To be honest I am feeling exhausted but terribly excited to be heading north tomorrow having just made it home. The exhaustion will pass once I get a good cup of tea in, finish packing for a new season/ new transition back into Wemindji, and sleep.
The Arctic (and/ or, “the north”) is so terribly real and separate from life here. This adjustment was hard a year ago but seems so much harder now. It begins to hit you at the south-bound gate in Iqaluit with temporary visitors of the north carrying conversations about money and material needs as you are bound to wait in the slowly shuffling line towards invasive security searches.
Looking forward to my black spruce forest home, labrador tea, and my Cree student crew.
March 28, 2013 1:45 PM Iqaluit, NU:
We are in the thick of it. Always trying to fix problems of those belonging to a different pond, to those who do not necessarily want it, to those of an entirely different existence. Everyone must fit in a box. Outliers?
Do not belong by cultural birth to a First Peoples but also can no longer easily or happily identify with those from the south. Where is my place?
Seclusion and time for thoughts is key.
South-bound we are going.
These are photos I took at the Idle No More rally in Wemindji, James Bay, back in early January.
This was one of the most powerful events I have ever had the privilege to attend. One late January morning the community in Wemindji, James Bay, marched to their band office to raise their voices together to send encouragement, support, and love of the Idle No More movement. There was no media coverage. There was no major political figure. Elders, youth, members, and guests of the community prayed, spoke, and danced to remind each other not to give up hope and to continue fighting for their rights, respect, and respect of the land. The energy, dedication, and passion from the youth and old together at this movement was powerful and emotional.
The emotion and energy from the people of Wemindji on this day have helped to fuel the fire, drive, and endurance of the Journey of Nishiyuu. They are apart of the Journey of Nishiyuu. They are sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and all friends of the walkers. The young and old of this quiet and remote community spoke up to give their support to the Idle No More movement on the day Chief Teresa Spence and First Nations’ chiefs across Canada became, in the opinion of Wemindji’s youth, a ‘divided nation’. Less than a week after James Bay’s Matthew Coon Come stepped into the House of Commons against the support of the nation he was representing, six youth and an elder guide from Whapmagoostui, Hudson Bay, came together and entered into a journey of unity and change.
The Journey of Nishiyuu reaches their intended destination tomorrow. Leaving Whapmagoostui, Hudson Bay, on January 16, 2013 and traveling by foot through the thickest of winter, the original seven young and old journeyers have increased exponentially in number and, after an incredible journey across the land, tomorrow will reach Ottawa, Ontario.
I encourage everyone to give their admiration, support, and positive energy tomorrow as First Peoples and those in support of unity, change, and a more positive future look ahead tomorrow afternoon.
The original seven. Photo by Matthew Muskash
Dusk from the ice in Arctic Bay on Friday.
Cargo (including skis) arrived late afternoon and we jumped at the chance to get out. Luckily we did as our plans to catch the sunrise were foiled by fog and zzz’s.
Have not had the best internet today and have been unable to upload the rest of the photos intended to go with this post. Fact of life in the north and on the road but, as always, more to come.
Unfortunately, our Baffin visit is at < six days until departure. Enjoying our time here in full and am looking forward to returning again to spring in Wemindji, James Bay.
Saturday evening: lulled myself into an odd odd state where it felt as if the plane was endlessly circling the setting sun that was disappearing into a red haze of storm weather below.
We made it to Iqaluit late Saturday, happy to land. We made it to Arctic Bay late Monday. “The Perfect Storm” caused a few issues but have been mildly on the go since. I feel I might know 1/3 of the total staff at First Air now and am absolutely indebted to so many for their help, kindness, and level of care. Really, cannot say enough about our friends there.
No pictures as of yet, but the terraform around Arctic Bay eerily resembles Longyearbyen, Svalbard with red hills and a very different town infrastructure. It is stunning. Planning a solid hike to the top of King George, the mountain just out of town, this weekend. Have spotted a few paths I am hoping to check out if I can find some time during the daylight (which is definitely on our side as we near the spring equinox).
Pond Inlet, NU - March 16, 2012 10:00
A few (or 10) shots of the latter half of my time here. Such an incredible experience and so many things to say but am not fully prepared to write extensively as of yet. The sense of community here is incredibly strong and vibrant. The landscape is a playground for those true lovers of the land and life at its most essential point.
Listening to the wind howl and hoping to hear if our 8:00 cancelled flight will stick with the rescheduled flight at 14:15 today. ‘The Perfect Storm’ started last evening abruptly sometime a around 19:30 after watching it roll west slowly all day. Things have calmed down significantly from this morning’s 60 KM/HR + 90 KM/HR gusts by almost half.
If we are able to get out today, we will be spending tonight and tomorrow night in Iqaluit, NU and reaching Arctic Bay, NU Monday evening as there are no flights Sunday. This is an unfortunate fact of nature that is causing the next school to lose a day of programming but does give us the rare opportunity to explore the interesting Eastern Arctic hub of 10 000 on our day off.
Click on the images for captions with more detail.