Thanks to volunteer hunters in Nunavut, walrus meat is on the tables of some residents in Iqaluit after a successful trip on the land.
The hunters, using their own money and resources, delivered the meat this week.
“I’m grateful for them,” said Peepeelee Pijamini. “To give to everybody – I’m grateful for everybody to have.”
The hunters do this every year – even before there was a Nunavut or Canada – and they still get the same response.
Wild food isn’t free.
Boats and bullets cost a lot of money – and so does the time off work.
They said they do it because that is what they do.
“Helping out the community – getting meat in,” said hunter Jayko Dickey-Joanas.
The hunters brought in six walruses.
A harpoon is first used to harvest a walrus, then it’s shot.
After that, it is brought to the community to be divided.
“Oh we’re going to be nice and warm and the food coming for a few days or a week,” said Martha Korgak. “Sometimes we have them for almost a year. We keep them frozen, have them for later – for family and friends and grandkids and everybody.”
In Nunavut, food isn’t always just food – it’s culture, heritage, and generations of sharing in action.
According to Statistics Canada, food in Nunavut can cost more than three times the national average.
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