Blog: Social distancing on the land with help from QIA

Blog: Social distancing on the land with help from QIA

 In Blog, COVID Post, COVID19

In late March 2020 QIA rolled out a number of initiatives to assist Qikiqtani Inuit during the COVID-19 pandemic, including new funding for families to harvest and social distance on-the-land.

We reached out to a few of the families to ask them about their experiences.

Pond Inlet’s Leo and Myna Maktar

Leo and Myna Maktar of Pond Inlet recently spent some quality time on-the-land with members of their household thanks to financial support from QIA.

“We spent time at our cabin and went fishing with our grandchildren,” said Myna Maktar, “we enjoyed every moment of our camping and outings.”

Myna’s husband, Leo, learned that there was funding available through Facebook and the community radio and applied for the funds to social distance and harvest on-the-land.

The Maktar family travelled about 70 kilometers to their camp where they harvested char and turbot.

“As always, it was good,” said Leo, “our grandkids came with us and now they want to go out hunting more.”

Leo says going out on-the-land was a bonding experience for him and his grandchildren, “they were always at my side when we were pulling the lines to see what was at the other end.”

The highlight of the trip was when their youngest grandchild, Philip, pulled up a Greenland Shark on their turbot line. Although Philip had seen one before, he didn’t recognize it at first because it was coming out of the water on the line.

Myna’s first reaction was that it was a Qalupalik, a sea monster.

The Maktar family is getting ready to go fishing again this week near Bylot Island. They hope that they will catch enough turbot to share with Inuit in Pond Inlet who are unable to go fishing.

Pangnirtung’s Joseph Kilabuk and Courtney Cox

Joseph Kilabuk and Courtney Cox and their son Ilaija of Pangnirtung used the funds from QIA to spend time at their cabin near Bon Accord. They are preparing to go back out for a longer stay soon.

“We went on a short four-day trip to see what we would need for a longer trip and to see approximately how much supplies we use a day,” said Courtney. “Now we are planning for a longer trip.”

Igloolik’s Sebastian Kopak and family

Sebastian Kopak used the funds from QIA to take his family caribou hunting near Igloolik. He shared a few pictures with us on our Facebook page.

Iqaluit’s Billy Kovik and family

Billy Kovik of Iqaluit used the funds from QIA to harvest seals, Arctic Char and ptarmigan.

“We spent over a week on the land,” he said, “experience on the land is always awesome, thanks to you QIA!”

Lots of other families are sending us photos and notes – we can’t wait to speak to more Inuit to hear about their adventures social distancing on-the-land.

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