Youth tackle politics


Every two years, youth from across the territory are given the opportunity to participate in the territorial parliamentary process.

photo courtesy Michel Albert
Nunavut Commissioner Nellie Taptaqut Kusugak, centre, along with Speaker Joe Enook, welcomed youth from across Nunavut to take part in the 7th Speaker’s Youth Parliament in the capital Nov. 22.

The event is hosted by the speaker of the legislative assembly, and this year’s that’s Joe Enook.

“Students who participate in this event learn about the parliamentary process while experiencing the challenge of assuming the role of an elected member of the legislative assembly,” stated Enook in a news release.

To participate, students from Nunavut’s twenty-two constituencies submitted applications through their schools.

Minister of Education and MLA for South Baffin David Joanasie appeared before the youth parliament to answer students’ questions concerning initiatives for which he is responsible – Language, Culture and Heritage, along with Education.


Made-in-Nunavut early education program finalist for $1 million

Mittimatalik/Pond Inlet

An early education program out of Pond Inlet is one of three finalists for the top prize of $1 million from the Arctic Inspiration Prize.

“We are thrilled to just get to the finalist stage. It really helps us to maintain our excitement around the potential of building culturally-relevant and high-quality early childhood educational programming in Nunavut,” said Tessa Lochhead, who, with Karen Nutarak, worked for several years to get the Pond Inlet project started in 2016.

The concept for Pirurvik Preschool is the blending of Montessori educational methods with Inuit traditional methods. The program, which also trains educators in the community, proved so successful it expanded to Clyde River.

“Pirurvik – A Place to Grow aims to change the lives of children throughout Nunavut by developing innovative and comprehensive early childhood education programs that are rooted in Inunnguiniq and responsive to the needs of each community,” according to the Arctic Inspiration Prize description.

The annual award ceremony, which sees $3 million shared among projects from all over the North, is scheduled to be held at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse on February 12, 2019, in conjunction with the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference.


Qaggiq School completes another course with performance


photo courtesy Vincent Desrosiers
Drummers Jerry Puglik and Corey Panika, with artists who participated in the Arctic Song Music Performance course with the Qaggiq School of Performing Arts, rehearse for an evening performance Nov. 22. The course was an intensive training of musicians in choreography, drum dance, pisiit and collaborative performance skills.

Of more than 50 applicants, 20 Nunavut musicians took the latest course offering from the Qaggiq School of Performing Arts Nov. 14 to 22.

The Qaggiq School offers credit courses and is a partnership between the Qaggiavuut Society, the Nunatta Isiginnaartitsisarfia (National Theatre School of Greenland) and the National Theatre School of Canada.

“The Arctic Song course was around pisiit revitalization, but it was also to give a group of artists skills to put on a professional presentation,” said Qaggiavuut program manager Kathleen Merritt.

“The participants worked with professional choreographers from the south, as well as professional choreographers from the North. It was around movement, stage presence. But we also asked them to learn the traditional songs (pisiit), as well as some contemporary.”

Students also received voice and sound training.

Merritt notes the course took place in churches, a soup kitchen and the Franco Centre in Iqaluit because Nunavut still lacks a performing arts centre.

The Arctic Song Music Performance course culminated in an evening performance at the Franco Centre.

“From the looks of it, it looked like a full house. The performers … they were incredible. I got to see the show from the audience and it was such a beautiful show. I could see the difference in confidence, the difference in stage presence – from day one to the day of the performance. It was an incredible success,” said Merritt.

In addition, Merritt says Qaggiavuut will soon be partnering with another southern institution which provides a master’s program in the performing arts.


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