Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 20, 2014 - 3:39 pm

Cape Dorset hosts 20th Eastern Arctic elders’ gathering

“People are meeting each other, making friends. This is a big event here"

THOMAS ROHNER
Elders from across the Eastern Arctic fill the gymnasium at Peter Pitseolak high school in Cape Dorset Aug. 19. (PHOTO BY CLAUDE CONSTANTINEAU)
Elders from across the Eastern Arctic fill the gymnasium at Peter Pitseolak high school in Cape Dorset Aug. 19. (PHOTO BY CLAUDE CONSTANTINEAU)

Elders from across Nunavut and Nunavik are gathering in Cape Dorset this week for the 20th annual Eastern Arctic elders’ gathering.

“Everybody’s really excited to see each other again,” Cape Dorset mayor Palaya Qiatsuk told Nunatsiaq News Aug. 20.

“People are meeting each other, making friends. This is a big event here,” he said.

Over 100 elders, travelling from almost every community in the neighbouring Inuit regions of Nunavut and Nunavik were at the opening ceremonies Aug. 18, Qiatsuk said, where local musicians entertained the crowd.

A baseball and soccer match were held Tuesday afternoon, with a choir sing-a-long in the evening, the mayor said, and a flea market was to be held later today, followed by a magic show Aug. 20.

“There’s some younger people coming into watch too, of course they’re interested to watch,” Qiatsuk said.

On Aug. 21, a trip to a local fish trap is scheduled, but it depends on the weather, and in the afternoon a cake, made by the local high school, will be served in honour of the 20th anniversary.

“It’s going to be a huge cake,” the mayor said. “It has to feed 250 to 300 people… I can hardly wait to see it.”

Closing ceremonies will be held on Friday, but before then a community feast is planned, again depending on the weather.

“We hope to have seal, beluga, caribou meat, Arctic char, and who knows? There might be many more… it’s going to be very fat and very full.”

You can read about the 2011 elders’ gathering in Cape Dorset here.

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