Nunavut sees new crop of teachers, nurses as students graduate from college

About a dozen students graduated from various programs at Nunavut Arctic College last week. (Carl-Eric Cardinal/CBC)

‘It’s a good feeling to be done school and being able to serve Nunavummiut,’ says graduate

It took nearly eight years, but Randy Qatalik can finally call himself a teacher.

Last Thursday, about 50 people attended the graduation ceremony to celebrate Qatalik and a dozen other graduates from Nunavut Arctic College’s teacher education, pre-nursing, nursing and computer sciences programs.

“I feel really proud of myself because it’s only a four-year program, but I’ve taken a long time to finish it and I’ve worked really hard for it, so it feels great,” said Qatalik.

In the time it took him to finish the program, he dealt with the passing of his father — a teacher as well — and got married.

“It’s been a really up-and-down ride all the way,” he said.

Randy Qatalik spent nearly eight years completing the Teacher Education program. “I’ve taken a long time to finish it and I’ve worked really hard for it, so it feels great,” he said. (Carl-Eric Cardinal/CBC)

While teachers are in high demand, Qatalik is encouraging any Nunavummiut that are considering going to college.

“We can use more Inuit workers in Nunavut, and I’m sure you can be a really great help,” he said.

Serving Nunavummiut 

Mandy Tatty is another Nunavut Arctic College graduate. Originally from Rankin Inlet, she completed the four-year nursing program.

“I had a lot of support from my family and my classmates and also my instructors, pushing me to not give up and to keep going, knowing that in the end it’s going to be worth it, and it is,” she said.

Mandy Tatty graduated from the college’s nursing program. She hopes to return to Rankin Inlet to work at the health centre. (Carl-Eric Cardinal/CBC)

Now, she wants to return to her community to work in the health centre.

“It’s a good feeling to be done school and being able to serve Nunavummiut.”

-Written by Francis Tessier-Burns with files from Jody Ningeocheak and Carl-Eric Cardinal

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Post-secondary education offered in Nunavik, Quebec would be a game changer, says school board, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Nunavut children’s books translated for circulation in Greenland’s schools, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Sami-led project seeks to revitalize Indigenous education across Arctic Europe, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Can cross-border cooperation help decolonize Sami-language education, Eye on the Arctic

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