A True Northern Celebration

This weekend was yet another very enjoyable weekend here in the North.

Saturday night the kids and I got to take part in a community celebration in honour of some of Canada’s best Olympians who just happen to be from Akalvik.

Cross-country skiers who participated in the formative Territorial Experimental Ski Training (TEST) program launched in in Inuvik in the late 1960s were in Aklavik this weekend to tout the benefits of the sport to youth.

Harold Cook, his brother David and competitive Olympic skier Sharon Firth are all original members of the TEST program, in which aboriginal students who attended residential school in Inuvik were taught and competed in cross country skiing.

This Trio addressed students at Moose Kerr school Friday and on Saturday night the Hamlet of Aklavik welcomed the 3 into the Aklavik Hall of Fame. To celebrate this occasion there was a community Feast held at the community center. There was plenty of delicious food and cake. The 3 were awarded plaques and we were privileged to hear some of their stories about their amazing efforts.

firth Sisters     Firth Sisters 2  Firth Sisters 3

Sharon Firth and her now deceased twin sister Shirley represented Canada in 4 consecutive Winter Olympics and numerous world events. the Firth Sisters and the Cook Brothers are nothing but role models for all young people, but especially for the young people of their home town of Akalvik. As the motto of this little Hamlet states “Never Say Die” these athletes prove that sport is the true equalizer in life. It proves that you don’t need money… or the best equipment to be the best… you need to believe in yourself and you abilities. You need to believe that through hard work and determination you can dominate and be the best.


Sunday was such a beautiful day here …. with both Lori and I off work, we decided to go for a bit of an adventure walk. We took the kids and started to walk across the river and followed and Snowmobile trail into the tundra and across another inlet.


The weather was so amazing and the scenery was spectacular. There were some spots that were pretty hard going, especially where I was pulling the kids in the sled, but it was truly worth the effort. I’m pretty sure we will all sleep well tonight.

I’ve been asked a number of times since e moved here if it was the right decision…. and every day so far I’ve answered YES! Northern life is very addictive.


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