Lottery license? Food permit? No problem. Inuvik mom won’t give up fundraising to finish university – North

A single mom from Inuvik, N.W.T. is going to extraordinary measures — manoeuvring around government bylaws — to raise extra money to finish her last year of university.

Kendra Tingmiak has just three semesters left of her environmental sciences degree at the University of Lethbridge.

She was able to get partial funding from the territorial government and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation — but is having a hard time coming up with the last thousand dollars to cover part of her living and travel costs for the upcoming semester.

“Right now I’m just worried about what’s in front of us now,” Tingmiak said.

She paid for her previous years of school with money she saved after years of working.

Creative plan thwarted by lottery license

Instead of turning to popular GoFundMe pages Tingmiak got creative.

She set up a 50-50 raffle for her community earlier this week.

“And then I got reported for illegal gambling.”

“If I have to roll up a bunch of sushi and get no sleep, then so be it.”
Kendra Tingmiak

Someone reported Tingmiak to the territorial government.

People require a lottery license to run raffles, bingos, and other gambling activities.

So Tingmiak applied for one.

But the town’s senior administrative officer denied her request.

“I feel sorry for her and wish I could do more, but I have to follow what the regulations say,” said Grant Hood, the SAO of Inuvik.

Hood said gambling activities must not be “for personal gains” and be “beneficial to the community as a whole” according to the community’s bylaws. 

Hood said this bylaw is in place to protect the consumer, and it wasn’t his first time denying a community member asking for a license to run a fundraiser.

Then the food permit…

Then Tingmiak changed gears: a bake sale with some sushi on the side.

She ran the idea by the town’s officials, who then told her she needed a temporary food establishment permit — typically required for opening…

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