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Inuit culture front-and-centre in Toronto
Iqalummiuq Chantel Caza to perform at 2016 Miss Teen Canada Globe

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Thursday, July 28, 2016

She says she's shy but 13-year-old Chantel Caza is about to perform in front of the world at the 2016 Miss Teen Canada Globe.

NNSL photo/graphic

Chantel Caza, 13, is on her way to the 2016 Miss Teen Canada Globe pageant this week. She'll be showing off Northern culture with drum dancing as her talent. - Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

The Iqaluit-raised girl of Inuit and French descent recently graduated from Aqsarniit Middle School and has been busy preparing for an intense week and a half at the pageant.

"I'm very excited but I'm nervous too," she said in an interview before leaving. "I think I'm more excited than I'm nervous."

Contestants are headed to Toronto to prepare for the event as of Aug. 4. The show itself is set to run from Aug. 7 to 14.

"First off, we have to do all our shopping for the dresses and everything," said Caza.

She'll be putting Inuit culture front and centre with her talent of drum dancing. During her performance, she will wear an amauti and traditional Inuit headband.

Caza certainly seems to care about her Northern heritage: the 13-year-old is also trying to learn Inuktitut, on top of English and French.

"Most of my family speaks Inuktitut and I've always wanted to be fluent in it," she said. "My friends speak Inuktitut but I don't."

The pageant will be judged on talent, costume, evening gown and swimsuit.

Caza also had to find a cause and volunteer, and for that she picked the SPCA in Valleyfield, Que., and the Iqaluit Humane Society.

As for the future, Caza also has career dreams to be a veterinarian or a lawyer, if not a model.

Her mother, Tudja Noah, said the pageant will be a good experience for Caza.

"She's been working really hard and it's really given her a sense of responsibility," said Noah. "She didn't know what she was getting herself into when she decided to do this, so I've been there to support her throughout the whole thing and I'll give her a couple of nudges when she needs it but all in all she's doing really well."

Caza is often shy and has stage fright in school situations, said Noah, so this will be a good stepping stone to come out of her shell.

Any talk of prizes aside, what the 13-year-old wants to get out of the pageant is simple: "Self-love, experience, confidence and exposure too."

Qikiqtaaluk Corporation and other groups have sponsored her entry.

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