJUQTUQ PINNIQTUNIK. AKOANNOAK ANILGAKMIJUQ AIPAMINNUN QUANA. UKIUQ NUTAAQ TIKINMIJUQ. NAAMAKLUHI. QINIQPAKLUGIT ILANNUATIT.

Well we all survived 2019 and now it is 2020! I would like to dedicate this column to one Nunavut’s most respected beautiful Elder June Okalik Klengenberg of Kugluktuk, Nunavut. Okalik passed on at the beautiful age of 105.

Okalik had many accomplishments in her life. She sew and taught how to make traditional clothing, mainly the qulitak made of squirrel and trimmed with caribou designs.

She showed her family and Inuit that sewing was an important role as an Inuk lady. She also had a talent of singing and drum dancing making it so beautiful to learn and dance and sing in Inuinnaqtut.

She was so gentle and soft spoken. She raised her grandchildren even though she was Elderly, with unconditional love. She made Inuit proud to be Inuit, no matter if life was hard and even when life got easier moving to villages where houses were built.

Okalik lived a good life because of who she was and her outlook on life was something we all should follow and remember.

VA OKALIKLU KANOVAKLU PULAKTITLURIT IKALUKTUTIAMI. ULAPKIYUNIK
KUNGNEARIATUT.
Still dancing at the age of 95 and 96. Here is June Okalik Klengenberg and Nellie Kanovak Hikok of Kugluktuk all decked out in their Kulitak from drum dancing during the 2006 Omingmak Frolics in Cambridge Bay.
Navalik Tologanak/NNSL photo

May she rest in peace now that she is joined by her husband up in beautiful heaven where she will watch over all her family from above.

We were all so lucky to have had her with us. Memories of Okalik will be on forever and ever. Our sincerest condolences to her beautiful family and especially her grandchildren. Till we meet again Okalik. Rest in Paradise.

God Be With You Son.