Naujaat, Nunavut, residents celebrate official renaming
Repulse Bay changes its name to Naujaat, Inuktitut for 'a nesting place for seagulls'
You can now officially strike Repulse Bay off the names of Nunavut hamlets: as of July 2, the community is officially known as Naujaat, the Inuktitut name for the community.
Naujaat is the 10th Nunavut community to revert to its traditional name.
"I'm proud of it," said Mayor Solomon Malliki. "We're getting our traditional name back and keeping our language strong."
The full day of celebrations will begin at 1 p.m. local time and go well into the night, with live music, a community feast and a square dance.
Several politicians are attending the event, including the mayors of Baker Lake, Sanikiluaq and Coral Harbour, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Cathy Towtongie, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, and Kivalliq Inuit Association President David Ningeongan.
But Malliki says this will be a personal celebration.
"The elders who grew up here are going to tell a little bit the history of Naujaat," he said.
For days, planes full of revellers have been streaming into the small community of about 950 people.
"The airplane has been full coming here," said Malliki. "Each time they come here only two, three people are going out."
Inuktitut music, dancing will be featured
Inuit performers from across the territory will perform this afternoon, including Tim Evic, Paul K. Irqsuk and Northern Haze.
Not all of the finer details of the change have been ironed out. Malliki says a new flag is being produced which will feature a white background with the community's well-known Arctic Circle Arch.
People in the community narrowly voted to make the change last year.
After that hamlet council passed a motion and wrote a letter to the minister of Community and Government Services. The cabinet then approved it.