Magnetic North Pole Exp – Day 16

While the rest of our team is still on the Arctic Ocean’s ice, our group here in Resolute is trying to make the most out of our time. There are often moments in which we think why everything has turned out like this. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make sense to complain about the situation. Now we are in Resolute and we get in contact with all the people from the community which is pretty enriching.

Resolute offers many interesting possibilities and places that are waiting to be discovered. When we visited the local post office, we were surprised to find a cute and kind old man that looked like Santa. Ralph, that’s how he goes by, told us that package could take from 2 days to 2 weeks to get here. His bright blue eyes shone with pride when he told us that he first arrived in this community in 1976. What can bring a man in such isolated place when he holds the future in his hands, you must ask yourself. Well, for Ralph that was in university geomagnetism was really intriguing and after his first year contract done, he decided to stay up north and hasn’t left it ever since. During our little chat, Ralph had to leave us because he had just received the latest mail bags that contained some longed waited letters and packages.

So we continued our great adventure and went to the Health Center. Like the school, it’s well equipped and tidy. Cathy Rose, a devoted nurse, explained to us that there are rarely serious medical cases in Resolute and the problem makers are the Arctic explorers that get all kinds of cold-related diseases. Cathy is able to give first aid and the most important medication to patients. In case of serious illness, patients are flown to Iqaluit where doctors can look after them. Alike Ralph, Cathy is a passionate of the Arctic. She’s been working in northern communities for more than 26 years and told us about everything that has changed in that time period. Some years ago, she used to advise pregnant women to eat seal’s liver because if its high-iron properties. Today, because of the toxins and sea contamination from the South, this natural vitamin can’t be used anymore. This is only one of the various problems the Arctic needs to cope with. Another issue is the pollution and the lack of proper trash removal. But on the other hand, says Cathy, Nunavut has so many other problems that environment comes at the bottom of the list.

Although the Inuit people have a great connection to nature and have observed the changes in the climate, most of them are sceptical towards the scientists. For them, tagging whales or putting collars to polar bears is showing a lot of disrespect towards the animals. Scientists are keen on accusing the First Nations to decimate the polar bear population but these people live of sport hunting and fishing. Their only income comes from the land and before asking them to change their habits, we should, as westerners, rethink ours.

Resolute spends a massive amount of money on fuel to power the village although wind is constantly present. But, the Nunavut Government says that wind power isn’t a reliable energy source and that they have no money to pay for the infrastructure. It seems illogical to us that oil is being transferred into huge tanks which could cause a possible catastrophe. People from the South, says Cathy, “come to the North with a sense of superiority.” Let’s not forget that the machines of our economies from all over the planet are changing the biological life support systems, of the Inuit culture, faster than anything else before.

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