Excuse us, We’re kissing the sky & Making out
by Jordan Konek
September 28, 2011
For the past few month I’ve been in the project theres been so many things going on. One opportunity opens up, then the other opens up after we take the opportunity. It’s like we’re creating a chain that has never existed and we’re putting it all together so that we can use it.
It’s been a great experience and after each experience there’s been so many things opening up. First we went to Ottawa to interview people and visit Library and Archives Canada, then we met Pauktuutit who thought that they should get one of us to film for them, and then we get home and find another person from Memorial University of Newfoundland who thought we should also film for them and then we get Healthy eating program who wants us to film for them and do some editing for them. Now we recently met the tourism guys who wants us to film for them. I bet I am even forgetting someone else because we have so many people that we are connected with. We recently did a Film Festival here and it went really well. I think it’s the team that we should be proud of because they have done so much and deserve every chance they’re given. I always look up to my grandpa “even while you’re walking down the street and you see your friend, smile or wave or both, that way, they’ll feel they need to see you when they’re down and you’ll be able to help.
It’s been a great experience and after each experience there’s been so many things opening up. First we went to Ottawa to interview people and visit Library and Archives Canada, then we met Pauktuutit who thought that they should get one of us to film for them, and then we get home and find another person from Memorial University of Newfoundland who thought we should also film for them and then we get Healthy eating program who wants us to film for them and do some editing for them. Now we recently met the tourism guys who wants us to film for them. I bet I am even forgetting someone else because we have so many people that we are connected with.
We recently did a Film Festival here and it went really well. I think it’s the team that we should be proud of because they have done so much and deserve every chance they’re given.
I always look up to my grandpa “even while you’re walking down the street and you see your friend, smile or wave or both, that way, they’ll feel they need to see you when they’re down and you’ll be able to help.
Looking Closer to Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine (1957-1963)
by Jordan Konek
August 15, 2011
For this past week I was in Rankin Inlet to look a little closer on Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine with the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Dr. Arn Keeling who is a geography researcher, a student Patricia Boulter and a resident film maker Pallulaaq Freisen. I enjoyed the time here in Rankin with the crew and was happy to meet all the people here that I met in Rankin Inlet, I will say that Rankin has a lot of dogs and I think that’s cool, it feels to me that I should have a dog at home in Arviat. But to get back to the research project, I learned some interesting things.
It was nice to learn that we Inuit are very adaptable like Peter Irniq said “we Inuit are very adaptable, we did not know a single word of English and now look at us”. Peter Irniq and Inuit Elders impress me a lot because they say these simple little things that we can think about and use them everyday. It’s part of their normal life, because working twenty four hours a day seven days a week was their way of survival.
I am building a shack at home and my grandmother wanted to see where I’m going to put the shack. She came and said “you should move it on the other side because during winter, the snow will be covering your steps”. Inuit think ahead and prepare for the worst to come in their traditional way and they are some impressive things.
I am now more into this Nanisiniq project more than I was in the beginning. In the beginning I joined because I wanted to travel, now it’s all about getting to know a little bit more of Inuit history, and a little more and more.
I would like to thank Dr. Arn Keeling or “Arn” (like Inuit would say it, there’s no Dr.Mr.Mrs in Inuit language) who was nice enough to get me here to film for Nanisiniq and to interview Elders who have a lot of Inuit history. Also, like to thank Trish (Patricia) who helped prepare the workshop here in Rankin and also did some interviews. Pallulaaq who is a very nice person, very welcoming and hard working person who did so much for us during the week here in Rankin Inlet. Last but almost least the two entertainment guys here at the lodge Anthony and Luke who were also nice, but they are mechanics here in Rankin for a mining project going on in Rankin. And also Phillipe from the CBC who interview me and Amy Owingayak in Arviat for the project.
Media Release: FROM HUNTING TO WORKING UNDERGROUND: UNCOVERING THE INUIT HISTORY OF THE RANKIN INLET NICKEL MINE
Rankin Inlet, NU, Aug 11/2011
The Abandoned Mines Project, led by Memorial University’s Dr. Arn Keeling of Geography and Dr. John Sandlos of History, is in Rankin Inlet from August 8-15th with a team of Inuit participants, researchers, and local students, to examine the impacts of the historic Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine on the community.
