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Kivalliq college grads: Rankin campus graduates 87 students, largest class in Nunavut

The largest grad class among Nunavut Arctic College's campuses came from the Kivalliq this year as 87 students were recently recognized for their achievements.

Among the Nunavut Arctic College Kivalliq campus graduates this spring are, front row, from left, Kaelan Collier, management studies certificate; Sherri Kalliraq, management studies certificate; Lorena Kopak, office administration certificate; Natalie Putulik, office administration certificate; college chairperson Sue Ball; Jessica Avaala, office administration certificate; Maria Noolook, office administration certificate; Martha Palluq, office administration certificate; Gordon Jr. Okalik, pre-apprenticeship oil heat systems technician; Nellie Kopak, office administration certificate. Middle row, from left, Simon Tapardjuk, management studies certificate; Cynthia Sateana Ford, management studies diploma; Jude Panlican, management studies certificate; Courtney Oolooyuk, management studies certificate; Kimberly Brown-Tanuyak, management studies diploma; Keesha Jones, office administration certificate; Shayleen Murphy, management studies certificate; Terri Angalik, management studies certificate; Nuatti Kablutsiak, management studies certificate; Odelia Tartak, management studies diploma; Shelly Iguptak, office administration certificate. Third row, from left, Michael Wallace, pre-apprenticeship carpentry; Nelson Poodlat, pre-apprenticeship carpentry; Jassie Simonee, pre-apprenticeship carpentry; Steven Chen Shum, pre-apprenticeship electrician; Terrance Mapsalak, pre-apprenticeship electrician; Simon Kullualik, management studies certificate; Darren Saumik, pre-apprenticeship electrician; Tyra Suluk, pre-apprenticeship carpentry; Chantelle Napayok-Kaludjak, management studies diploma. photo courtesy of Nunavut Arctic College

The most popular program was the heavy equipment operator air brakes course, which 12 students passed. Eleven participants made the grade in the apprenticeship housing maintainer program. Management studies certificates went to 10 learners while three others achieved their management studies diplomas. Nine students were training to become apprentice oil heat systems technicians. Eight completed the office administration certificate program while another eight were involved in introduction to mine training.

There were numerous other apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship level programs offered over the past year at the Kivalliq campus.

Arviat's Tyra Suluk was one of the pre-apprenticeship carpentry students. She was motivated to learn the trade to help out someone dear to her.

"My dad had bought a house few years ago that needed everything renovated so I took the course so that I can renovate it myself instead of paying thousands of dollars for housing to renovate it," Suluk explained.

Her mother is self-taught carpenter so Suluk also wanted to acquire the skills to become more like her.

She began the classes in September and finished in April. She's now seeking a journeyperson carpenter so she can accumulate hours on the job to move on to her second year. Her objective is to complete four years of training and earn her red seal in carpentry.

The past several months saw her build a sawhorse with the use of only hand tools, she put up cabin walls alongside her classmates and she crafted ulus.

Upon successfully wrapping up her introductory year, she said a few women from her hometown approached her to ask how to apply for the program.

"I was shocked when more women were interested taking the trades," she said.