and Inuktitut production released in time for World Oceans Day
Vinnie Karetak, left, and Joshua Qaumariaq, the lead singer
of the Trade Offs, speak with students at Nanook Elementary
School in Apex about the importance of healthy ocean ecosystems.
When Iqaluit bluesman
Josh Qaumariaq and comedian Vinnie Karetak were tasked with creating
a video about the importance of preserving Arctic ocean critters,
they had just one little problem.
They didnt know
anything about the subject.
So they asked for some
help from a science class at Nanook Elementary School in Apex, which
had been studying the importance of Arctic food webs.
The result of this tongue-in-cheek
premise is a new music video, Guardians
of Tariuqthats sea in Inuktitutreleased in
time for World Oceans Day today.
The English and Inutktitut
music video and a longer, uncut version, which includes a humorous
interview between the band and the kids, will be shared with Nunavut
classrooms as a learning tool.
The videos real
stars are the children, who perform with pouty fish lips and dance
like seaweed wiggling underwater. The lyrics and music for the song
are also a collaboration between the youth and adults.
The project began in
January, when a group of fisheries and environmental organizations
reached out to Karetak and Qaumariaq with the idea of highlighting
the importance of the eastern
Arctics new marine conservation areas.
The music video was a
team effort with help from friends in the Iqaluit music scene, such
as Kris Mullaly, a part-time drummer for the Trade Offs, and Thor
Simonsen from the Hitzmakers, who did a lot of mixing to make the
When it comes to engaging
children, music and comedy is a fun way to do that,
With lyrics like, Come
on, take the plunge. Lets learn about the sea sponge,
the song is intended to celebrate the importance of all inhabitants
of Canadas Arctic ecosystem, including corals, sponges and
As the song goes, It
really matters. That is because corals support fish by providing
shelter and protection for many organisms, which in turn support
bigger marine mammals like narwhal.
And, as Karetak said
in the video, narwhal are delicious.
Baffin Bay and Davis
Strait have ancient deep-sea corals, sea sponges and sea pens that
can grow up to two metres tall, the video explains, which provide
a vital habitat for fish and marine mammals. The project aims to
show Nunavummiut the complexity and the sensitivity of these ecosystems
that provide many of the foods they eat.
to try to educate the public, starting with the kids, on the importance
of preserving the ecosystem, Brian Burke, executive director
of Nunavut Fisheries Association, said in a telephone interview.
Susanna Fuller, senior
project officer at Oceans North, said there is no better way to
communicate the importance of protected areas than with the enthusiasm
and creativity of children.
It is difficult
to get to know the creatures living on the sea floorsponges
and corals and sea pens that make up the fragile marine habitat,
The kids remained engaged
during the videos production, and showed that they understood
the significance of ensuring a healthy ocean, she said.
As for Mullaly, he said
he felt like it was a great experience to be involved and
to help with something positive and fun for the youth.
Mullaly, who played the
guitar, sang background vocals and helped with the mixing and mastering
of the song, said he appreciated being invited to participate.
Josh and Vinnie
are great role models for youth in Nunavut.