This team, which includes Mr. Peter Irniq, cultural consultant and former Commissioner of Nunavut, Patricia Boulter, MA student from Memorial, and Pallulaaq Friesen, a local student from Rankin Inlet, is interested in learning about Inuit memories of work and life in the community of Rankin Inlet in the 1950s and 1960s.
Jordan Konek, young Inuit researcher from the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project, will be in Rankin Inlet to assist with research and shoot footage for Nanisiniq’s short film on the Inuit history of the Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine. This film will serve as a teaching resource, so that Nunavut high school teachers can integrate more Inuit history into the curriculum.
“This is something that I don’t think most Inuit youth know about. I didn’t know about this until I started working on the project.” says Konek.
Operating from 1957-1962, the North Rankin Nickel Mine was the first Arctic mining operation to employ Inuit labour. Encouraged by the federal Northern Administration of the Department of Northern Development and National Resources, Inuit families relocated and were relocated to the new town of Rankin Inlet from across the Kivalliq region, mostly from communities like Chesterfield Inlet, Arviat (Eskimo Point), Repulse Bay, and Baker Lake to work in the mine.
Also working with them on this project are Dr. Emilie Cameron, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Frank Tester of the School of Social Work at UBC.
“The hope [of the mine] was that Inuit would find employment and start on the journey of becoming like Qablunaat workers and families. Wage employment was to replace hunting and Inuit women were to stay home and ‘keep house’.” says Dr. Tester.
In addition to the thousands of documents collected, the team will be conducting one-on-one interviews with Elders while in Rankin Inlet. They are also inviting the community to a workshop on Thursday, August 11 at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Community Hall, where they will show historical pictures and videos of Inuit who worked at the Mine.
This research project is funded by ArcticNet.
Abandoned Mines website: http://niche-canada.org/mining
Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project blogsite: http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com/
For media inquiries contact Dr. Arn Keeling:
leave messages at: 1-867-645-2650
Rankin Inlet Research
August 9, 2011
by Jordan Konek
This week I will be in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut to do a research on Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine of the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Yesterday I made it here to Rankin and will be filming for Dr. Arn Keeling from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Trish from MUN and Paululaat a resident youth film maker of Rankin Inlet. So far since I’ve made it to Rankin Inlet, we have interviewed two elders who worked in the Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine. I will be reviewing the shots that I have so far and do what I can to blog about them. The elders have a rich flavour of the Nickel mine, their words do not come from a paper that was written by a Qablunaaq (White person), they come from their memories.
I am looking forward to what this project will bring to me and the crew of Dr.Keeling. This morning we did b-roll shots of the mills and the old concentrate shed. We will be doing a Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine workshop at the local community hall on Thursday, Aug 12, 2011 at 7PM.
In Rankin Inlet: Community Workshop on the Abandoned Mines Project
“Abandoned Mines researchers Arn Keeling and John Sandlos are investigators on a new project examining “Adaptation, Industrial Development and Arctic Communities: Experiences of environmental and social change,” funded through the recent ArcticNet Social and Human Health Sciences special call for projects…The project, initially funded for one year, will examine the impacts of and responses to mineral-driven industrial development and resettlement in the Arctic through community-based research and historical-geographical analysis. Researchers will undertake fieldwork in three Nunavut communities, Kugluktuk (Coppermine) in the Kitikmeot region, Qamani’ tuaq (Baker Lake) and Kangiqiniq (Rankin Inlet) in the Kivalliq region. All three communities have a history of engagement with industrial mining operations, and are currently encountering large-scale mineral exploration activities and development proposals in their regions, which present both opportunities and uncertainties related to work, economic development, social and cultural change, and environmental impacts.”
Join researchers from Memorial University, Peter Irniq, former Commissioner of Nunavut, and youth researchers, including Jordan Konek from the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project on Thursday, August 11 at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Community Hall for this community workshop. Please note, the workshop will be filmed.
Click here to find out more about the Abandoned Mines project: http://niche-canada.org/mining