There are some terrible things happening out there, and they are well chronicled – sometimes overly so. There has been an increase in ‘Good News’ reporting (the Montreal Gazette has a whole page dedicated to good news only in each issue) and so I have decided to join the bandwagon.
IQALUIT, Nunavut, Canada — Beth McKenty moved to sparsely populated northeast Canada – to Iqaluit on Baffin Island – in 1999 to fulfill a pledge, made 45 years earlier, to devote part of her life to reducing youth suicide.
Within two weeks of arriving she had begun a project to help children build self-esteem by exploring their creativity. The Arctic Youth Art Initiative has since grown to involve hundreds of children.
Ms. McKenty’s efforts were acknowledged this month when she was one of 75 individuals from across Canada named as recipients of the Caring Canadian Awards for 2009. Created in 1996 by the Canadian Governor General, the award is presented to individuals and groups whose unpaid, voluntary contributions over a number of years provide extraordinary help or care to people in their community.
It has been a long and often surprising road for Ms. McKenty from her birthplace of Snowflake, Manitoba, to Iqaluit, population 7,200 and the capital of the Nunavut territory. In addition to several decades in Wisconsin, where she worked as a freelance journalist and raised a family, she has lived in Japan, China, and Russia, and she has taught at the Navajo College at Tsaile, Arizona, in the United States.
Read more here.