Nanook School students and staff woke up to sad news May 24 – their tupiq, built in November for the school’s groundbreaking land-based outdoor education program, burned in the night.

Nanook School’s tupiq, the centerpiece of its land-based outdoor education program in Apex, burned in the early morning hours of May 24.
Alfred Paterson/Facebook photo

“Heartbreaking news to wake up (to). Our Nanook School/Nuna School tupiq was set on fire and burnt to the ground overnight,” staff announced on their Facebook page.

The tupiq was the result of community effort, with Sikitu Sales & Service flying the tent up from Newfoundland and NCC Development Ltd. supplying the materials and labour to erect the tent.

“We will rebuild. We will not let this setback curb our enthusiasm for providing such important educational opportunities to our students in our community. We will be organizing a fundraising campaign in the next few days … after we have a moment to grieve our loss. We’ve already received such beautiful support from so many people,” stated staff.

The community is already rallying to replace Nanook School’s tupiq, which burned in the night.
Dane Wilson/Twitter photo

Within hours, Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern mourned the loss, and swung into action.

“I know that we can rally together both residents and business to help rebuild this qammaq and teach the children we can overcome and rebuild,” she stated on Twitter, suggesting a fundraiser.

“I will ask the school principal Mathew Knickelbein what is needed and happy to contact local businesses especially contractors about donations whether cash or materials.”

Inukpak Outfitting, a business located in Apex, quickly responded.

“We already sent (messages) to corporations that we are partners with to rally in rebuilding the tupiq for #NunaSchool,” the company stated.

The students of Nanook School, seen here in November, were proud of their new tupiq, the new heated Nuna School Program classroom next door. The school bought the new tent in Newfoundland, while Sikitu Sales & Service ensured it got to Iqaluit and NCC Development Ltd. donated the materials and the labour to build it.
NNSL file photo

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