Northern Exchange - Outbound Trip Organization
1. About Rankin Inlet
2. Cultural Experiences in Rankin
3. Player/chaperone travel and accommodations
4. Family participation and expenses (non player/non chaperone)
5. Rules, safety & code of conduct
1. About Rankin Inlet
Rankin Inlet is the second largest community in the territory of Nunavut, with a population of 2,800. The population is 80% Inuit and the languages spoken are Inuktitut and English. Rankin Inlet is located on the northwestern edge of the Hudson Bay, 1,470 km north of Winnipeg. Rankin Inlet is above the treeline, and has a subarctic climate. Average April temperatures range from an average high of -11 C and low of -21 C. The settlement began as a mining town. Now it is has a thriving arts culture and has the only Inuit fine arts ceramics production facility in the world. And of course, Rankin Inlet has an active hockey community! Jordin Tootoo hails from Rankin Inlet, currently playing with the Nashville Predators. Over the month of April the length of day rapidly increases. From the start to end of the month the length of the the day increases by nearly 3 hours, meaning an average day-over-day increase of 6 minutes of sun. The shortest day of the month is April 1 (13:33 hours of daylight) and the longest is April 30 (16:31 hours of daylight).
2. Cultural experiences in Rankin Inlet
Rankin offers our children a wealth of experiences that are unique, and ultimately, formative for their learning, development and appreciation of Canada and its most remote regions. From the Nunavut Tourism guide: “Visitors can experience a wide variety of fun outdoor activities that are very popular locally, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, kite skiing, hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, fishing and berry picking. In addition, there are some beautiful ancient archaeological sites to visit nearby at the Meliadine River in Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park, which has a well-marked walking trail. Local marine wildlife species to view include seals, walruses and beluga whales. On land you will find arctic foxes, marmots ('siksik') and caribou, plus many species of birds and, sometimes, a wandering polar bear. The wildlife office in Rankin Inlet will provide you with detailed information about local flora and fauna, plus hunting and fishing regulations. The local people are the best guides for exploring this place on land, ice or open water. You are also cordially invited to participate in the local celebrations: In the spring, Rankin Inlet celebrates 'Pakallak Tyme' with traditional games, competitions, snowmobile races, dancing and community feasts to enjoy” Indeed, our trip will coincide with Pakallak Tyme - a week long festival that will offer trip participants many opportunities to participate in Inuit culture. Ice fishing, a local feast, igloo building, dog sledding, Northern Games, etc. Of course, hockey will also be a part of our exchange!
3. Player/Chaperone Travel and Accommodations
Rankin Inlet is a fly in community. Exchanges Canada is covering the travel costs for all the kids and chaperones (1 for every 8-10 kids). If a person (player/chaperone) commits to going and then backs out for any reason, the family is responsible to reimburse the government the cost of the airfare. According to the Exchanges Canada coordinator travel costs for any parents or additional family members will be approximately $2000 each. It may be cheaper to charter a plane. We are looking at several avenues. While Experiences Canada is providing a large portion of the trip costs, additional fundraising needs to be done. In doing so, youth engagement will be an important part of the fundraising model. Experiences Canada identifies youth engagement as a necessary component of their model and we look forward to all the players contributing to the realization of this trip.
Billeting is another important part of the cultural exchange that will take place between the Mimico and Rankin Inlet participants. Mimico players will be “twinned” with Rankin Inlet players. When the players from Rankin visit Toronto in October they will be staying in our households with their “twin”. Likewise, the expectation is that our players will also billet with their “twin” in Rankin Inlet. It is important to note that a great deal of safety precautions are in place to make sure that the kids, on both ends of the trip, are going info safe home environments. In both Rankin and Toronto homes will be subject to home inspections by trip organizers and all people living in the home are required to undergo police background checks. Should there be difficulty finding enough homes for all the players to billet, we may look into other arrangements, for example, perhaps “dorms” set up in suitable facilities.
Please note that the days will be filled with activities and there won’t be a great deal of down time for the kids. If an evening is scheduled for players to interact with and enjoy the company of their hosts, chaperones will still be active in checking on the kids. Moreover, once the pairings have been made both the players and the parents are encouraged to make contact with their twinned family and establish a friendly relationship in advance of any billeting.
4. Family participation and considerations (non-player/non-chaperone)
This trip is a rare opportunity for two Mimico teams to experience the Canadian North. We understand that whole families may be interested in joining such a great adventure. To that end, the following contains important financial information for those thinking of bringing the whole family. The nature of the booking requires commitment well in advance of the actual trip in April 2018.
Only two airlines travel to Rankin - Calm Air and First Air. Flights originating in Toronto would stop in Winnipeg and then go to Rankin Inlet. More information regarding flight options and prices will be available soon.
There are 4 hotels in Rankin Inlet. They are small and basic hotels. Rates range from $200 to $260 per night for double occupancy. Additional people in a room increases the nightly rate.
Katimavik Suites (www.katimaviksuites.com)
Nanuq Lodge (www.nanuqlodge.com)
Siniktarvic Hotel (www.siniktarvik.com)
Turaavik Inns North (rankininlethotel.com)
There are a handful of restaurants in Rankin Inlet. Expect prices to be higher than Toronto. One estimate advised budgeting $100 per person per day to eat all meals in a restaurant. However, it is likely that not all meals will need to be purchased at a restaurant. Group activities will sometimes also involve group meals. As a sample, the following are 2 restaurants in Rankin Inlet.
Diner-Siniktarvic- it is definitely more expensive than in the South. $24 for a Chicken Caesar, $22 for a club house salad, 2.50 for a soda
Café-Wild Wolf- also more expensive than the South. Reviews on trip advisor all say the food is good (think bison burgers) but do not provide pricing information. A Rankin local priced a couple’s meal (a coffee, veggie stirfy, bison burger, fries and pop) at about $50.
One alternative to meals out is purchasing items from the grocery store (there are 2 in Rankin). Again, however, note that items are more expensive than in Toronto. A general rule of thumb is that grocery items cost 3 times more in Rankin than here. The following are a few examples:
Whole chicken- $17
Small roast beef- $45
12 pack of Coke-$24
24 case of water-$50-72
Personal Items (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste) very expensive but are available.
5. Rules, safety and code of conduct
The safety of all participants is of the utmost importance. Organizers will collect medical and other important information during the planning stages and all participants will have a “contact card” created for them, including important medical information and emergency numbers. Contact cards will be carried by chaperones and organizers at all times. Chaperones and organizers will also check in with participants regularly to ensure that everyone is doing well.
Parents in Toronto will receive a packet before the April departure containing trip information for their child, including travel itineraries, travel insurance forms, hosting itineraries and emergency contact numbers. Organizers will develop a Code of Conduct for participants that all youth are expected to adhere to. Group organizers in coordination with their organization and their twin will work together to determine the most appropriate course of action should a participant not follow the Code of Conduct. Finally, Experiences Canada requires us to submit proof of insurance with coverage to a minimum of $2 million.