Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bans, Wasps and Apologies

Anyone whose followed this blog for any length of time will know that I whole-heartedly welcome this news regarding a proposed EU seal ban. Of course they will say that it isn't directed specifically at Inuit but at the end of the day a ban would definitely affect them. I'm sure this news has brought some gritting of teeth and hand ringing to some people, but then I see stories of some Europeans deliberately running with bulls and well...if your silly enough to do that I suppose a ban somehow makes some sort of sense.....

Seeing wasps in the High Arctic caught my attention though its something I've been aware of for the past 2 or 3 years, having seen them myself as well as some interesting pictures of them on a couple other northern blobs I frequent.

I also note with interest the federal government's apology for the forced relocation of Inuit families back in the 1950's. For me this wasn't just something I read about in history books. I got some sense of it all from my time spent in Arctic Bay, one of the communities affected by this bureaucratic decision. For anyone interested in more information, I highly recommend the book Tammarniit (Mistakes).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Close Encounters

While I had a few close encounters with polar bears when I lived in Nunavut, I have to admit none of the were quite like this. It bears pointing out(sorry for the pun)that generally bears will take great pains to avoid human contact and that most encounters occur when we as humans encroach on their territory. The only serious attack I heard about during the time I lived up there occurred in 2003 when an Inuk guide was attacked in his tent at night while leading a hunting expedition. The man did survive, but needed a couple hundred stitches and staples to close to wounds to his scalp.

I recall coming across a black bear in Fort Smith 10 years ago, but fortunately for me, the bear showed much more interest in the berries it was eating than in me and I was able to beat a hasty retreat with nothing more than an elevated heart rate and a good northern tale.

While polar bears make for iconic northern photos, you always have to use your head. It's good to hear this encounter turned out safely for both human and bear.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Blog

Its been quite a while since I've added a new blog to the sidebar. Courtesy of Bonnieupnorth (another Alberta/Nunavut blog by the way), I give you The Amazing Tails of Jasper and Jack, Alaskan bloggers, who if I've got it correctly are friends of Bonnie's daughter.

While I have to admit I'm not as familiar with Alaskan blogs as the ones from Canada's 3 northern territories, I do have to admit a certain captivation with the state. It is high up on my list of places to see and I've bounced the idea of taking an Alaskan cruise of my fiancee. And to my delight, she is just as enthusiastic about it as I am. At any rate, be sure to check out this new Alaskan addition to the sidebar if you have the opportunity.