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Team Nunavik

Nunavik culture on display at the Arctic Winter Games

The Dene Games participants from Team Nunavik-Québec won a bronze Ulu at the AWG 2014 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

A high-level, biennial, international sport competition and cultural event, the Arctic Winter
Games bring together delegations from Nunavik, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, northern Alberta, Alaska, Greenland, Yamal (russia) and sami (scandinavia). The Games are a truly unique celebration of the north and northern youth.

The next Arctic Winter Games will be hosted in Nuuk, Greenland, in March 2016, and are shaping up to be a cultural happening. Building on the rich cultural heritage of Nuuk, the host society for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games is focusing special attention on the diversity of the circumpolar cultures represented at the Games and constructive collaboration between international artists. A few members of Team Nunavik–Québec will be proud participants at the many cultural happenings and performances planned.

The core of Team Nunavik–Québec’s cultural contingent will consist of six musicians from the Qulliq band. ranging in age from 14 to 16, Qulliq was formed in the fall of 2014 through a performing arts program at the Iguarsivik school in puvirnituq, on the east coast of Hudson Bay. Qulliq performs only Inuktitut music created and performed by other Nunavik artists. performances also showcase different regional styles of throat singing.

The band is scheduled to participate at two cultural galas as well as at various smaller venues throughout the weeklong Arctic Winter Games.

Also part of Team Nunavik–Québec’s cultural contribution to the next Games, the winning amautik design by Minnie Etidloie from Kangiq sujuaq will be presented at the main cultural exhibit in Nuuk. An ulipakaak by Kuujjuaqresident Jennifer Watkins will also be on display. The theme of the exhibit is Northern Cultural Carrier.

For its part, Team Nunavik–Québec’s uniform will include an atigik (parka) produced by Nunavik Creations. Traditionally designed clothing is considered to be very important in the region and has become a modern art as it incorporates new materials. It is the living testimony to the roots of Nunavik Inuit culture. one of the most recognizable characteristics of the Nunavik parka in Nuuk in March will be the makkak, a very pointy traditional hood.

Team Nunavik–Québec has also partnered with the Kativik school Board to solicit written pieces from senior secondary students on Nunavik Inuit culture that will be presented in Nuuk. The contest asks entrants to describe what their culture means to them in the 21st century.

Jennifer Lapage of Kuujjuaq has created Team Nunavik–Québec’s trading pin. The pin set consists of five pieces that, once assembled, represent a female owl and two chicks. The snowy owl is the emblem of Team Nunavik–Québec. pin trading between the different participating regions has always been an important aspect of the Arctic Winter Games and fosters interaction between youth participants.

The Nuuk host society will also be sponsoring the participation of a volunteer cultural artist from Nunavik. Winifred Nungak, a talented seamstress who grew up in the community of Kangirsuk on the west coast of Ungava Bay, has been selected to play this role. Nungak, who studied fashion design at Lasalle College in Montreal, graduated in 2013. she has delivered parka-making courses for young people in different parts of Nunavik.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my sewing and creative skills in Nuuk,” says Nungak. “We’re putting together some workshops we will be able to do with youth athletes and performers of the Games, other visiting circumpolar artists and residents.”

Arctic Winter Games’ participants include more than 1,300 athletes as well as 350 cultural performers, coaches and mission staff. Team Nunavik–Québec has been a regular participant at the Games since 2000. As a guest delegation, it is smaller in size and competes in fewer sports than delegations from many of the other participating northern regions. Team Nunavik–Québec will be competing in six disciplines: Arctic sports, Badminton, Cross-Country skiing, Dene Games, snow shoeing and Table Tennis. The Team will consist of more than 60 athletes and a small number of cultural performers.

The Nuuk host society for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games is committed to organizing cultural activities, shows and social activities that reach out to and involve the Games’ participants and Nuuk residents of all ages. Team Nunavik–Québec is funded by the Kativik regional Government and various sponsors. It provides youth in the Inuit communities of Northern Québec with an opportunity to improve their athletic abilities and cultural skills, while fostering their growth as individuals. Team Nunavik–Québec’s two year development and selection process is a powerful and inclusive tool for youth development and mobilization.

Kativik regional Government

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