1st Annual Luke Qanak Makkigak event gearing up for September

·2 min read

Luke Qanak Makkigak loved to square dance with his sister Jamie.

Tragically, his life ended at age 19 on Nov. 16, 2018. Now the family is finally hosting the First Annual Luke Qanak Makkigak memorial square dance competition in his honour.

“He died very young,” said Lucy Makkigak, his great-aunt and chairperson of the square dance committee. “He was a very good hunter. He provided country food to his family, grandparents, everybody. He was in high school, he was a very good student and he loved to travel. He travelled many places for square dance competitions. Square dance was one of his big passions.”

His sudden passing was a shock to his family and the community.

“I started thinking, we need to heal, heal as a family, heal as a community, and maybe we can do one of Luke’s passions,” said Makkigak.

That’s how his relatives decided on a square dance competition in his name.

“He’s missed dearly,” said Makkigak. “But what can we do? We can only move forward and remember him in a positive way.”

The competition has been three years in the making — the pandemic delayed it — and it will finally be held Sept. 1-4 at the old arena in Rankin Inlet.

The first three days are for the square dance competition, with the last one as a family fun day for the dancers and community.

Teams from outside of Rankin Inlet are invited to compete. The deadline for registering is Aug. 26. The first-place prize is $8,000, with $6,000 for second and $4,000 for third.

Everyone is welcome to attend the competition, space permitting. Makkigak said safety is the first priority and attendance will be arranged by age group, if required.

No alcohol or drugs will be tolerated.

Makkigak invites everyone to enjoy the competition in remembrance of Luke.

Stewart Burnett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kivalliq News