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AROUND NUNAVUT: School appreciation, bingo win and family literacy featured in the Baffin region

Counsellors, elders, substitute teachers, janitors thanked for their service


Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik's principal Brian Manning says the two most important words in the English language are "thank you", and it was with that in mind that in late December the school's administration recognized several key staff members who might otherwise go unnoticed.

photo courtesy Brian Manning
In late December, Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik's ilinniarvimmi inuusiliriji (school counsellors) Annie Shappa-Ipirq, left, and Rosie Kopalie as well as elders Mary Shaimaiyuk and Koonoo Muckpaloo were recognized by the school's administration for providing a living example of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in action for students to emulate.

"We do that because that's part of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles, tunnganarni, being welcoming and inclusive. And that's the whole idea, to be welcoming and inclusive," said Manning.

"And of course, the smiling faces. That's why we do these things."

Manning says despite the expression "we're a team" being overused, that's what all the staff at the Iqaluit middle school are.

"We're a congregation of equals here who are all working for the students entrusted to our care."
With that in mind,  Aqsarniit's ilinniarvimmi inuusiliriji (school counsellors) Annie Shappa-Ipirq and Rosie Kopalie, as well as elders Mary Shaimaiyuk and Koonoo Muckpaloo, were recognized for providing a living example of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in action for students to emulate.

Substitute teachers Michelle Klengenberg, Maurice Lefleur, student support assistants Luke Suqslak, Ida Nowdlak, Kim Crocker, Rhea Muckpah Gavin, substitute student support assistants Garett Jessup, Pamela Patey, Nathan Ernewein, Haulli Paton and French monitor Marie-Pier Charbonneau-Majeau were recognized for professionalism and dedication to providing exceptional support to students and staff.

Janitors Ryan Aguilar, Ely Santillan and Mary Inookee were thanked for their efforts to maintain a safe, secure, clean and healthy environment for students and staff, while casual secretary Tina Tautuajuk was thanked for providing a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for students, parents, guardians and stakeholders as they enter Aqsarniit.


Big winner in Qik


Tulugak Co-op shopper Selina Nookiguak came away a big winner in late December when she walked away with a $1,000 gift certificate as part of the Co-op bingo.

photo courtesy Tulugak Co-op
Tulugak Co-op shopper Selina Nookiguak came away a big winner in late December when she walked away with a $1,000 gift certificate as part of a bingo.

Nookiguak was one of five such winners from all participating Co-ops.

"To support our shoppers, we create a monthly flyer and on special occasions, like around Christmas time, they (the Co-ops) want to use a contest or a draw often related to a bingo to create a bit of fun and give some people the thrill of perhaps winning something," said vice president of stakeholder relations Duane Wilson.

Often the winner might walk away with a new quad or snowmobile, said Wilson, but this year the decision was made to spread it around a bit more.

"Let's face it, as much as people value quads or snowmobiles in the communities, not everybody wants one or needs one. Whereas pretty much anyone can use $1,000 and direct that to whatever their needs are," said Wilson.


QIA targets family literacy


The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) announced the launch of an Inuktitut family literacy initiative as part of its Ipitiki program.

"I'm excited about this program because it pushes forward QIA’s commitment to early childhood learning and provides real tools for families to keep Inuktitut strong in their home," stated president  PJ Akeeagok.

With the new initiative, QIA hopes to encourage more Inuktitut speaking within homes, where both children, as well as parents and guardians can enjoy fun activities while learning new Inuktitut words and phrases.

The project is made possible with the help of the Government of Nunavut's Department of Education, and includes resources developed with the help of Inhabit Media.

Each kindergarten student in the region is receiving a family literacy package, including an Ipitiki backpack, an activity booklet, daily activity cards, Inuktitut syllabic cards, a CD of Inuktitut children’s songs, home vocabulary stickers and Inuktitut books.

Other projects included under QIA's Ipitiki program are the forthcoming governance training for daycare boards, a daycare managers' conference, and an elders in daycares pilot project.

Funding comes from the Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation.