Waiting for oranges

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UBLUKKUT IKALUKTUTIAMIT. NAMAINNAKTUGUT. HILAKPUT NIGLALIKMIYUK. ILANI KINITPIAKPAKTUK KANILIGAGNAT. PIHUGIAMI HIVUGANAK. KIKILIKMIYUK TAHIKLU. KUUKGAMILU. NUNALU MAUYAINNAK. IILA HILAKPUT ALANGGNUKPIAKTUK. KAYAKTUKNAIKTUK HIKULIKMAT. KINNIKPAKLUGIT HINANI NUTAKKATIT. INUGIAKHIKPAKTUK IKALUKTUTIAK KATIMAYUT NUNAVUNMIT. KOANA TUUKMIAT PULAKTUT. ALIAGIYAAT NIKIKAKVIK IKALUKMIKLU PIFFIIKHAKNIK NIUVILUGAKPAKTUT. INUIN TUKTUHIULIKPAKTUT. UMINGMAKHIUKLIKPAKTUTLU. OOGAKHIUKNAKHIYUK. ALIANAK. NUTAKKATLU NAMAINNAKTUT. KINNIKPAKLUGIT. AYUKNAKMAT ILAIYAGAGNAT. KIAVALAAKHIMAITTUMIK. AKHUKPAKLUHI. TAMAPTA IKAYUKNIAKPUGUT.

Navalik Tologanak/NNSL photo
Koana Cambridge Bay! Koana to the 3004 Nanook Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps of Cambridge Bay for another successful food drive held Wed., Sept. 26, part of community service as part of their program. Here are, from left to right: Trista Uvilluq, donor Billy Nicoll, Ikkidluak Avalak and Faye Edwards. Way to go to those involved and koana to the volunteer drivers assisting the cadets collecting food for the wellness centre’s food bank.

Welcome to Cambridge Bay where we have weather changes on the island, land and sea. Lately we have different warm then cold then warm again kind of weather. We have wet snow, making it very slippery in town and making very dangerous when walking on icy roads and walkways. Please be careful.
Our waters are slowly freezing, so please check ice thickness if out ice-fishing or traveling out on the land. In today’s world, hunters and fishers use ATVs to travel. Back in the ol’ days, everyone walked at most times with a dog for protection with a homemade nangmaut (knapsack), bow and arrow, harpoon, tea, knife, cup, caribou hide for warmth and to sleep on.
We have a group of youth we wish to recognize and say koana very much to, our cadets, for doing another awesome community service by having another successful food drive for the food bank. I accompanied Chris Kalluk and three cadets. It made me smile and warmed my heart watching them get excited when a donation would be offered, knowing that it will go to our food bank so those in need can get by in this expensive, costliest living in Canada.
I remember before when the village was small in 1960s, we had an elder, the late Charlie Komioyak, who was blind so he was known as “Blind Charlie” by non-Inuit speaking newcomers. He walked everyday with his homemade canvas knapsack tied around his shoulders with some rope, he wore sunglasses all the time and was always humming his ayaya Inuit songs. He knew his way to his place, the Hudson’s Bay store, nursing station, school; those were pretty well the only buildings in the new village of Cambridge Bay. Most of the Inuit lived across at the “old town site” and at “Jack’s Point” where CHARS is located now.
Every day Komioyak walked, he would walk to the DEW Line site to have his daily coffee/tea and whatever the cook had for him. It was a routine for him, making his daily stops. He knew the roads so well, never got lost. If you could hear the tapping of his cane, you knew Komioyak was nearby. Every day walking home from his visit to the DEW Line, us kids would wait for him at the road nearby our playground, he knew where us kids were from hearing us laughing and playing, so that was his first stop to bring us oranges and other goodies from his little old canvas knapsack. So it became a daily treat for us kids getting oranges from Uncle Charlie!
I remember this so well cause it was so special treat for us to have a fresh orange back in the good ol’ days when we mostly had a traditional diet back then. I was sent to residential school shortly after and it was then I missed Uncle Charlie and his oranges. I still miss him. To this day I buy oranges as a treat for my grandson and myself. Someday I will make myself a canvas knapsack and rope and fill it up with oranges to give out to kids, just to honor his tradition. Rest peacefully Uncle Charlie. For Tone, enjoy! It was a joy meeting you again. Tusen takk.
God be with you son.