A cohort of government employees from across Nunavut left Rankin Inlet a little more qualified to take on the world earlier this month, as members of the GN’s Hivuliqtikhanut emerging leaders program graduated.

The 8-month course was launched in 2016 as a way for junior government employees with little or no management experience to further their education without having to leave their jobs.

Elizabeth Allakariallak Roberts gives the commencement speech at the graduation for the territorial government’s Hivuliqtikhanut program. Cody Punter/NNSL photo

The most recent program featured seven three-day modules delivered in Rankin Inlet between October and June in partnership with the local Nunavut Arctic College campus.

Hivuliqtikhanut teaches a mix of conventional and traditional Inuit approaches to management styles in diverse classes consisting of students in a range of government departments from all over Nunavut.

Peter Autut – who is originally from Chesterfield Inlet – is now working as a training and development specialist in Iqaluit and said enrolling in the program was a no-brainer for the Kivalliq man.

“I got the chance to go back to Rankin. A lot of my family is here, so it was a good opportunity to do that. It was also a chance to get a higher education. So it was a really easy choice.”

Angie Martee, who currently works as a senior billings clerk for Qulliq Energy Corporation in Baker Lake, said she took the program based on the advice of her supervisor.

“She’s leaving soon and she thought I could be the one to replace her,” she said.

Martee said the course built up her confidence and taught her how to be a team leader. One of the most important things she learned is how to manage conflict in the office.

“I feel like I have knowledge I never had before,” she said after graduation.

One of the unique aspects of the program is that it brings government employees from all over the territory to Rankin to learn under one roof. Autut said the diversity of the program is one its greatest strengths.

“We saw it as a shoelace where you pull that and you get everyone closer together and have that stronger connection,” he said.

“It was so much easier when we were asking what things are like in Cambridge Bay or Kugluktuk and we had people that were actually from there rather than saying ‘oh, I heard this’.”

This is the second time Hivuliqtikhanut’s emerging leaders program has been run in Rankin Inlet, producing a total of 74 graduates from across the territory.

In addition to the graduation, the GN, Nunavut Arctic College and Dalhousie University signed a memorandum of understanding to further increase educational opportunities for Hivuliqtikhanut graduates.

The agreement will allow people who complete the program to use credits from the course toward a degree from Dalhousie, which could either be done through distance learning or by attending the campus.

Autut said he and some other students have already talked about continuing their education.

“I knew (the program) would open new doors, but I just didn’t know what,” said Autut. “We’re pretty excited that we have a new opportunity to go to another level with our education.”

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