I'm going for six weeks to cover my colleague's vacation. And while I'm there, I'll be writing an entire weekly paper myself.
I think it's going to be a really challenging, while also extremely enlightening experience. I'm especially interested to see what it's like to report in a bilingual community -- with many of the people in the hamlet of about 2,400 speaking Inuktitut, one of the languages spoken by the Inuit people of Nunavut. My goal is to pick up as much of the language as possible. I'm hopeful I'll come back to Yellowknife knowing more than igloo, mukluk, muktuk and inukshuk. And yes, so far, that is the extent of my knowledge.
Anyway, the paper I'll be writing is called Kivillaq News. It's printed in both English and Inuktitut, making it really unique. From what I gather from back issues, Rankin is hockey crazy. I've even heard people say its the birthplace of the sport. A quick Wikipedia search tells me that's not that case, but who am I to say and goodness knows, you can't always trust the interwebs. And if nothing else, Rankin Inlet is where Nashville Predator Jordin Tootoo grew up.
Well, now that I've started with the Rankin trivia, I might as well tell you a few more tidbits about the place that will soon be my home.
In 1995, Rankin was actually in the running to become the territory’s capital, but was beat out by Iqaluit who had 59.7 per cent of the vote.It's located on the western shores of Hudson Bay, between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat and is considered the regional centre for the Kivalliq region.
In 1955, North Rankin Nickel Mines started production. Seven years later, the mine closed, at which point there was talk of closing the whole town.
In Inuktitut, Rankin Inlet means deep bay or deep inlet.
The average daily high in July is 14.9 C. In August it's 13 C and in September it's 5.8 C. (I guess I'll be bringing my sweaters and runners, instead of my summer dresses and flip flops.)