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A cause for fashion

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BAKER LAKE - Folks in Baker Lake used a unique approach to raise awareness on a serious affliction this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Lorraine Niego had her son, Colton Allan Iblauq Hart, dressed for success at the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder fashion show in Baker Lake this past month. - photo courtesy of Joan Killulark

About 75 people braved frigid temperatures to gather at the community hall for a kids fashion show to create awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Community health representative Joan Killulark said parents of the contestants were encouraged to write information about FASD on a poster to accompany their children in the show.

She said some posters were done in Inuktitut, while others were done in English.

"We also had some use illustrations to get the message across," said Killulark.

"Not every parent who entered their child knew how to sew a whole outfit, so some children were dressed in store-bought costumes and others in homemade outfits.

"We divided the kids into three categories - up to one year of age, one- and two-year-olds, and two- and three-year-olds - with a male and female winner in each group.

"Our three judges were instructed to pick the winners based on the poster messages, but, if they still couldn't decide, they could choose according to the best costumes."

Killulark said she was very happy with the turnout, considering how cold it was.

She said the event seemed to be fairly popular in the community, with people phoning her beforehand to get information on the show.

"We came up with the idea at the health centre.

"There were games after the show, so it was good all-around fun and a lot of people who attended were glad to get out.

"The younger kids, of course, didn't know what was going on, but some of the older kids had a good time and enjoyed the refreshments, cookies, crackers and cheese we provided at the show."

Killulark said FASD is not a very serious problem in Baker, and that's just how local health workers want to keep it.

She said the more information distributed about health concerns, the better the chances of maintaining healthier communities.

"I did a radio show the following week on smoking cessation.

"So, there's always something different to discuss or raise awareness on.

"And we thought this show was a cute way to focus on FASD and raise awareness of it in our community."

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