Wednesday, October 01, 2008

You Know, I Just Can't Let This One Pass

One of the reasons I decided to start a blog, aside from keeping tabs with friends and family, was to "spread a little light" as it were. For many people, Nunavut is a "terra incognita". Goodness knows I've seen a lot of opinions out there, some factual and some fictional. I comment when I can on many different Northern issues. I don't pretend to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination. When I see callous garbage like this however, my blood reaches a boiling point. Where do I even start? How nice that someone felt compelled to write this tripe so soon after a tragic event. Aside from an obvious ignorance of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, this individual seems to feel that Northern communities such as mine are dripping in money. Funny. I received an email today explaining that if I wanted to take an indoor soccer team to Iqaluit in November, our $150/player registration fee from 2 years ago was going to be jacked up.....way way in $2000-$3000 dollars per team. (see Nunavut schools; cash galore)

My community has no purpose apparently. But why is Arctic Bay located where it is? There are few caribou to be found anywhere near here so Inuit did not normally frequent the area? Arctic Bay is where it is not due to any choice on the part of the Inuit but because it was seen as a convenient harbor by Europeans. True there is no economy of scale. These things do not just appear overnight. Heck, even "progressive" Europe has places that are viewed as economically backward. Ever hear of Soviet Russia, southern Italy or the Balkans? (see Europe; 2000+ years of "civilization" and still messed up)

Apparently, you just go in, take over "kick arse" (as the author so elegantly puts it) and poof....the victor has the right to do whatever pleases them. What a pleasant, harmonious world THAT little strategy creates. (see George Bush; Iraq; strategy not working)

My point is that there are many many reasons at play here. And they are all interconnected. It is very easy to sit at a computer 2000+ miles away, poo poo the problems rant, rave and hiss and ultimately offer nothing constructive. It is a whole other ball game when you know the individual and the family involved, when you work with them and see them on a daily basis. You have the luxury of not having to face or comfort these people that I happen to know.

I am now in my 6th year of life in Nunavut, the last 3-and-a-bit of which have been here in Arctic Bay. This is the first community I have felt at home in since leaving university in Windsor, Ontario. During my time here, sure there have been bumps in the road. But heck, growing up in small-town Ontario, there were problems there too. There's even a maximum security facility a 20-minute drive from my parents' house. (Occassionally inmates escape, but no one pegs Campbellford, Ontario or nearby Warkworth as "black holes" to be avoided.) During my time here I have been involved in the school as a coach (the boys even brought home a gold two years back), as a confidante to students and as a helping hand to younger, newer colleagues. Outside of work, I have helped with the local cadet corps, have had people help me move my belongings when needed, am greeted warmly on my walk to work, am given rides on skidoo or a quad if I am seen carrying a lot of groceries or a large parcel etc.. In short, my daily interactions with people aren't any different from any any other place I could be living. The fact that I even feel it necessary to defend my choice to be here actually infuriates me. Next topic....

I seem to recall a place called Greenland, which, when granted "home rule" by the colonizing Danes, were then able to build up and protect their language and culture and build a strong economic base. Funny, how people who see fit to bash the place I now call home tend to overlook that success story.

I have to confess to being too tired and angry at this point to go further although I easily could if it were earlier in the day. Unlike the article in question, I will keep this short, and hopefully to the point. I will let my readers draw their own conclusions. Unlike the article in question, I invite comments.

Oh yeah. No one that I am aware of in my community has free high-speed Internet. This "counter-rant" is costing me money here folks.

UPDATE - Apparently the link to the above-mentioned blog is now open by invitation only so it won't open by clicking on it. Yeah, yeah I know.....I cried when I didn't get an invitation too. I'm sure I'll get over it right quick though.


Mongoose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clare said...

Well done Darcy,

Where do you even start with something like that.

indigo said...

WOW! the original rant (for someone who has soent the better part of her 55 years in the north) is short sighted, incendiary, vicious, callous, ignorant, culturally insensitive and a whole host of other things I do not feel like typing right now.

Your response was well written, informed and articulate.

Maybe a sign at the 60th parallel: losers and end of the roaders need not apply!

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

That was quite the rant that person put on their blog. Interesting how they can dish it out, but don't have the guts enough to let anyone comment!!

Matthew and Michele said...

I just finished reading both posts.


Someone (not way way up) needs to do a little research before ranting away about life here in Nunavut.

My god we don't even have "Bands" here. Does the person even know that in Nunavut the locale people are Inuit not Indians?

