This is one of those photos that says so much. Arviat’s Una Ussak captured this moment in an impromptu drive-by last night her community took part in. It was Brianne Taleriktok’s daughter Beatrice’s idea to kneel down and pray for Arviat. Brianne says when they went inside, Beatrice had tears. She’s only 5years old.
That’s because Arviat, Nunavut is being hit hard by COVID-19.
As of November 18, 54 people have tested positive in only 6 days. And the number is expected to go up until it’s under control. Health officials say there is community transmission and they’re working to contain the spread. The fly-in hamlet of 3,000 people are on lock down and as of today, so is the entire territory.
The situation in Arviat is dire, significant and scary; forcing families to stay home 24/7. They must conserve water and energy. A tough thing to do when water is delivered by water trucks and sewage is pumped out. The onset of winter has the furnaces going constantly and the sun setting by 3:30 pm. Most families live in over-crowded housing, and are on income support. The schools are closed so families are learning to adjust, kids are no doubt getting restless. The challenges are great and they are many.
But the people of Arviat are resilient. They are known as the friendliest community in Nunavut. Everyone there smiles at everyone and I’m proud to call Arviat my home. And they will get through this. Let’s help them get through this.
Money donated will get sent to and distributed by the Arviat Alliance Church, a registered charity. Pastor Brad Williams has already been busy helping Arviamiut in need. The church is overseen by the Canadian Midwest District and has five Church Board members.
Your donation can help buy items such as food, food vouchers and heating fuel. It could also help pay for gasoline for hunters to go out and get country food to feed their family, or to help pay a bill. Activities like puzzles or colouring books for the kids, maybe a iTunes card. Material to sew, or to build something to keep people busy. Whatever essential workers need to do their job safely. Masks. Cleaning supplies. Pastor Brad and the Alliance Church are ready to get Arviamiut what they need through this fundraiser.
If you are able to contribute even just a few dollars, matnaluavik! Thank you very much!
To the people of Arviat, stay strong and stay safe!
- Courtney Kirkpatrick
- Katelyn Campbell
- Damien Iquallaq
- Lisa Wedge