High Arctic relocation monuments delayed by a year
Two monuments to commemorate Inuit who were relocated to Canada's High Arctic will be unveiled a year later than planned, according to one of the two carvers working on the statues.
Looty Pijamini of Grise Fiord, Nunavut, was commissioned by Inuit land-claims organization Nunavut Tunngavik to have his carving ready for dedication in the community on Sept. 6.
But Pijamini said the granite has been slowing him down. It's so large, it could not be moved into the community, he said.
Instead, Pijamini said he's had to travel out to a nearby quarry to work on it.
"I've gone through 27 [diamond] blades now ... and four grinders have burned out" since June 13, Pijamini told CBC News.
Once completed, Pijamini's 2.1-metre-tall monument will depict a woman and a girl looking out to sea.
Another carver, Simeonie Amagoalik, is working on a similar monument to be unveiled in his community of Resolute Bay.
Once finished, the monuments will honour Inuit who were forced by the federal government to relocate from their home communities to the High Arctic settlements of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay in the early 1950s.
The relocated Inuit have said the government moved them far north in order to bolster Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic, at the expense of those involved in the relocation.
Both monuments will now be unveiled in the two communities in September 2010.