We have not had an opportunity in the last little bit to put up a post as we have been traveling for work and/or preparing for meetings. Rob went to Iqloolik three weeks ago at the request of his supervisors to meet with one of his colleagues to get information on the new position he was to be acting in. Rob will be acting in his colleague’s position while he is on parental leave.
I went to Cambridge Bay (western arctic) three weeks ago to meet with my own work colleagues (our office is in Cambridge Bay while I work remotely from Baker Lake) to prepare for meetings for a project that a mining company is proposing to develop in the Kivalliq region (central arctic) and is undergoing an environmental assessment. Our organization conducts environmental assessments of all proposed projects in Nunavut, ranging from research projects to mine developments. I spent about one week with staff and friends to get ready for the meetings. While I was in Cambridge Bay, I was fortunate enough to attend part of the communities annual festival and watched their snowmachine races.
After Cambridge Bay, our staff went to Rankin Inlet for a week to conduct the technical meeting. Following this meeting, our organization came to Baker Lake to hold a community meeting and another technical meeting. The reason we came to Baker Lake is because the proposed project would be near the community and part of our process is to consult and hear the concerns that community members might have regarding projects being proposed in their area. Part of my job is to review the project as a technical advisor and give advice to our Board on what is being proposed and the potential issues associated with the project. On top of that I’m also in charge of the logistics, organizing and coordinating the meetings – I spent my time before the meeting picking people up a the airport that were coming from various communities, meeting the ‘caterers’ who were volunteers that helped cut up the fruit and vegetables, picking up groceries for the caterers, setting up the community hall for the meetings, etc. I’ve told people that I have a master’s degree in analytical chemistry and my job with the board is to serve coffee and cookies, crazy I know!!
After the meetings, the community of Baker Lake was kind enough to hold a community feast to thank everyone involved in putting together and attending the meetings. The feast included traditional foods such as boiled caribou, nipkut (dried caribou meat), bannock and very diluted tea (Inuit don’t like strong tea). After the feast, the favourite part of the community festival started…square dancing! The community members love square dancing and it went late into the night. Our Board chairperson said she picked an Elder to square dance with as she thought he would be a slow dancer; was she wrong!! She said she could not keep up with him and was exhausted by the end of the song. I’ve square danced once before and the one song lasted about 40 minutes. By the end, I was exhausted and could not keep up as well, and I work out!!.
It was a long three weeks and I’m slowly catching up with my normal work. – Sophia and Rob