Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik brought in local elders during Literacy Week to choose winners of a school drawing contest based on poems by Inuit poets – The Joy of a Singer by Piuvkaq, and Netsilik Inuit and How Noisy They Seem by Alootook Ipellie.

Elders also shared stories about building iglus and surviving on the land and they enjoyed a drum dance.

“Elders made comments of how much they enjoyed the gatherings,” principal Trina Sallerina stated. “They really appreciated being able to have all of the students in one place and working together so that everyone is able to help each other. They felt this was a respectful way of gathering and passing on traditional knowledge.”

Elders Salomie Qitsualik and Martha Atkitchok speak to students at Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik in Gjoa Haven. The elders have requested that they meet with students on a monthly basis.
photos courtesy of Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik
Elders Tommy Tavalok, left, and David Siksik tell the students about iglu making.
Inigo Kaloon performs a drum dance for the audience.
Proudly displaying their certificates of recognition and their Inuktitut books for their Literacy Week assignments are, front row, from left, Andrew Palongayak, John Qirqqut, Gabriel Nimiqtaqtuq, Pauloo Pauloosie, Justin Tootalik, Bailey Rudolph and Sheridan Kamookak. Back row, from left, Paul Iquallaq, Michael Mariq, Alex Nimiqtaqtuq, Mark Kununak, Jade Kamookak. Others earning a certificate were Carissa Putuguq, Karen Aaluk and Jordan Takkiruq.
Martha Pooyatak holds a Qiqirtaq Snowy Owls backpack that she won in a draw. She was one of the elders who shared her wisdom with the students.
Miriam Aglukkaq with her CD of drum dance songs, a gift for giving her time to help educate students at Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik.

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