Police lift lockdown of Nunavut community

Police in Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut said they responded to a “critical situation” in the island community of Sanikiluaq marked by the red pin. (Google Maps)
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nunavut said Thursday afternoon that they have lifted the lockdown in the Arctic territory’s southernmost island community of Sanikiluaq.

A suspect has been arrested without an incident, RCMP Const. David Aglukark told Radio Canada International.

“There is no longer any risk to the public and the lockdown has been lifted,” Aglukark said.  “The matter is still under investigation.”

Earlier in the day, police had advised the residents of Sanikiluaq, an Inuit community of about 850 people located on the northern tip of the Belchers Islands in eastern Hudson Bay, to “shelter in place and remain inside their residence” as they responded to a “critical situation.”

In a news release issued Tuesday morning , police asked residents to stay away from the 100 block area. The community school was also locked down.

The Nunavut RCMP major crime unit and containment team were on the ground in Sanikiluaq and an emergency response team from the RCMP’s D division in neighbouring Manitoba was also dispatched to the scene.

The incident also prompted Nunavut RCMP to activate its critical incident command system and call in crisis negotiators, police said.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Lack of services in Arctic is killing Inuit, witnesses tell inquiry into violence against Indigenous women in Canada, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark: Nordics report high abuse levels against women, Radio Sweden

Sweden:  Reports of violent crime increasing in Sweden’s North, Radio Sweden

United States: Survey finds violence against women widespread in Western Alaska region, Alaska Dispatch News

Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International

Born and raised in Armenia, Levon started his journalistic career in 1990, covering wars and civil strife in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In 1992, after the government in Armenia shut down the TV program he was working for, Levon immigrated to Canada. He learned English and eventually went back to journalism, working first in print and then in broadcasting. Levon’s journalistic assignments have taken him from the High Arctic to Sahara and the killing fields of Darfur, from the streets of Montreal to the snow-capped mountaintops of Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. He says, “But best of all, I’ve been privileged to tell the stories of hundreds of people who’ve generously opened up their homes, refugee tents and their hearts to me.”

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