Canada 150 in Nunavut
The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) has been awarded $350,000, courtesy of the federal government’s Canada 150 Fund. The funding will be used for NACA’s community project “Nunavummiut Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday”, which will take place in close to a dozen Nunavut communities on July 1 of next year. Funding for two additional projects in Nunavut through the fund was also announced by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum will receive $288,000 for its pan-Canadian signature project ‘‘Voices of Nunavut,’’ a multilingual exhibit that consists of a 25-channel video installation representing the 25 communities of Nunavut, while the Iqaluit Action Lab will receive $100,000. The announcement comes on the heels of recent successes for NACA, including the opening of Floe Edge: Contemporary Art and Collaborations from Nunavut at Canada House in London, England. Inuk artist Billy Gauthier, writer Delilah Saunders and Jerry Kohlmeister have ended their hunger strike to protest environmental problems associated with the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam project in Labrador. The Nunatsiavut Government’s #MakeMuskratRight campaign, launched in November 2015, cites research from a Harvard University study that concluded that a lack of vegetation clearing will result in methylmercury contamination in Lake Melville, an ecologically-significant waterway, and by extension the marine foods from it. After 12 days without food, Gauthier and his fellow hunger strikers broke their fasts with local smoked Arctic char, following 12 hours of negotiations between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and leaders from the Innu Nation, the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council, resulting in, among other measures, the establishment of an Independent Expert Advisory Committee.
NACA’s contingent on their way to London. From left: Monica Ell-Kanayuk, Rowena House, Lavinia van Heuvelen, Elisapi Davidee Angingmiuq, Sherri Rowe, Igah Hainnu and Niore Iqalukjuak Bottom row: Nicole Camphaug and daughter, September 2016 Courtesy Niore Iqalukjuak