If you've driven to or from the Inuvik Airport recently, you may have noticed a colourful addition to the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (ISSF).
Five satellite dishes will be receiving a makeover, with painted designs submitted by the Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, Métis, East Three Secondary School, and Town of Inuvik.
So far, three have been decorated - including a traditional Inuvialuit blanket toss design on the Canadian antenna - and the rest will be completed by the end of next summer.
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation worked with Inuvialuit artist Sheree McLeod (Inuvik, Northwest Territories) to create artwork that would celebrate Inuvialuit heritage. The final design depicts the traditional activity used to scout for game or to scan the horizon.
In a way, the traditional blanket toss mirrors modern remote sensing practices. Similar to a man or woman in the air scanning the horizon to see the land around them, a satellite scans the planet. The satellite transmits this information down to ground stations, like the ISSF, where it is received – like a blanket – by an antenna.
McLeod's design provides great insight into Inuvialuit heritage as the blanket toss is still used to celebrate culture and is the most recognized event of the Arctic Games. The blanket toss also brings people together in support of one another and can represent a strong community, says McLeod.
Well-known blanket toss jumper Abel Tingmiak is McLeod's great uncle.
For more information about the Inuvialuit satellite design, please contact: