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Spreading her wings

Tiktak may have flown off, but she won't go far

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 10/01) - Diane Tiktak has always loved helping people. Before she left her home town of Rankin Inlet, she worked for the birthing centre.

NNSL Photo

Flight attendant Diane Tiktak receives her wings from Canadian North's Eva Onalik. - Kevin Wilson/NNSL photo

Now she's taking her gift for helping to the skies.

Tiktak just received her wings from Canadian North after an intense training session. At a ceremony in Iqaluit, she and a co-worker had their wings officially pinned to their blazers.

Tiktak is one of three Inuktitut-speaking flight attendants who recently completed their training.

"I applied for the hell of it," says Tiktak, laughing. "I didn't actually think I would get it."

Get it she did, and though the 30-year-old will now live in Edmonton, she promises to come home to Rankin "every time I get a chance."

Before she goes home, Tiktak says she calls her mom to make sure there's country food ready when she arrives.

Rankin Inlet elder Mariano Aupilarjuk told the graduation ceremony about the difficulties he encountered during flights.

Aupilarjuk, who only speaks Inuktitut, said the only way he ever knew the plane was landing was when he was given a mint.

"That's the best part of this job, helping my elders," says Tiktak. "I love it. I love to help people."