Treena's Travels

This blog was set up to journal my experience of living in Nunavut and keep friends and family up to date on these happenings. It's a wonderful place, this hideaway in the north, and I'm loving my time here. An unforgettable place with unforgettable people. I'm lucky to be here.

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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I was asked what Baker Lake was like by someone out there applying for a position here in town. I'm by no means an authority on Baker Lake but here's what I think/know of it and I hope it helps.

We're very isolated. There is no road out, fly in commute only (which is a drag sometimes when mail or groceries, or worse, people get delayed coming into town).

There are two stores in town: The Northern (which has some clothes, one isle of hardware stuff, and of course food). It also houses the only fast food we have in town; a Pizza Hut/KFC. I can't comment on the food as I've never tried it. It also has a small DVD rental wall which is nice. The other store is the Co-op which is small and houses the post office and the cable tv outlet. We have access to broadband internet here or the satellite variety but that's pretty expensive. The broadband is often slow but better than dial up.

There are, I think, 2 other convenience stores. They are small and, well, just have convenience stuff.

There is one small hockey arena/community hall. This is where the teen dances, meetings, elections, square dances, feasts and games nights are held. There is a small swimming pool in a building which I have never been in. It's only open for June to August or early September though and is mostly swarming with excited kids.

The population is around 1600-1700 people.

There is no hospital with permanent staff but there is a Health Centre with Nurse Practitioners and fly in rotational doctors and eye teams. I think a doc comes in every couple of weeks. The same goes for dentists; we have no permanent dentist but they come up on rotation, once a month or two I think.

Baker Lake is a restricted community, which means alcohol must be ordered with a permit through the RCMP station and approved through a liquor control board.

For weather, we have a loooong winter season and it can be pretty harsh. There are no trees here so no protection from the wind. Last year was milder but this year has been pretty cold. We don't get 24 hrs darkness; on the shortest days the sun rises about 10:15 and sets about 4:30 so we still get a fair amount of light. In the summer though, we do have 24 hrs daylight. It never gets darker than a bright dusk. I'll tell you though, it's amazing when you are able to get out on the land, go ice fishing or just for a ride on the snow machine or ATV. The sun on the snow is breathtaking. And the sunsets and sunrises here are absolutely stunning.

People wise, the people here are very friendly and genuine. You feel welcome right away and it really helps if you work in the school because the kids are so warm and amazing. The community is very proud of it's culture and often hosts feasts and square dances. The art in the community is beautiful and it is common to have artists bring whatever they've made around for sale.

There is a growing 'southern' population in the community which affords a diverse social setting. People are here from all over for all kinds of jobs: RCMP, Power Corp, teachers, nurses, government staff, etc. I know it can be nerve wracking moving to a new town, especially one in the Arctic and so remote but I would recommend for anyone to come here. You have to be able to make do though and be very flexible. Because water is delivered by truck It is common to run out of water up here, especially during blizzards. You really need to be able to roll with the punches.

All in all, Baker is a very unique and wonderful place!


Blogger Fred said...

Hi Treena
Thanks for the comments on Bake Lake. It sounds like and awesome place to work!
I’m a retired high school teacher who still supply teaches in Oshawa. I have Specialist certificates in Special Ed, Library, and parts 1 & 2 in Computers in the Classroom and Guidance although my under graduate degree is in German Language and Literature. My Masters degree is in Library Science.
I have been sitting by the telephone waiting for the interview call from GN Human Resources. I was told that interviews would be early this week.
I wont be taking any supply teaching calls as the CUPE union has been on strike for the last week so no, custodians, EA’s, secretaries or computer technicians. Picket lines are delaying each car entering school parking lots for 3 min. Students’ and teachers’ cars are lined up for blocks. Students are sabotaging the washrooms so that the schools will be closed for health reasons. Not a pretty situation.

I have been reading all the blog links to get a feel for Nunavut.

Can you purchase a sea can to store your stuff in?

If you want to reach me use my e-mail
My wife, Irma and I enjoy reading your blog!
Bye for now!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Jennith Peart said...

Hey there,

Its good to hear you high praise of Baker Lake - I'm heading up that way this August - so maybe I'll get to meet you.

12:15 AM  

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