Canadian Male Hockey Team At Arctic Winter Games Gives Back Medals Due To Misbehavior

Under-18 Team Returned The Medals Due To Self-Defined Ethical Lapses By Team Members  Nunavut Territory (Wikimedia)  Nunavut's under-18 ...

Under-18 Team Returned The Medals Due To Self-Defined Ethical Lapses By Team Members 

Nunavut Territory (Wikimedia) 

Nunavut's under-18 male hockey team has given back the medals celebrating their third place finish in the recent Arctic Winter Games. The games were held this year in the Mat-Su Valley. 

The adult leader of the Nunavut contingent posted a statement on Facebook to that effect on Friday, March 15th. The team comes from an isolated territory in Canada.

According to the Nunatsiaq News, the "chef de mission" said it would not be "appropriate" to receive the medals "due to the actions of individual members of the team." She was also reported to have said that the Canadian community expects their athletes to demonstrate the "values" and spirit of the Games. 

The exact reasons for the decision were not stated – but the few persons posting afterwards on the Canadian news website trended strongly toward supporting the return of the medals for ethical reasons if that was warranted. 

Nunavut is an 808,000 square mile territory in northern Canada. It includes a large number of islands, and has similar terrain to parts of Western Alaska. Around 85% of its population (as in Western Alaska) is indigenous, closely related to Native Americans in Alaska. Its people are Inuit. It is highly traditional, with the Native language, Inuktitut, still used. It was separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999. Its motto – "Our land, our strength" – is officially written in two dialects of the Nunavut language, English, and French. One of the Native dialects does not use western-style letters in its writing. 

The territory is known for the Canadian Forces Alert military station, on Ellesmere Island, at Latitude 82º. This is a very high latitude. The Copper Valley is at Latitude 62º. Fairbanks is at Latitude 65º. Barrow, or Utqiagvik, is at Latitude 71º.

 Alert is said to be the northernmost continuously inhabited place in the world – although people working there usually serve only 3 to 6 months of duty, according to Wikipedia, and the permanent population is listed officially as "zero." 

Only around 40,000 people live in the entire territory – around the population of the core of Fairbanks. 

The Nunatsiaq News, which reported the story,  has been published since 1973, reaches 39 Eastern Arctic communities, and has offices in both the territory and in Ottawa, Ontario. The newspaper is funded by the Government of Canada. 

The games are hosted across the high Arctic. Since they began in 1970, they've been hosted in places like Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Eagle River, Slave Lake, and the Kenai. They're planned to be hosted in Nunavut in 2030. 

Below: An Advertisement for a government position in Nunavut, showing the formal use of one of the Inuit dialects, in writing. 


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