Saturday, July 29, 2006

Greetings from beautiful Inuvik!

Here's a fun picture from inside the apartment: Lindsay and I have installed a "Hawaiian sunset" mural, ordered from the Sears Catalogue...sure it's tacky, but it feels appropriate. It is now more than 30 degrees celcius in the apartment, since Inuvik has been struck by a heat wave.

So, here's an "Aloha" to everyone reading...

And yes, I really am that sweaty all the time here... :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here's the's a nice quiet place, which is only a short walk away from downtown.

Here's the "inuvik boot grille" I've been talking about. Some buildings downtown have stairs and walkways made of sharp metal grills -- like a cheese grater. It'll be useful this winter, when everything is covered in ice.

No good for skateboarding, though!

Hunter S. Thompson / Greetings from the northern bunker

Here's a picture I took at the Yellowknife shooting range a while back, while covering a trap shoot competition. They were nice enough to let me try a hand gun. "Heavier than expected" is all I can say; I couldn't hold it very long at arms' lengh.

Hey! My boxes arrived!

"Argh! I forgot to save!""

There were two power outages in Inuvik today, and the internet has been achingly slow.

I'm not sure what's up, but I have about 15 pictures to post when things get better.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

These things could eat a salmon...

Ravens are the most common birds around here. While I have seen seagulls, fishers and the occasional grouse, they are outnumbered by these large swooping ravens; ugly animals who look like the gathered witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

I photographed this one in the riverside fishing community of Tsiigehtchic. It was the size of a chicken.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What you got there, boy? A stick?

Here's something you don't see every day: A tiny black Labrador trying to gnaw a moose (or caribou) leg.

I caught this little ankle-biter on the side of Mackenzie street, which is the main drag in Inuvik. There was no other meat around; probably the result of a hunting expedition, leaving scraps for stray dogs.

Though wasting meat is illegal in Inuvik (so that people don't hunt for antlers alone) I am sure this dog appreciated the scraps.

Some Yellowknife pictures...

Lords of I-Town...

Here's a picture of a kid at the Inuvik skatepark, which I took last week. The white ramp was installed two days ago, and it's very popular.

Dez Loreen, the writer for the Inuvik Drum, recently borrowed my fish-eye lens to take photos of the skaters. They ran under the headline "Lords of I-Town."

(Though with all the strays here, they might as well call it "Lords of Dogtown.")

The latest professional tools...

Here's a picture of my desk. (At least, the one I had back in Yellowknife.)

That's Wordperfect 5.1, copyright 1989!

Remember: 1989 was the age of the original Nintendo. It was the year the first ever "Final Fantasy" game was released.

CBC news on a desolate highway...

I was driving the Northern News Service's company truck (a dusty blue Chevrolet Blazer filled with plastic wrappers, crumbs and 7up cans) from Inuvik to Tsiigehtchic last Friday, which is a two-hour drive each way.

On the way, I listened to the CBC radio news. This is the only channel available in between cities.

Unfortunately for me -- but kind of interestingly at the same time -- the CBC was reporting world news in an aboriginal language. I don't know which dialect it was, but it I was clearly hearing about the Israel, Lebanon and current Middle-East powderkeg.

"..Hezbollah (...) Israel (...) George W Bush (...) United-Nations.."

It was a really wierd moment, to hear about rocket attacks and suicide bombings and to be literally alone in the middle of nowhere, an hour's drive away from the nearest house.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

You thought Ottawa was complex...

Here's an interesting clipping from Wikipedia about the NWT. Can you imagine the expense and difficulty related to this law? (ie: Court is now in session! Oh wait...where is our Dogrib translator? Off work today? Ah, crap!)

The territory's Official Languages Act recognizes eight official languages, more than any other political division in Canada:
Dene Suline;
Dogrib or Tlicho;
South Slavey
North Slavey
NWT residents have a right to use any of the above languages:
when receiving services from the government;
in court;
in debates and proceedings of the legislature.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Aniktailitjutit Tuhagutikhait": Safety Information

Hello everyone, from Inuvik, NWT!

This will be my first post of many; As the point of this blog is relate my experiences in one of the most unique regions of Canada, I anticipate having much to talk about.

The basic idea of this blog is simple: I want to express what life is like for a formerly suburban 22-year-old from Ottawa, now living and working as a reporter in the Canadian North.

I hope this blog will help fight some stereotypes (or confirm them, if that's the case!) by giving my own "southern" perspective on life in NWT.

First, an explanation of the title: Though I do not speak Inuktitut, I encountered the phrase "Aniktailijitjutit Tuhagutikhait" in the airline safety manual on a First Air flight, July 3rd 2006. It was above pictures of passengers affixing their oxygen masks in case of a crash. Thanks to the English translation -- and the French translation, which seems superfluous up here -- I was able to get the meaning of the phrase.

I found it was an interesting mix; a very old language and a new technological context.

Mahsi cho! (This is Gwich'in for "thank you")

The above picture was taken at Yellowknife airport.