Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kickin' It With Some Arctic Sports

Our third day in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut began with another amazing learning experience with the community Elders. Piffy (pronounced more like "Biffy") is dried arctic char. We all gathered in the school gym where there were some beautiful bright pink char waiting for us. 
The Elder women showed all the students how to use a traditional crescent-shaped knife called an 'Ulu' to scale and fillet the gorgeous fish. 
Then they were scored and laid out on a wooden rack for drying - the Piffy will be dried in time for our final feast with the Elders on Saturday!

A short time later it was off to one of the only processing plants in Canada that packages muskox meat and Arctic char for commercial sale. 
The muskox season isn't until February, but there was lots of Arctic char for us to see as they were being smoked and packaged.
The plant has strict rules of hygiene, so we all had to sport some stylish hairnets and white coats... even Fink!

Next, the students all went to the Cambridge Bay Visitors Centre to check out some local cultural and natural artifacts. 
Overcome with love for the North, Barry gave a big bear hug to a massive stuffed polar bear. 

After a great dinner, some of the Kiilinik High School students gave us a demo of Arctic Sports. These are definitely some of the strangest contests known to humans, with games like the "Knuckle Hop", "Mouth Pull", "Muskox Fight", and "Finger Pull."
Everyone was really impressed at the athleticism of the high school Arctic sports players. But we were all definitely most impressed by one of our own: Devon tried a couple of the sports and did really well, but when he stepped up to try the "One Foot High Kick" he ended up kicking a hanging target 7'3" above the ground - higher than any of the other competitors!

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