Sorry about to start on my own rant there. The amount of errors and misconceptions in that one blog post is unbelievable. It would take a fairly long blog post just to correct those.

I noticed the comments were turned off too. I would bet good money that the author of the blog post knew that what was written was wrong to begin with.

Jackie S. Quire said...

Hey Darcy,
Am wondering though, what was the context of Mongoose's response to your post.
I am sure you deleted it for a reason, but it would be interesting to know...

Anonymous said...

Well, pretty difficult not to get the blood boiling, as yours dear Blogger. It was hudge ! such arrogant, narrow and ignorant point of view on the Inuk culture and the suicide itself. And I believe you would not even be able to exchange arguments and points of views with this person in a decent and constructive way. That's just a pity.

Meandering Michael said...

Wow. I've read both posts and wanted to comment on the original but comments have been disabled, so I'm commenting here.

1. I'm familiar with the area that Mongoose is talking about and she does not do it justice. Yes, there are individuals that she can point to who support her case, but I can point to many, many more who do not. Most of the people I know are trying to do the best they can with what they've got.

2. Money is NOT easy to get in those communities - and when the communities DO get it, it's usually just enough for them to: 1. Get into trouble or 2. Only do what needs to be done half-way. That applies to communities with a municipal and First Nations government and to communities with just one government.

3. Residential school is just some kind of a scapegoat? Hmmm... you know, if I were taken away from my parents when I was a kid and raised by an institution, I might have a bit of trouble with my own parenting skills. I'm not saying that's the case for everyone (I know of some people who really valued their residential school experiences), but I know many more people who have been suffering from their residential school experiences for a long time.

4. On the matter of Treaties, I would suggest that Mongoose (and anyone else who is interested in the topic) read "As Long As This Land Shall Last"", which is a balanced examination of Treaties 8 and 11 - the treaties to which Mongoose is supposedly referring. You can read it for free on

Every treaty was different, negotiated under different circumstances, and each had their own objectives from a First Nations perspective. Some actually wanted assimilation. Others just wanted to be left alone.

In short, the signatories to Treaties 8 and 11 thought the treaties were peace treaties. And was there nothing in it for the government? They got claim to a whooooole lot of land and resources without the messy optics and expense of a slaughter in a place that was very expensive to move an army. Instead, it took a bishop, an RCMP officer and one government representative.

Way Way Up said...

Jackie, believe me I thought long and hard about posting that comment. In the end though, I decided it serves no real purpose. And plus I would never post anything crass on my blog since dear Mom reads it regularly :) I actually had it posted temporarily by accident before taking it down (technological Luddite that I am).

In the end though, Anonymous really hit the nail on the head - its pointless to reason and debate with an illogical point of view.

Way Way Up said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew and Michele said...

She has been posting comments on my blog accusing me of stalking her.


Hate to see what has been wrote about me on her blog. I don't know because I didn't get the invitation either.

The comments were deleted on my blog. If you're curious they didn't make much sence anyway.

Way Way Up said...

Stalking?! Man, I hate competition!


Matthew and Michele said...


dogsled_stacie said...

Wow, shame I missed all this, ok not really- it's pretty much all drivel that comes out of her head.

Yes, you're right, she has a LOT of issues it seems. Lack of understanding and empathy to name a couple. She has been banned as a commenter from a lot of blogs because of her idiocy and harassment.

Gotta love the cowardly, nameless twits!

Kiggavik said...

One thing that troubles me here is the comments relating to the other person's mental health, and here's why. I have no idea whether the person has any mental health issues or not, and her mental health should have little or no bearing on her original post.

However, the impression I get is that her mental health is being mocked. The original issue that started her rant surrounded suicide, and some of the suicides are the result of mental health issues. Every time we mock someones mental health (and there are many many people who have or have had mental health problems of one kind or another) we make it that much more difficult for people who should be seeking treatment to seek treatment.

Those of us who, either as health professionals or someone who is trying to help a suicidal or troubled person, have to fight the stigma that we place on mental health. Again and again people who would benefit from treatment refuse it, in part because they don't want to be mocked.

People don't choose to have mental health issues, no more than they choose to have diabetes. We don't mock people who need insulin.

Just like this has no place in this conversation, it is also not an excuse for the misanthropic, xenophobic shite that was portrayed as a rant. It is what needs to confronted.

Way Way Up said...

Very very true, Clare. I regret the error in judgement and have taken down the comment.