Qikiqtarjuaq: Bundle Up or I'll Bundle You Up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Qikiqtarjuaq, Nuanvut

So we all know Jaypootie likes to tease the people around him, but one area Jaypootie didn’t joke about was the well-being of Jean, Alfonse and myself.Jaypootie checks Arctic gear of Eye on the Arctic cameraman Alfonse Mondello. Photo by Eilís Quinn.

When we moved from location to location on snowmobile, Jaypootie took meticulous care that our parkas, balaclavas, goggles and toques were adjusted so every inch of skin was properly covered and sealed up in our Arctic gear.

After our first stop earlier today, I was bundling myself up for the snowmobile ride to the next stop. But when I pulled on my parka hood up over my face it skewed my toque to the side of my head, twisted my balaclava over my ears and pushed my goggles down to the tip of my nose. It may not sound complicated to fix, but trust me, out on the land, in –28c, in giant down filled mittens, it is.

I tried to push everything back into place. It wasn’t ideal but I figured it was good enough until our next stop.

Jaypootie passed by me. “How are you doing?”

“Perfect!” I said giving the thumbs up.

But Jaypootie took one look at my haphazard Arctic gear and shook his head. “Perfect? That’s not perfect at all. You don’t even have them on in the right order!”

Jaypootie pulled off his gloves and readjusted my balaclava, toque, scarf and goggles. Then he tackled my hands. Pulling my parka sleeves into my undergloves and pulling my down filled mittens tightly over my parka sleeves.

He finished the job by pulling my parka hood up over my head and zipping the coat up to my nose.

I felt about four years old.

There!,” he said taking a step back and smiling. “That’s better. No bare skin and no more cold for you!”

Next he moved on to check Jean and then to the qamutik, an Inuit sled, to adjust Alfonse’s gear.

Jaypootie repeated the same ritual at every stop for the rest of the trip.

“This reminds me of when I was little. It’s what my parents did for me before going out,” Jaypootie said fixing my mittens, scarf and zipping me into my parka with outmost patience for the umpteenth time. “Now I do the same for you guys. Put the clothes on right so there’s no more cold.”


Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

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