Home where tragedy struck to be blessed in Kimmirut

A special ceremony will take place in Kimmirut today to bless the house where three people lost their lives in a murder-suicide last year.
Aalaa Surusimmituq Michael, 23, with her two-year-old son Cory. The pair were found dead in their home in March of 2013. A special blessing will take place today before the home is re-opened as a unit for transient workers.

The rector and dean of St. Jude’s Anglican cathedral in Iqaluit will be in Kimmirut today for a special blessing for the house where three people lost their lives in a suspected murder-suicide last year.

In March 2013, 23-year-old Aalaa Surusimmituq Michael was found dead in her Kimmirut home, along with her two-year-old son Cory.

The body of the father, Qapik Josephie, 27, was also found.

The tragedy shook the community and since then, people have lived with the grim reminder — an empty public housing unit in the middle of town.

The blessing was arranged by the Nunavut Housing Corporation in response to a request from the community’s hamlet council to tear down the building.

The housing corp. declined to do that, saying it doesn’t have the authority to destroy public assets.

"The community had requested that we find an alternative use for this unit so this unit will primarily be used for transient workers."

The hamlet’s senior administrative officer, David Alderdice, says the council is still not satisfied.

“They wanted the house demolished,” he says.

Alderdice also says the hamlet did not get enough notice about the blessing.

Adam Gordon, the chief operating officer with the Nunavut Housing Corp., says both the families support the blessing.

He says all personal belongings at the home will be set aside for family members. The house will get a fresh coat of paint, and a new house number.

“We have arranged for several improvements and modifications to be made to the unit."