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Fun, land and learning

Grade 9 students at Tuugaalik High School entered their biggest classroom when the class took part in one of their two annual trips out on the land on Oct. 27 in Naujaat.

The Grade 9 class from Tuugaalik High School spent most of the day learning out on the land at Qariaq near Naujaat. photo courtesy of Lloyd Francis

The students travelled to Qariaq with their teacher, Lloyd Francis, and guide, Laurent Kringayark, to do a little hunting and fishing, and to focus on the land and what it provides.

Francis said the trip was a nice break for the students after just finishing exams.

“My students just finished a midterm, writing a test on the five subjects I teach them, so it was a nice way to kind of get out, unwind a bit, and learn some valuable land skills,” said Francis.

“The students always enjoy these trips and there's often something unique about each one.”

Melanie Kaunak, 14, said she looks forward to the land trips where she gets to do a little angling.

“I like to go fishing for all kids of fish, and I like to learn how to get better at catching them,” said Kaunak.

“I like being out on the land, even if we're not doing anything, but I also like caribou hunting.

“I have more fun learning on the land than I do learning in school.”

Sabina Iyyirauq, 13, said she learned to fish with nets during the last trip, which was OK, but she really enjoys it when something happens out on the land for the first time.

“Our last trip was the first time someone shot a caribou on any of my trips,” said Iyyirauq.

“It's always different when something happens you’re not expecting.

“So that made the coolest thing that happened was when Nathaniel Kopak caught a caribou.

“My best memory of all our trips was when we went boating last summer and saw beluga whales.”

Kaunak agreed Kopak getting the caribou was pretty cool.

She said it's always fun to be out on the land when you feel safe.

“I always feel safe when our cultural teacher or guides are with us,” said Kaunak.

“I like that we we do these trips a couple of times a year because it gets us out of the class room a bit.

“My best memory from our trips was last year when two classes went out at the same time and that was even more fun.”