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Cousins share love of the land

John Curran
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 20, 2007

SACHS HARBOUR - On the shores of Banks Island, you'll find the NWT's Northern-most community: Sachs Harbour.

Among its 122 residents are cousins Angella Keogak, 19, and Glenda Carpenter, 26, who agree they can't imagine living anywhere else.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Cousins Angella Keogak, left, and Glenda Carpenter enjoy a warm August afternoon on the steps out front of the Aulavik National Park office in Sachs Harbour. - John Curran/NNSL photo

"Life is very good here," said Keogak, who works at the hamlet office. "It's nice and quiet and there's not much traffic."

Growing up in Sachs, they say, means spending a great deal of time outside the community connecting with nature.

"It's beautiful when you get out travelling on the land," said Carpenter. "Especially up in Aulavik National Park, the hills are just amazing."

Both enjoy hunting muskox and caribou, fishing for trout and char, or simply camping out on the tundra.

"The spring goose hunt is usually amazing," said Carpenter.

The annual event takes entire families out on the land together to stock up on food - bringing everyone a little closer in the process, they added.

"The hunting wasn't as good this year," she said. "The ice melted too fast."

When they're not out on the land, the pair enjoys similar activities as anyone their age almost anywhere else in the country.

"We hang out with friends and family," said Carpenter. "There's not really any place to go out, so you go to people's houses."

Of course anywhere young adults gather, there are sure to be tunes playing.

"Dance music is pretty big these days," said Keogak. "You know, like hip-hop stuff."

There has been a big change in the last few months around the hamlet as more people have gotten online.

"Computers are the main thing everybody's doing right now," said Carpenter. "It used to be there were only a couple in town but now everyone is getting them."

While most of the chatting and surfing is free, there is another trend they've noticed that can come with a high price.

"There are a lot of people playing poker online for money," said Keogak. "It's big here in Sachs right now."