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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 20, 2002 - Issue 59


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Boy Saves Elderly Hunting Companion Near Kugluktuk

Iqaluit, Nunavut - A 90-year-old was saved by his 12-year-old hunting companion last week after the two were caught in a sudden blizzard. The elder Buster Kailek and Byron Alonak went caribou hunting on Friday afternoon and were found in a shelter four days later.

They were supposed to return Sunday afternoon, but a blizzard set in and their snow machine hit a rock. The two were forced to walk through the biting wind and -40 C temperatures. They finally managed to get to the cabin where a rescue team found them.

Grant St. Germaine of the Kugluktuk RCMP says the older Kailek would have died if Alonak didn't help him.

"Byron's mom ... indicated to me that Byron had told her Buster had fallen down several times," St. Germaine explains. "He wanted to go to sleep and the boy kept getting him up, kept getting him to continue going along ... The boy also pulled Buster through the last 50 feet or so into the cabin."

St. Germaine says the younger Alonak was released from the Kugluktuk Health Centre after receiving treatment for exposure and frostbite.

The head nurse at the health centre says Kailek is still receiving treatment for frostbite to his feet. She says he has some bruising from the crash and was flown to Yellowknife for further examination.

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