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Country foods: Sale of game in the North leaves Inuit society conflicted

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The hunter grabs one of his delicacies by its furry, frozen ear and waves it in the air. "Caribou heads for sale!" he cries. "Caribou heads for sale!" Eager for the makings of a tasty soup, customers flock to his table at an open-air market in Iqaluit, where fresh-from-the-land food has been on occasional offer since 2010. Tables piled with caribou, seabirds, seaweed, seal — the "country foods" of the traditional Inuit diet — sell out in minutes.

Only the elite allowed to shop at government of Canada's official gift store

OTTAWA - Canada's official gift shop is tucked into the fourth floor of a government building in nearby Gatineau, Que., but you won't see any tourists lining up at the cash register to buy coffee mugs adorned with Mounties. This taxpayer-funded store carries only high-end souvenirs, reserved for the elite ranks of the federal government.

Annual East Coast seal hunt starts amid ongoing court case and trade challenge

HALIFAX - The annual East Coast seal hunt starts Monday against a backdrop of ongoing trade and court challenges in Europe and renewed claims from animal welfare groups that the 400-year-old industry is dead in the water. Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Canadian wing of Humane Society International, said on Sunday that only 15 boats have signalled their intention to take part in the hunt, which typically focuses on harp seals off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

Humane Society International says it doesn't oppose Inuit subsistence sealing

MONTREAL - A spokeswoman for the Canadian arm of the Humane Society International is clarifying the group's position on the Inuit seal hunt, as a protest against TV star Ellen DeGeneres in the North gains support. Rebecca Aldworth says recent reports on the protests are mixing up subsistence sealing in Canada's North with the commercial hunt. She says animal protection groups oppose commercial sealing in Atlantic Canada by non-aboriginal people.

Inuit land claims group organizing giant sealfie to protest Ellen's Oscar selfie

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A group that oversees Inuit land claims is organizing a giant photo op to counter the celebrity selfie taken by Ellen Degeneres at the Oscars last month. Degeneres donated $1.5 million of the money raised by the star-studded picture to the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that fights seal hunting. In response, Inuit across Nunavut have been using social media to post "sealfies'' — pictures of themselves wearing sealskin clothes, standing beside freshly killed seals or looking forward to enjoying a tasty seal meal.

Online classroom brings southern experts to Arctic students

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The students are in the Arctic, but now the teachers can be anywhere. Nunavut is launching a program today that uses technology developed by Cisco Systems to bring experts from across North America into classrooms in Iqaluit. Students that have never seen a frog can now link to a university biology lab to see one being dissected. The interactive, high-definition online video also connects southern students to their northern peers to give them their first close look at Inuit traditions such as kayak-building.

Alberta K-12 students to be taught painful legacy of Indian residential schools

EDMONTON - Alberta students are to be taught about the horrors and the painful legacy of Indian residential schools. The province has announced that all kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum will include mandatory content on the significance of residential schools and First Nation treaties. Aboriginal Relations Minister Frank Oberle (oh-buhr-lee) made the announcement to wild applause at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Edmonton before hundreds of residential school survivors and their families.

Inuit take on Ellen's Oscar selfie after money goes to anti-sealing group

IQALUIT, Nunavut - It's selfie versus sealfie. Canadian Inuit are taking on a famous photo by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars after the celebrity gave some of the money raised from the star-studded picture to a group that fights seal hunting. "Once in a while, a new pretty blond celebrity comes along and drowns our voice out," Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, an Inuk from Iqaluit who's organizing the protest, said Thursday. "I was surprised to see this time it's Ellen."

Offices shut down as dozens search for well-known Iqaluit homeless man

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Dozens of volunteers in Iqaluit left their homes and offices Wednesday to search the icy streets of the Nunavut capital for a well-known, much-loved homeless man. Police say Benjamin Palluq, 44, hasn't been seen since Friday. "Many, many, many people know him," said Iqaluit RCMP Cpl. Yvonne Niego . "In a way he's like a pillar of the community. He is everywhere you go. He is at every public place around the community." Niego said Palluq is epileptic, has a mental disability and may be off his medications.

Offices shut down as dozens search for well-known Iqaluit homeless man

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Dozens of volunteers in Iqaluit left their homes and offices Wednesday to search the icy streets of the Nunavut capital for a well-known, much-loved homeless man. Police say Benjamin Palluq, 44, hasn't been seen since Friday. "Many, many, many people know him," said Iqaluit RCMP Cpl. Yvonne Niego . "In a way he's like a pillar of the community. He is everywhere you go. He is at every public place around the community." Niego said Palluq is epileptic, has a mental disability and may be off his medications.
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