Teacher in Whale Cove, Nunavut

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Northern Convoy

This week is professional development week for teachers in the Kivalliq region. Most teachers are attending a conference in Rankin Inlet. Because we didn't want to leave the dogs behind, Alex and I chose to stay in Whale Cove and work on own individual PD. It has been a gorgeous week so far, the sun has been shining and the temperatures have been hovering around -35.

On Monday night 100 or so Rangers came in to Whale Cove on snowmobiles, it was like a snowmobile convoy, pretty cool to see. The Canadian Rangers are the militaries eyes and ears in the north according to the armed forces. One of the Rangers poked his head into my office to chat. Alex and I asked him where they came from and why they were here. The Ranger told us that they were doing some training on how to survive in the north and the cold conditions. He told us that they were even learning something as simple as how to manage a gas can in the cold because the cold can make the can very brittle and hard to work with. The Ranger ensured us that we will be seeing more of a military presence in the north as the years go on because Arctic Sovereignty is becoming more and more of a pressing issue for Canada. This we found quite interesting. He pointed out that this northern land wouldn't be part of Canada if the Inuit weren't living here.

 The Ranger then asked Alex and I how we liked it in the north, how we handle the cold, how we deal with the isolation. He then praised us for our hard work up in the north. I get this a lot - "you are doing such a good thing by being up there" - I know these people are just meaning to compliment me - but on what? Would these people say this to me if I was teaching down South? It is as if they think that I am saving the north by teaching the "poor inuit". Almost as if they think that the inuit could not do this without the white mans help. Some people say I read to much into things like this, but maybe we need to...

No comments:

Post a Comment