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Three from Rankin complete cultural competency course

There was a distinct Rankin Inlet presence among participants who completed the Indigenous Cultural Competency (ICC) course which wrapped-up in Iqaluit last week.

Three of the eight who completed the ICC course – Emily Beardsal, Marla Balzer and Sam Tutanuak (now residing in Iqaluit) – all hail from Rankin.

Participants in the Indigenous Cultural Competency course which wrapped-up in Iqaluit this past week are, from left, Emily Beardsal (Rankin Inlet), Brenda Manning (Pond Inlet), Sam Tutanuak (Rankin Inlet, now residing in Iqaluit), Marla Balzer (Rankin Inlet), Amber Aglukark (Iqaluit), Detine Lord (co-facilitator), Rose Lemay (facilitator), Dekota Michaud (Pond Inlet) and Theresa Koonoo (Iqaluit) and Moses Arenson (Iqaluit), front, in Iqaluit on Feb. 7. Photo courtesy of Sam Tutanuak

The curriculum for the ICC course was developed by the Indigenous Reconciliation Group and is now delivered territory wide.

“Myself, personally, I would strongly recommend the ICC course to all Nunavummiut – those who are born and raised here, those who have been around Nunavut for a while, and those who are brand new to Nunavut,” said Tutanuak.

“There’s still this perception of indigenous people being drunk, poor, unhealthy and unmotivated, and this is a damn good course that challenges you to alter those perceptions, and it broadens thinking levels for everyone.

“The facilitating course I took was geared towards Nunavummiut – there are some parts that pertain to southern Canada and wouldn’t really apply up here – and what was added-in for Nunavut certainly hit the nail right on the head, so to speak.”

The delivery of the course is managed by the Quality of Life Secretariat with continued support from the Indigenous Reconciliation Group.

The Department of Culture and Heritage prioritized the ICC course to support the Government of Nunavut’s mandate to implement Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, while the Department of Education highlights it as an orientation step for all incoming teachers.

The course contributes significantly to reconciliation, workplace relations and service-delivery quality.

ICC courses are provided by certified facilitators, with most courses in Nunavut being delivered by local instructors.

Tutanuak said he had taken the ICC course a couple of years ago and was back this time because he was asked if he would be interested in becoming a facilitator.

“If I’m not mistaken, the two-week course is geared mostly towards GN staff,” said Tutanuak.

“I got in when I did because I was with the Kivalliq Inuit Association at the time.

“Facilitators work in groups of three – the facilitator course, itself, is only two-days long – and the ICC course is always delivered by two or three facilitators working together.”

The ICC course material is challenging, with the potential for difficult conversations about inter-generational trauma, racism and inclusion, and hope for reconciliation.

ICC facilitators are expected to have excellent skills in instruction and group facilitation, as well as a knowledge base in the course curriculum.
Tutanuak said when he took the ICC course, the participants often practiced how to present themselves to a group.

He said, within a group, there are always going to be those who want to learn, those who were forced to go, and those who really didn’t want to go, but ended-up there anyway.

Tutanuak said they learned how to work with each type of individuals.