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Let the talent shine

No need for too much bureaucracy in Nunavut

The story of Jennica Pissuk and her charming social media ads for Arctic Connection in Rankin Inlet demonstrates two things: the hidden talent in Nunavut, and the importance of fostering a workplace culture that allows that talent to shine.

One of the most distressing things about the North is thinking about all the talent that never gets an opportunity. There is a tremendous amount of athletic, artistic and professional talent drowning beneath overcrowded living conditions, poverty and absence of resources. A lot of people just need the right equipment in their hand to take off, and a little guidance on how to use it. Along with that, they require the freedom and support to take risks.

Solving the greater socio-economic issues in Nunavut is a long-term, collaborative job, and thankfully, it’s not something the government is solely responsible for. There are many individuals and organizations providing opportunities, and Arctic Connection deserves props for its part in supporting staff growth.

As a journalist, I find the contrast between Arctic Connection and the Government of Nunavut stark: GN employees are under lock and key, allowed to speak to the media only if approved beforehand, often reading scripts in the interviews that do go through. On the other hand, no one is writing Pissuk’s scripts in her videos: the brass at Arctic Connection know she has talent, appreciate her passion and let her rip. That’s how you let people spread their wings. It’s a win all around: AC’s reputation improves, Pissuk’s reputation improves and the wider community gets joy and laughs from the videos.

AC knows much of its staff have career goals beyond its walls. The company is allowing staff to take swings that could lead directly to new opportunities. Beyond running a business that offers goods for Nunavummiut, AC is also providing experience, opportunities and functioning as something of a social enterprise in the community.

Other businesses and government organizations in the territory can follow this lead and give staff room to explore. We need all the opportunities and flexibility we can get in Nunavut.