Virtually North
Strange names caught in Northern strands of World Wide Web

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 11/97) - Just the other day, Kivalliq Boy was telling Mr. Walrus Seal about Freezing's new modem...

The Northern strands of the World Wide Web have snared some strangely named creatures.

A communications tool that can be used for a fraction of the price charged by Ma NorthwesTel, the Internet has attracted Northerners in a big way.

GNWT employee Chris O'Neil broke the ice, so to speak, by starting up the North's first Internet node in Rankin Inlet in the early 1990s. It was known as Polar Bear Heaven.

Internet service providers are now established in all regions of the North save the High Arctic.

And many Northerners on the web are making use of the creativity, and anonymity that comes with the Internet.

A cursory glimpse of Iqaluit's Nunanet discussion board reveals user names such as Gumby, Cynical Inuk, Gonzo, Rainman, Ice Man, Bond 007 and GPZ 550 (presumably a motorcycle fan).

Bond 007 is Jaymes Bond. He gets plenty of mileage from the similarity his name has to that of the famous British secret agent.

Like many avid Net heads, Bond has his own web page, where visitors are greeted with a series of James Bond images and the words, "Welcome to the secret service of the North, home of Bond 007."

James Sandy is the name-meister, and manager, at, the home of Sakku Technologies an on-ramp for Keewatin surfers.

"We want most users to use their real names, but if it's a really cool name we let them use it."

One of those exceptions is perhaps the coolest of Northern e-mail addresses --

The gang on the server also includes Lioness, Aiviq ("walrus"), Kisstheozone, Kcowboy, Stones and Tunnuq ("caribou fat" and the name of a company). is one example of how our Northerness is reflected in the domain names, the right-hand portion of all e-mail addresses.

Others include Permafrost, Polarnet, Internorth, Nunanet and Tamarack. The North's first and, so far, only community access Internet centre -- in Rankin Inlet -- is known as igalaaq, Inuktitut for window.

Just around the corner, Nunavut will join the list of provinces and territories with their own domain identity.

The registrar of the Canadian Domain Committee, a far less formal group than the name indicates, has approved as Nunavut's virtual identity and several specific domains are already approved at the request of the Nunavut Implementation Commission.