The annual science cultural camp organized and run by the Kivalliq Science Educators’ Community (KSEC) received a much-needed financial boost this past week.
The camp was approved for a federal grant from Natural Resources Canada of $74,500 and KSEC president Glen Brocklebank of Chesterfield Inlet said the money is badly needed to upgrade camp supplies and equipment.
The annual KSEC Science Cultural Camp sees about 45 people participate every year, of which 32 are students from across the region.
Brocklebank said the federal government is trying to increase Inuit participation in the science sector.
He said a researcher actually found KSEC and made contact to inform the group there was funding up to $75,000 available.
“She told us the grant could be used for programming or for running programs in the North, so we applied under our science cultural camp and were successful,” said Brocklebank.
“Part of it was to update and get new equipment such as tents, stoves and lanterns to be able to revamp our program and bring it into the next decade.
“Some of our tents predate Agnico Eagle back to the days of Cumberland Resources and their logo is on our tents.
“So our tents are close to being 20 years old and they’re showing their age, so we’re going to make a major investment into our equipment so we can continue to operate our science cultural camps.”
Brocklebank said KSEC applied for the grant this past year and a test deposit was only made about two weeks ago.
He said it may have taken a little while to get everything sorted out, but KSEC is happy that it is and excited about upgrading the infrastructure necessary to run the camp.
“This grant is definitely going to be enough to pretty much totally upgrade all the gear and equipment necessary to run the camp.
“In addition to tents, stoves and lanterns, we’ll be purchasing everything else the camp needs for food preparation such as frying pans, spatulas, etc.
“It will also cover backpacks and some of the other things that we give the kids who participate in the camp.
“So this federal funding grant from Natural Resources Canada will be plenty to get us back operating for what we hope will be a good number of years moving forward and that’s totally exciting.”
Brocklebank said in the beginning, when KSEC first started offering the science cultural camps, he remembers the educators using infrastructure from Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School in Baker Lake.
He said it wasn’t long before the educators realized it wasn’t fair to the schools for KSEC to rely on them for the equipment.
“We’re a big group, so we had to make an initial investment with help from our funding partners at the time.
“So this is pretty exciting for us to receive funding that will give us the chance to bring the science cultural camp into the next decade, for sure.
“We’re going to be holding the next camp in Baker Lake and we’re hoping our emergency plans and our wildlife plans will be approved.
“This year was a tough one with the two events that happened in the region, but we’re hoping to move back to Baker with the support of the high school and the community of Baker Lake.”