For the children
Baker Lake woman inspired to give children things to do

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

BAKER LAKE (Apr 29/98) - Sabrina Tripp wants to see more community events geared toward children.

The Baker Lake woman who earlier this month spent more than 100 hours of her own time organizing the first-ever children's festival in the community, is promoting the idea of a Keewatin-wide event for youth.

Tripp said the Baker Lake event was such a success that it would be a shame if children in other communities didn't get to enjoy a similar event.

"Now that Baker Lake has done it, we could make it Keewatin-wide," she said. "Winter is a good time to do it because everybody is down in the dumps."

Tripp said that she was inspired last September to organize a festival for children following a conversation she had with a Baker Lake teen who still remembers when children's author Robert Munch visited the community 10 years ago.

"That was 10 years ago and no one has come up since," she said. "If it still meant that much to him after 10 years..."

Soon after that, she started to plan a weekend of events for kids in Baker Lake that included the sorts of activities she said the community desperately needs.

"It was felt to be that the activities that were going on weren't geared toward children ... activities like bingo and square dances," Tripp said.

"I wanted them (children) to have one day when they could come dance, sing, get their faces painted and be worry-free."

Tripp said the focus of the community must be the children.

"We need to do something in Baker and in other communities to make our kids happier," she said.

But each community as a whole has to get involved by providing more for their young people. Tripp said a children's festival is a good place to begin, but she needs funding and volunteers to get it started.

And while she took time off work to pull off the Baker Lake festival, she would like to see funding made available for a co-ordinator to set up a festival for children across the Kivalliq region.

"It's not a southern concept that will be gone when she's gone," she said.

"I'd like it to continue for many years."

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