Archive | June 2012

Welcome to Taloyoak, Nunavut








My name is Ronnie Napacheekadlak, I am from Taloyoak, Nunavut on the Boothia Peninsula.  Taloyak is a small isolated  community in the very far north.  It’s not a city, it has a small population of 900.

In the winter we go hunting for caribou (Tuqtu), fish, seals (netsiq) and other animals to help us eat through the winter.  Summers up there aren’t like summers in Vancouver, the days are way longer.  We have our own traditional Inuit games that are a lot harder than they sound.  Games like the kneel jump, the airplane, the mouth pull, and the knucklehop (which is my favourite).  To find out more about where I’m from check out this link: or check it out on Google maps by clicking here.  If you ever make it up north, here are some words you might find useful (borrowed from Quyanainni and enjoy:







How are you?

I’m fine, thanks. And you?



Long time no see


What’s your name?

My name is …


Uvanga …atira

Ujunga ….

Where are you from?

I’m from …



Pleased to meet you

Katigatkit Quvianaq



Tavvaujutit – to one person
Tavvaujusi – to many people

Have a nice day


I don’t understand


How do you say … in   Inuktitut?

…ni … qanuq uqauhiqaqpin?/uqausiqaqpit?

Excuse me


How much does it cost?

Una Qapsit/Qassit/Qatsit?


Iikuluk, Aittaaq, Nakujuq

Thank you


Quyanainni, Quana, Ma’na
Qujannamiik, Nakurmiik


Where’s the toilet?

Naung anarvik?

Would you like to
dance with me?




Happy Birthday


My hovercraft
is full of eels

Umiaryuap Publimaaqpaga tattaurniq ammayaq /
Umiarjuap Pullimmaqpaga tattaurniq nimiraq J


Drawn to Listen

by Laura

As a student new to UBC, and a wide-eyed new resident of Vancouver, I spent my first few months here seeking a way to feel connected to my new home. I came upon the Learning Exchange when I was first considering attending UBC and found it a very unique and beneficial feature of the university, in its direct engagement with an aspect of the surrounding community.

The location of the Exchange provides me with an opportunity to explore off-campus Vancouver and have a chance to engage with spectacular people I would otherwise not meet. Although I was unsure of my ability to contribute to this particular volunteer environment, the unbelievably supportive staff gave me the confidence to explore areas of volunteering which I would not have thought to previously pursue. Working alongside Pedro in the implementation of his drawing class at the Learning Exchange has provided me with countless unexpected understandings.

Pedro’s artistically driven perspective of the world is the foundation for his teaching, providing the students with a viewpoint they are then able to adopt and use in their learning. Through an emphasis on patience and commitment, Pedro has led his students to realize the artistic ability they possessed before the class even began. Guided by care and individual attention, I have had the chance of watching the students excel under Pedro’s gifted teaching.

Most of all, Pedro has created a space for the potential of art to initiate conversation. Although not artistically trained myself, I have the opportunity to simply listen at the Learning Exchange. The stories and comments invoked by the student’s artistic experience have provided me with a feeling of belonging and attachment to the individuals, the Learning Exchange, and even greater, the city of Vancouver. I have been able to watch this cooperative learning environment, under Pedro’s vision, give students the confidence and understanding to turn hesitation to artistic courage, as well as find that sort of courage in myself.

Laura is a 2nd Year, UBC Anthropology/African Studies student who volunteered to help with the introductory drawing workshop.

Up On the Rooftop

by Janice

Janice leads the ESL creative writing group.


by Soudy

Indigence and poverty, famine and drought, starvation and dryness help each other and ruin a land and its nations.

In this famished land that has fallen in to oblivion, there is no amorous look from the sky. Even so the cloud looks at them cold and lifeless as a marble. The sun burns the skin of the ground of land. The earth feels the sun’s searing hand on its head. It is panting with parched lips.

In this scorched land, the withered bushes, the barren desert and the drought like fruits are showing off. This unkind treat is beyond the earth’s power. When the tears ran down from field keeper’s eyes the thirsty land absorbs the tears immediately.

The clean hearted and pure natured people open a door towards an illusion. They array themselves in the colourful clothes with an attractive sight, to pray for the down pour of blessings, while their eyes inflamed with tears. Their endurance is admirable.

The kids show great patience for demanding the justice of nature. The afflicted kids with tearful eyes recite a song because of the land’s strong craving for the water. Perhaps, the sky hears their voice and sincere wishes, and grants their request, and then their hope will be fulfilled.

They want to feel the drizzle, the fresh and green air, they want to enjoy fruition. They need to refresh themselves by drinking and overcome the dryness.
They deliver a message for the sky, please: fill the dried up river, revive the desiccated leaves on the trees, and let the ground drink in fullness.

But there is no benevolence from the sky; the sky gives its blue color to the children’s chalk board, not water to the land……….

Soudy is a member of the ESL creative writing group.

Captured in Colour

by Janice

Janice leads the ESL creative writing group.