Sunday, November 10, 2013

October Travels - Part 2 - Flight to Qikiqtarjuaq

The community of Qikiqtarjuaq was the second stop on the Clyde/Qik double circuit. On Wednesday, October 30th, the court party left Clyde River and flew to Qikiqtarjuaq, by Air Nunavut charter.  Approaching Qikiqtarjuaq there were areas where visibility was poor because of snow, but the pilots flew around the bad weather and we made it in first try. The plane flew at a very low altitude for about half of the flight giving everyone a spectacular view of mountains, ocean and icebergs. It was the most incredible flying that I’ve ever experienced.

This is a picture of our arrival. The RCMP met the plane and helped with getting everyone and their bags to the Tulugak (Raven) Hotel.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Travels – Part 1 – Clyde River

I spent the last week of October in Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq for the double court circuit. This was my first time visiting both communities. The first stop was Clyde River.

 Afternoon light at the airport, shortly after we arrived.

The picture below is a view of the town, taken from the Hamlet Building on Saturday, a little after 10 a.m., just before clients began arriving to meet with me to prepare their cases for court. As you can tell from the light levels, Clyde River is pretty far north. The posts poking out of the snow in the foreground are supports for the new Hamlet Building to be constructed next summer.

While in Clyde River, the court party stayed at the Piqqusilirivvikcultural school which hosts non-student guests when there are rooms available. I’d been warned about staying at the other option, the Qamaq Hotel, an apparently terrible place even by arctic hospitality standards. Fortunately for us they were closed for much-needed renovations.  I’m grateful that the culture school was able to accommodate us. It was a beautiful, comfortable and cheerful place to stay. I only wish that there had been more time to explore and learn more about the traditional skills that are being taught there.

The culture school is a little bit out of town, about a 20-minute walk down a partially empty stretch of road. Before I left Iqaluit, one of my colleagues who had been on Clyde River circuits before warned me to watch out for polar bears when out walking. Bears do sometimes go to that area, but this time none had been seen in recent weeks. So I’m very happy to report that in addition to getting some good results in court, I achieved another important goal that I set for the Clyde River court circuit: avoid getting eaten.

It was overcast most of the time so I didn’t get too many good pictures.  Also, the days were short, and my working hours were much longer.

The scenic walk near the water to the RCMP detachment to meet with an in-custody accused.

Inside the community hall, where court was held. Unfortunately we were too busy to squeeze in a game of pool.

Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
Only – Nine Inch Nails