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  • Vermilion Voice

‘Motivate Nunavut Tour’

Left, Television personality, Ariel Tweto, aboard the Kugluktuk Limo pulled by skidoo during last year’s tour. Photo submitted.

Right, David DeVos just prior to leaving Vermilion on October 30, for the 5th “Motivate Nunvaut Tour’ geared at suicide prevention. Photo Angela Mouly

Vermilion’s David DeVos is eager to be a part of the ‘Motivate Nunavut Tour’ once again and began a province-wide suicide prevention tour in Coral Harbour, Nunavut on November 1.

According to DeVos, he and television personality, Ariel Tweto, will head out on their fifth tour discussing goal setting and encouraging people to embrace life.

“Our goal is to have influencers motivate local influencers to create change and bring awareness to the social problems and the opportunities so that everyone can be successful and live life,” said DeVos who is determined to remove the stigma surrounding suicide.

DeVos went on to say, “We do this up north because there is a lot of suicide that happens, but we can’t ignore the fact that it happens here too. Everybody knows somebody that is affected by suicide. We need to not be afraid to talk about it.”

According to DeVos, influencers on tour will include a past NHL player, an Olympian, 'Yukon Men’s' Courtney Angus, his daughter Taylor DeVos, and four-time tour companion Ariel Tweto who starred in her show, ‘Flying Wild Alaska’ on the Discovery Channel.

Devos has been overwhelmed by the supporters of this tour including Calm Air who donated flight costs, Artic Co-ops who donated accommodations, the Kivalliq Inuit Association who donated funding and helped engage communities in expressing the importance of suicide prevention, as well as Eskimo Point Lumber, and the communities themselves who made contributions.

“Anybody can influence change. We don’t just fly in and then fly out. We identify what systems or programs we can bring in to make things a little less hard for people, and become a part of the community by keeping in touch and returning to the same communities to bring them together, and not leave them without support,” said DeVos.

Overall, the four-month tour will visit over 18 communities in the Kivalliq, Qikiqtaaluk, and Kitikmeot regions of Nunavut. Beginning in Coral Harbour, DeVos and Tweto will host school presentations, home visits with youth and elders, a radio show, a formal community presentation and square dance.

They will be using the hashtag #StayStrong on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the tour. According to a recent Twitter post, Tweto was excited to begin the journey seeing two caribou, an arctic fox, and inukshuks on her way to Coral Harbour.

For more information you can search ‘Influencers Motivating Influencers’ on Facebook.

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