In an Arctic Outpost, Friday Nights Are for Curling

It pushed them to exit throughout the darkest months of the yr, when the solar barely crosses the horizon and folks withdraw into their homes. For girls who curled, withdrawing was not an choice, as a result of the group relied on them.

“They know they should get out,” Ms. Mair mentioned. “After they keep house, they’re unwell.”

The communities of the Northwest Territories, with a inhabitants descended from Indigenous and white settler households, stand out for his or her struggles with psychological well being, that are in lots of circumstances linked to Canada’s damaging colonial historical past.

This can be a acquainted story to Ms. Lennie, the daughter of an Inuvialuit man and a white girl who moved to the Far North as a nurse. On the age of seven, Ms. Lennie’s father was despatched to a residential faculty with the intention of “westernizing” him, taught by monks and nuns who punished him for utilizing his native language, she mentioned.

He realized silence there, and it stayed with him as an grownup.

“You didn’t discuss, you didn’t cry, you didn’t have emotion,” she mentioned. “You grew up in a system that taught that out of you.”

She will’t keep in mind anybody speaking about psychological well being when she was rising up, not even after her uncle, after which her cousin, died by suicide. That historical past has spilled into a 3rd technology, she mentioned, kids rising up round habit and violence, paying for what occurred to their dad and mom. She carries photographs of the canine tags that her uncle and grandmother got, the “Eskimo IDs.”

Nonetheless, when Ms. Lennie tried dwelling within the south, she couldn’t wait to return. She hated the visitors and the air pollution. She was used to being close to our bodies of water. Her husband, who’s from Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean, didn’t belong within the metropolis.

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