The struggle of living in the Arctic is one that can only be shouldered when a community works together.
That's the message from Simon Nattaq, who says he was taught that principle as a child. He's using it now as a guide as he seeks re-election on Iqaluit's city council.
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He says council needs to work hard to maintain a balance between Inuit traditions and urban realities.
"The waste the city creates has wide-ranging effects on the surrounding land and water," Nattaq says.
"Being the capital, we need to be aware of its appearance. We as a city need to set an example of how to maintain our municipal responsibilities."
Nattaq says there is a lot of work to be done: the roads need to be maintained, garbage needs to be dealt with more effectively, and essential services such as trucked water have to be delivered more consistently.
A major issue that concerns Nattaq is the location of the city's new cemetery. He says if he's re-elected he'll bring the issue back to council and possibly re-evaluate its location.
"We don't want to bury our family members in a place where their remains might not rest respectfully," he says.
Nattaq, who is originally from Hall Beach, has lived in Iqaluit since 1982. He says his work on council is a joy.
"Ultimately I want to ensure that the decisions we make are made for everyone and not just individuals or special interests," Nattaq says.
"This is how we survived and lived every day in the past and we should do more of that now."
Nine people are running for Iqaluit city council, as well as three for mayor, in the Oct. 19 municipal election. CBC North will profile all 12 candidates.