North of 60 -report Fall 2017

Nov 8, 2017

It is with great joy I share with you the safe arrival of the sea containers and the crates sent to our brothers and sister in Nunavut.

Rankin Inlet received 2 sea containers that were graciously unloaded and moved to the Church spare room by the men from the Healing Centre. During my visit there Ann Rose, Cecilia, and I took two days to move and organize the boxes almost into a maze. However, this will greatly facilitate the making of a food hamper. Large sized items were resized in the hope that all that come, will be served until next summer. There has been a steady flow of about 42 families coming once a month to the SHARING CENTRE. It has been a special gift to experience the happiness and change this food is making in their lives. Fr. Marcin and I worked out the value of the food hamper in Rankin Inlet pricing and we estimate it to be close to $250.00 . While there, it was evident that Rankin had a surplus of tin milk. Assisted by the Kivalliq Inuit Association, some was airlifted to Naujaat to be shared.

Whale Cove received 6 crates of food items. Sister Dorica and Sister Fernande received much help from the children and their parents to move the items into the mission. They sent me pictures showing many happy faces moving and sorting all the goods. Nutella spread was a huge smiling face maker! There are about 25 families being helped in Whale Cove and the sisters will be able to feed the children in their after school/weekend program.

Naujaat received for the first time a full 20ft. sea container. My visit here was a new eye- opener. This hamlet is deeply entrenched in their Inuit cultures and values. When the container arrived at the end of August, several locals came out to help remove only the perishable items. The Church has VERY little storage space - however, Fr. Daniel became rather creative in his pursuit of space. Hamper distribution occurs once a month. We came together the Friday night and Saturday morning prior distribution to assemble the hampers. It was first thought 30-35 families would be served and we prepared accordingly – 76 families came. We worked quickly to make the extra hampers. This will greatly affect how we move forward this coming year in our gathering for Naujaat. For now, many of the items received will need to be broken down in the hope that the food will last until the next shipment – but the likelihood of this happening is very slim indeed. In addition, food is more expensive in Naujaat in comparison to Rankin Inlet.

Gjoa Haven received their sea container in the last few days of August. Pictures were sent showing families coming to clear out the container and helping to break down packages into smaller sizes - all with huge smiles on their faces. Our commitment to Gjoa Haven is new to both of us. Close communications will be maintained with them to ensure suitability of products sent and the duration of the food supplied. Our Canadian Coast guard dropped off a pallet of soup mix supplied by Gleaners in Vancouver. This gift was initiated in 2016 and could only be completed this summer.

Toloyoak received 7 crates of food in the last few days of August. Fr. Lukcaz sent along a thank you note expressing the happiness and gratitude of the people from this community. Toloyoak is also experiencing a new relationship with brothers and sisters from Ontario Region. Close communication will be a key factor to the growth and development of trust with Toloyoak. The food sent northward to Toloyoak was based on the needs for 25 families. As we continue to learn from each other, we will then have a more accurate assessment of their needs.

Fr. Lukcaz sent some of the food sent to Toloyoak with a neighbouring, but not at all close, community – Kugaaruk/Pelley Bay. The people of this community have been experiencing food insufficiencies for quite some time now. It is engrained in the Inuit culture and values to share. This community will be a new addition to the North of 60 Program for 2018.

Moving Forward

I have asked each community to keep an account of their activities. Not new to us – I have asked each to report monthly:
The number of families served
The number of adults served
The number of children served
Families in the North are large and can have “children” still living at home who are well past the age of 21. I have asked that these individuals be considered adults for the purpose of our metrics.

Pegg Leroux
Vice President, North of 60