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AROUND NUNAVUT: New manager/curator for Iqaluit museum, Whale Cove school wins at literacy, Co-op pioneer Hunt honoured

This week, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum welcomes new manager curator Jessica Kotierk, Inuglak School celebrates a very successful literacy initiative, and Fred Hunt is recognized for his vital role at the Tununiq Sauniq Co-op.

New manager, curator for Nunavut museum


The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum has a new manager/curator – Jessica Kotierk.

Jessica Kotierk joins the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit as its manager and curator.
photo courtesy Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum

Kotierk, who was born and raised in Iglulik, come to the museum by way of the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

"She has worked in museum collections focused on Inuit culture for the last five years," stated a news release.

Kotierk has studied both film and museum conservation. A graduate of Fleming College's Collection Management and Conservation program, she also holds a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from York University.

The Vending Machine, made for the Stories from Our Land series, is a short film Kotierk made profiling an Inuk entrepreneur who operates a snack dispenser in one of Canada's most northerly airports.

Kotierk's conservation studies have focused on the preservation and management of Inuit artifacts in collections around the world. She has lived in Iqaluit, Ottawa, Toronto and Peterborough in Ontario,  Montreal, Quebec, Bern, Switzerland  and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum is not-for-profit organization that preserves and promotes local culture and art.

School ramps up on literacy

Tikirarjuaq/Whale Cove

Teacher Tamara Toole, left, reads with a with students Leland Kabloona, Layla-Beth Voisey, Tom Enuapik and Gabriel Okalik as part of Whale Cove's Inuglak School initiative to read 20 minutes a day to improve literacy and bring students up to the international grade 9 level.
photo courtesy of Inuglak School.

Inuglak School in Whale Cove celebrates a literacy initiative – 20 minutes of reading each day.

"The school's educators set a goal of getting all students to read at the international Grade 9 level. To meet this goal, the learning coaches and the student support teachers worked collaboratively to assess all the students in K-9 level," stated principal Claude Pike in an e-mail.

"Students were placed in small groups based on their reading levels and paired with a teacher for 20 minutes a day for direct reading instructions. With this intensive approach, students began to read more independently, reducing the range of reading levels."

Student support assistant Florentine Voisey works with Owen Bradley, left, Lee Jr. Teenar, Keira Maktar as part of Inuglak School's intensive literacy program
photo courtesy of Inuglak School.

Pike calls the results astounding, stating: "After three and a half months, students were reassessed. All of their hard work paid off because most students showed signs of improvement. Encouraged by this, educators saw that their efforts were creating positive change."

The K-to-12 school is now transferring some of the same strategies to the Inuktitut program.

"The learning coaches are currently working with the Inuktitut-language teachers to develop a similar program of reading for 20 minutes," stated Pike.

There are 157 students attend the school, where the language of instruction Inuktitut to Grade 4 and English for grades 5 to 12.

"To grow literacy outside of the school, the school staff is encouraging parental and community involvement in helping students reach their highest literacy potential. The school has conducted a reading and literacy night for the community to engage families," said Pike.

The school appealed to parents to follow up with 20 minutes of reading together with their children at home.


Hunt honoured for helping develop Pond Inlet Co-op

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

At its 30th Annual Managers' Conference and Trade Show held in Winnipeg during the second week of March, Arctic Cooperatives Ltd. honoured Fred Hunt for his instrumental role 50 years ago in the  development of Tununiq Sauniq Co-op in Pond Inlet.

Arctic Cooperatives Ltd. honoured Fred Hunt earlier this month at its 30th Annual Managers' Conference and Trade Show held in Winnipeg. Hunt had an instrumental role 50 years ago in the development of Tununiq Sauniq Co-op in Pond Inlet.
photo courtesy Arctic Cooperatives Ltd.

That Co-op, incorporated 1968, is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind in Nunavut, according to the company.

Businesses include a retail store, convenience store, hotel, fuel delivery, cable television services and property rentals.

"On Friday, we had the privilege of listening to Fred storytell about his adventures, challenges and successes in Co-op communities across the Arctic," stated Arctic Co-ops.

"Fred was also the conduit (in) our relationship with Professional Buying Services (PBS), one of the very first companies to provide procurement services to communities in Canada's Northern territories."

General managers from more than 30 Co-ops across the Arctic gathered for 10 days to discuss ways to "provide the best service possible."

Many employees were recognized for five to 30 years of service.

"We strive to create an environment where employees are encouraged, supported and recognized," stated Arctic Co-ops.