A group of female Grade 12 graduates had their final year of high school made a bit more memorable with the addition of a touch of culture and a healthy portion of traditional skill in Coral Harbour this past semester.

And the sense of accomplishment and pride those memories brought with them came about thanks to the efforts of Sakku School’s Grade 10-to-Grade 12 teacher, Rhoda Paliak-Angootealuk.

Among the female Grade 12 graduates who made their own sealskin jackets in a special program at Sakku School are, from left, Kayleen Emiktowt, Shantea Bruce, Christa Emiktowt, Krissy Harron, Devonna Ell and Shania Eetuk in Coral Harbour on Sept. 10, 2018. Missing from photo is Linda Ningeongan.
Photo courtesy Rhoda Paliak-Angootealuk

Paliak-Angootealuk – who also handles teaching Inuktitut and career-and-life management at Sakku – is well-known in the community for her strong belief in, and promotion of, traditional skills education among Coral’s youth.

She said she was happy to help provide a special learning opportunity for the graduating female students – an opportunity that they could take with them in more ways than one.

Before the end of the school year at Sakku School, I was able to arrange for the Grade 12’s who were graduating this year to be able to use their own patterns to make sealskin jackets,” said Paliak-Angootealuk.

They did have help from their mothers to cut the patterns, but the girls did all the sewing by hand.

I was able to get financial help from our school to do this project. That doesn’t often happen, but I got lucky this time around.”

Paliak-Angootealuk said the graduates really enjoyed making their sealskin jackets, and they were all very proud of their accomplishment.

She said, like herself, many will probably always live their lives in the North, and they will need to learn traditional skills such as sewing warm clothes to help them endure the bitter cold.

This will help them in the future, when some of them will make families of their own up here.

They will need to know how to do things on their own, and this project will definitely give them ideas as to how they can do that.

I feel I have done my part to help get these ladies ready for their future!”

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