In an Arctic outpost, Friday Nights are for the game of contortion

It pushed them out during the darkest months of the year, when the sun barely crossed the horizon and people retreated into their homes. For the women who flex, withdrawing is not an option, as the team depends on them.

“They knew they needed to get out,” Ms. Mair said. “When they’re at home, they’re unwell.”

The communities of the Northwest Territories, with populations that come from Native American and white families, stand out for their struggles with mental health, in many cases linked to their colonial history. disastrous territory of Canada.

This is a story familiar to Miss Lennie, the daughter of an Inuvialuit man and a white woman who moved to the Far North to work as a nurse. At the age of 7, Lennie’s father was sent to a residential school with the aim of “Westernizing” him, taught by priests and nuns who punished him for using his native language. , she said.

He learned silence there, and it stayed with him as an adult.

“You didn’t talk, you didn’t cry, you didn’t have feelings,” she said. “You grew up in a system that taught that from you.”

She can’t remember anyone talking about mental health as she was growing up, including after her uncle, and later her cousin, died by suicide. That history has spilled over into the third generation, she said, whose children grew up around addiction and violence, paying the price for what happened to their parents. She carried a picture of the dog tag her uncle and grandmother were asked to wear, “Eskimo ID.”

However, when Miss Lennie tried to live in the south, she couldn’t wait to return. She hates traffic and pollution. She was used to being near bodies of water. Her husband, from Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean, doesn’t live in the city. In an Arctic outpost, Friday Nights are for the game of contortion

Fry Electronics Team

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