CBC Prince Edward Island

The Chinook Project Arrives back in P.E.I.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Posted by Jane Magrath

The group arrived home on Saturday, exhausted (especially after flying through the night and seeing many of Canada’s fine airports in the process: Cambridge Bay to Kugluktuk to Yellowknife to Edmonton to Calgary to Toronto to Charlottetown!) and elated. And they should feel very proud of themselves.


Final Blog: The Return

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

I have been back now for more than three days, and still the thought of my time in Nunavut brings tears to my eyes. I have been putting off this final blog for as long as I could, because once it is written, it means my trip is truly over.


Farewell to the North

Friday, May 22, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings & Shawn MacKenzie

This is our last blog from Cambridge Bay, and there are so many people we need to thank. A lot of the people who helped organize our stay in Cambridge Bay read this blog.


A busy last day

Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Today was our last full day at the clinic (and in the north). I only have a few minutes to blog, because I need to get back to work and help get the lab cleaned up tonight. We are all exhausted from a long couple of weeks but are still having a lot of fun.


Seeing an old patient

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

We are just finishing up our second day at the clinic in Cambridge Bay, and so far it has been wonderful. The space we were given is large enough for us to run a surgery room and a separate wellness room. Andy Traub and his wife, Millie, (Cambridge Bay organizers and hosts) have been great. They even bought us an entire case of Pepsi, which is better than gold up here (keep in mind that one Diet Coke cost Dr. Carey $8.99)!


Cambridge Bay

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Sorry to keep everyone on the edge of the seats with lack of a blog entry yesterday, but we were in transit and didn't have much opportunity to get internet access to write a blog entry. Yesterday we left Kugluktuk and, as Nicole said, we were sad to be heading out but excited to see Cambridge Bay.


Cold weather, but warm people

Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

As I sit down to write my final blog from Kugluktuk, I am reminded not only of the beautiful landscape and wonderful animals, but also of the amazing and warm people we have met. When I get back home, I will have many pictures to glance at and funny stories to talk about, but the people are what I hope will stay with me.


Emergency cases

Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Today was another day at our clinic in Kugluktuk. It was supposed to be a quieter day, but it definitely did not turn out that way.


A school visit

Friday, May 15, 2009 | Posted by Stephanie Robataille

Hi everyone: I am honored to be a guest blogger for today, to let you in on one of our adventures here in Kugluktuk. My name is Stephanie Robataille, and I am yet another one of the AVC fourth years fortunate enough to visit the north. Today, Dr. Anne Marie Carey, Aleta Schmah and I were able to visit the Kugluktuk Elementary School to educate the students about how to act around and care for dogs, both their own and the strange dogs they meet on the street.


Caribou and muskox stew

Friday, May 15, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

I did not have a chance to blog last night, but tonight I am taking over for Shawn, to give him a night off. Last night we ate caribou and muskox stew. It was interesting!


Gorgeous big babies

Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Today was our second day at the clinic that we set up in the wildlife lab at the local government building. We arrived at the clinic at 8:30 am and went right to work trying to get things ready for the day.


Humbled by the land

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

Words cannot really describe a day like today. The people we have met here have really made us feel welcome, and today was the epitome of this “welcomeness”. We were picked up this morning by a member of the RCMP named Demetri, accompanied by his sister and conservation officers, Dustin, Gerry, and Mathieu. And by picked up, I mean we looked out our host's window onto the frozen land to find 5 snowmobiles, two with very large sleds attached. As we waddled our way down to the waiting snowmobiles I realized that we all slightly resembled the good year blimp—because of the many, many layers of clothing. We had been warned repeatedly to dress as warmly as possible.


A landscape still covered in ice and snow

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Today we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel into the mainland a bit and do some work on a dog sled team. Nicole has described the details of our trip in her most recent blog entry, but I thought I would also talk about some of my favourite parts of today’s adventure. As we headed along the bay to the Coppermine River on our wooden sleds — basically big wooden toboggans, being pulled by the snowmobiles — we passed by the cliffs that line the shore and the small islands that fill the inlet. The landscape here is amazing. Today was so clear, with not a cloud in the sky; the white snow over the ice could be seen for miles. At the moment the cliffs are covered in ice and snow, but in the summer they are apparently filled with small shrubs, berries and many other types of vegetation.


Discovering Kugluktuk

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Hello, It's 11:00pm, and we just got back from the clinic. We were hoping to have some time to stop by the local school library and write, but we were on our feet all day doing wellness exams and spays and neuters. It is great weather today, although we didn't get to enjoy much of it as we were in our clinic most of the day. I thought I'd take a few minutes, though, to blog about what Kugluktuk is like and then give Nicole the opportunity to write about our first day at the clinic.


First surgeries

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

This morning I awoke 1 hour and 13 minutes before my alarm was set to go off at 7am. I lay in bed anxiously awaiting the day. The few slivers of sunlight peeping through the tinfoil-covered windows did not really bother me (we have tinfoil covering the windows to keep out the “midnight sun” and allow us some darkness so that we can sleep). What kept me from sleeping that last precious hour was the thought of how our first day would turn out. I felt a sudden wave of panic, because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to think of one single thing I was taught in the first three years of veterinary school. Today was truly the first day of clinics. With the nauseous feeling in my stomach waxing and waning, I turned to my roommates, and was happy to know that they were just as nervous as I was.


Setting up the clinic

Monday, May 11, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings & Shawn MacKenzie

What a long, and crazy day. We arrived in Kugluktuk, via Edmonton and Yellowknife, only a few hours ago, but we have already been hard at work. As we landed on the gravel tarmac, amidst a small snow storm and -15 C weather, we may have had a few second thoughts. Luckily, our hesitations quickly vanished when we were welcomed by the warm and friendly Kugluktuk-Chinook coordinator, Melissa Joy.


The Chinook Project Goes to the Western Arctic

Friday, May 8, 2009 | Posted by Jane Magrath

The Chinook project - created in 2006 by me, a professor of English at the University of Prince Edward Island and Dr. Lisa Miller of the Atlantic Veterinary College - sends a group of instructors and students to a community in Canada's arctic each summer, to provide essential veterinary care free of charge to communities with no access to veterinary services. Typically, we send four students, two AVC instructors, and one co-ordinator. For the past three years, I've gone along as co-ordinator.


Anxiously Awaiting Departure

Friday, May 8, 2009 | Posted by Nicole Cummings

I have been lucky enough to have a week off before our trip to the arctic. However, I really cannot tell you anything of importance I've done this week. I definitely did not pack, did not do the mountain of laundry that needed doing, and did not catch up on those hours of Tivo'd shows I have been putting off all semester. What I can tell you is that I spent most of the week anxiously waiting for Sunday. That is when my trip to Nunavut officially begins. Even typing those words gives me butterflies!


Excited to go North

Friday, May 8, 2009 | Posted by Shawn MacKenzie

Earlier this year I found out I was chosen to be one of four students who would get the opportunity to participate in the Chinook Project. I was very excited, but the trip seemed to get moved to the back of my mind because of what seemed like a never- ending final exam period. Now that the exams are over and the last minute trip emails are filling my inbox, I'm getting very excited about the opportunity to go work in some of Canada's most northern communities.