Letters from the Arctic

Nunavut Here We Come

By 1,April, 2019No Comments


We are off to Nunavut.  First stop Ottawa, where the Baffin 2019 team will enjoy a group dinner and pack their food rations for the trip.  Rose meet up with Rita Toporowski, her teammate and GM of Customer Service for Via Rail. What a great start to the trip via train and friendship!

Tuesday it’s an early morning flight to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut before boarding another small hopper plane to Qikiqtarjuaq.

DISTANCE:  2,552 miles from Ottawa to Qiki

TEMPERATURE TODAY:  0° F but feels like -11°


Nunavut has four official languages: English, French, Inuktitut, and Inuinnaqtun. The last two are Inuit languages and the most common is Inuktitut, but it is complicated because there are different regional dialects.

Here’s a little of what Rose will experience and a few words you’ll need to know:

  • Nunavut pronounced “noo-nah-voot
  • Iqaluit, NU (?) is pronounced “ee-kha-loo-eet”:
  • Qikiqtarjuaq (Qik) is pronounced “kick“. When the team arrives, they’ll be taken to local inns to enjoy dinner and one last sleep in a warm bed.  Wednesday, half of the group heads to the base of Attityuk Park, where they’ll sleep outside and what for the other half of the group to arrive Thursday morning.  Together, they’ll begin the 100 km snowshoe trek along the Akshayuk Pass.
  • Qamutik pronounced “kha-moo-tick” and is the name for the wooden sleigh they’ll ride in.  These qamutiks are pulled by snowmobiles and driven by Inuit guides. The 5-hour trip will be an extremely cold and uncomfortable ride!
  • Inuit is pronounced “ee-noo-eet” and is the name for the Aboriginal peoples who inhabit Canada’s north
  • Qallunaat is pronounced “kha-loo-naht” and is the name for white people or non-Inuits
  • Ullaakuut pronounced “oo-laa-koot” means good morning and a popular greeting
  • Nakoormeek is pronounced “na-koo-meet“.  It means thank you and will be the biggest feeling as we forge new friendships with locals and take those last few steps completing our trek!


It’s great to finally start! With months of planning, strength training and learning behind us, there is an overwhelming feeling of relief to finally head out.

The overwhelming support we have received makes it feel like there is a small army of supporters behind our efforts to help military veterans and their families. Forecast for the next two weeks looks like joy and hard work. Couldn’t ask for anything better in life. And happy birthday to Nunavut today – officially created as a Canadian territory 20 years ago.

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Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

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