Meet the Rangers

ᐅᓇᑕᖅᑐᒃᓴᑦ ᑭᓇᐅᓂᖏᑦ

Benjamin, in his mid 20s, is one of the four newest Recruits in Taloyoak. Raised by his grandparents, they would often take him out of school for weeks at a time to live out on the land. Benjamin is a highly skilled hunter for his age. He and his partner Nancy are the proud parents of two young girls, and he supports their family by performing odd jobs and hunting.

One of three children born of a mother from Taloyoak and a father from Yellowknife, Byron travelled and worked throughout Canada before moving to Taloyoak in 2007, and is one of Taloyoak’s newest recruits. Proud to serve his country, his passion for becoming a Ranger was ignited by his sister’s tragic disappearance in Yellowknife in 2010. Despite the community’s best search efforts, she has never been found. Search and Rescue remains a key aspect of being a Ranger for Byron. Byron works as a cook at Taloyoak’s hotel and lives with his partner, Vanessa, and their two small children.

Corporal Paul Ikuallaq is the 3rd in command in Gjoa Haven. He’s an experienced Ranger and has been on two sovereignty patrols – first in 2004 to Alert that covered 1,750km, and then a three-week-long 8,000km trek in 2007 to Alert. He helped make history – it was the longest distance ever travelled by a sovereignty patrol in Canada. When not being a Ranger, Paul works as an outfitter and guide and owns a B&B.

Born in Gjoa Haven in 1945, Nanook is one of the elders serving on the Rangers team in Taloyoak. Born out on the land, Nanook vividly remembers a time when his family was nomadic—living in snow houses through the winter and tents in the summer. A Ranger since the mid 1980s, Nanook was part of the second group of candidates to join the Rangers. As a respected elder, his input and advice are often sought by the younger Rangers.”

Henry has been a Ranger in Taloyoak since January 2009. An experienced hunter, Henry enjoys sharing his knowledge with the Junior Rangers, acting as an advisor. He himself was once a Junior Ranger a decade and a half ago. As a Ranger and community volunteer, Henry has been involved in several difficult Search and Rescues. He is married and has four young children.

Originally from Gjoa Haven, Leah is one of Taloyoak’s newer recruits. For Leah, being a Ranger is truly a family affair—as a child, Leah watched in admiration as her brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles went off on patrols, finally joining their ranks in November 2010. On her first big patrol travelling to Prince of Wales Island, Leah caught such severe frostbite on her face that she had to be flown back to town for medical treatment. Undeterred, this mother of seven children was back on patrol the following year!

Originally from Coral Harbour, Lucassie became a Ranger over thirty years ago in his early twenties. Lucassie dropped out of the Rangers when he became an Anglican Minister but rejoined ten years ago after moving to Taloyoak. Lucassie is also the Search and Rescue coordinator for the community. He leads prayers before each patrol - and sometimes during them. Lucassie ardently believes in the role of the Rangers to help protect both Canada’s and the Inuit people’s right to the Northwest Passage.

Martha, in her mid-20s, is one of Taloyoak’s newest recruits. She also assists in teaching Junior Rangers. Martha was raised mainly by her grandparents and and holds an impressive amount of knowledge on traditions that is unrivalled by many young people her age. Her grandfather, father, brother and uncle were or are all Rangers and she was inspired to follow this tradition, with a twist; she is the first female Ranger in the family. She’s the mother of three young children, two of whom are twins.

As a Ranger, Mary has been on searches and participated in annual exercises. Mary is also very active in Taloyoak as the wellness instructor - she is a leading part of the federally funded Nutrition North Canada program in her community - helping to bring culturally-appropriate nutrition education and health promotion initiatives to young parents. She also coordinates a weekly elders’ gathering.

Master Corporal Sam Tulurialik has been a Ranger since 1984 when the patrol in Taloyoak first started. He is right hand man to Sergeant Abel Aqqaq and very involved in helping to organize the patrol. Sam also plays acoustic guitar and works as the airport maintainer.