It was a busy first day at work for Megan Klengenberg, teaching how to make Kamiks in Kugluktuk.

The evening sewing class instructor gave her first lesson on Jan. 31 – she shares her knowledge two nights a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the Elders’ centre.

“I love to teach, like to share, love that others are improving their skills and ability too,” said Klengenberg, who feels the craft has a bigger effect. “Sewing is healing,”

Seven students of all ages participated in the first class. To create the traditional footwear, she uses strout canvas, cowhide, leather, moose hide and thick strout fur.

She had been looking for a position like this one to be more engaged with the community.

“I’m excited and so happy to finally have a part time job helping participants have beautiful, warm and durable clothing,” said Klengenberg, who went back to school in 2020 to improve her sewing abilities.

“I haven’t stopped perfecting my skills since then. I really love having sewing skills and knowledge because now I can sew for my own family.”

She will be graduating from a four-month sewing program on Feb. 8. During the course of the program, she practiced making mitts, kamiks, hats, ski pants and parkas amongst other projects.

Klengenberg has practiced sewing for over a decade. She created the pattern for her first parka in 2013.

“I had to teach myself. One of my aunts offered to teach me but I didn’t like sewing as a kid,” she said.

Next up for Klengenberg is parka making at the Arctic College, from Feb. 20 until March 1.

“I taught the first one they did last year too! I specialize in parkas but I can do many things that come to mind,” said Klengenberg.

The teacher’s main motivation has been to help others gain the skills and abilities she wished she had growing up.

“I am full of willingness because I always wished I was taught this but I worked hard to get where I am today! All that determination comes from trying to be a better mom, single mom of four aged 14, 10, 5, and 1,” said Klengenberg, who invites anyone interested in the classes to contact her.

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