This past Friday I attended my very first community feast in Cambridge Bay called the Discovery Feast. It was put on by The Arctic Research Foundation and it was celebrating the discovery of the HMS Erebus, the continued search for the other missing ship and to inform the community of the project. The evening was filled with traditional Inuit drum dancing, games, interesting speeches and the showing of the newly release video of the winter dive - yes a winter dive. Kitikmeot Foods Ltd. provided 140lbs of muskox meat and 100lbs of Arctic char for the feast and Chef Andy and his students prepared a fantastic meal for the residents of CamBay, Jim Balsillie the president of the Arctic Research Foundation (co-founder of Blackberry), Rear-Admiral John Newton, plus many members of the military.
It was fun evening spent with friends, both old and newly formed ones. There were many door prizes, from Coleman stoves, sleeping bags and gift certificates but the one prize everyone had their hopes of winning was a day cruise on the research vessel, The Martin Bergmann. One ticket was pulled and the number was read but no one claimed the prize so another ticket was pulled and IT WAS MINE! So this summer myself and 5 of my friends will be heading out on the Bergmann to the Northwest Passage! I can't tell you how excited I am and can't wait for the ice to melt.
This is the vessel that we will be going on once the ice melts.
Here's a great source for information on the Franklin Expedition and the research that Parks Canada and their partners are doing: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/culture/franklin/index.aspx
Mary Avalak lit the traditional kudlik to open the festivities last night, she was surrounded by children who looked on. The kudlik is an oil burning lamp which is usually made from carved soapstone, Traditionally it was filled with whale or seal blubber and Arctic cotton grass was used as a wick. The Inuit would use the kudlik for not only a light in their tents or igloos but also for heating, melting snow, cooking and drying their clothes. These days it is used mostly for ceremonies.
One of our Elders, Mary Kilaodluk gave an emotional drum dance performance with some community ladies singing behind her.
Closer look at Mary performing a drum dance
Rear-Admiral John Newton taking his turn at drum dancing.
He was such a great sport!
Trisha Angnasiak Ogina dressed in a gorgeous outfit, is one of the talented Cambridge Bay drum dancers who also performed at the Discovery Feast last night.
When it comes to dishing out dinner it was all hands on deck.
We have been cheering hard for the Winnipeg Jets and before their first playoff game we decided to head out on the ice to take some pics to show our support. Go Jets Go!
Craig, Molly & Blitz all decked out in their Jets gear
Miss Molly with her Winnipeg Jets doggie sweater
What a pair!
The weather has been beautiful here, sun is shining and this past weekend the wind was much calmer and Molly actually stayed out for a good hour before she started to get cold. The sun is now rising at 4:30 in the morning and setting at 9:30 in the evening. Even at midnight it is not completely dark in the west and a month from today we will begin our 24 hours of daylight.
Operation Nunalivut will be wrapping up this week and I had the opportunity to hang out with Captain Bonnie Wilken a few times and met a few new friends. This past Sunday after our tundra romp we decided to contact Bonnie as she is a huge dog lover. We had a great visit and she loved our dogs as you can see from the pictures.
Blitz instantly fell in love with Bonnie as she
knew where to give him a good scratch.
Nothing like a good ear rub for the old girl
I told Blitz to leave it while I took the picture
He did a fabulous job and his reward...the ball
Coming full speed ahead down the ice road
Tonight I leave you with something a little different;
A picture of me and my dogs.