Nunavut Sivuniksavut is characterized as a silattuqsarvik (‘a place and time to become wise’ in Inuktut). At NS we are dedicated to providing Inuit youth with the best possible post-secondary academic and cultural learning experiences. Throughout the length of our program, students participate in activities designed to support the development of a vital set of knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes that will allow them to successfully contribute to the world as young adults.
Caring and Respectful Relationships
At NS, we believe that effective education relies on the development of positive relationships between all participants. Knowing students as individuals and getting to understand their personal stories, their strengths, their goals, and their aspirations allows us to support them through the challenges of the NS experience. These positive, caring relationships are the heart of the NS experience.
Responsiveness to Needs
Although the demands of our program require challenging psychological, academic, and lifestyle adaptations, NS strives to provide the support students need to succeed. We are dedicated to putting students first by always taking their individual needs, personal background, unique strengths, goals, and aspirations into account.
We pride ourselves on offering academic content that is relevant to students’ own collective experience and reality. We continually refine our programs, courses, and activities in ways that integrate, respect, and celebrate Inuit culture, values, knowledge, and historical experience.
Collaboration, Flexibility, and Innovation
At NS, we have created a work environment where staff and students are encouraged to work collaboratively. Our environment fosters a safe space for collaboration, flexibility, and innovation—we look forward to seeing students’ ideas become reality.
Board of Directors
As a not-for-profit charitable organization, NS is governed by a Board of Directors—many of whom are former NS graduates.
History of NS
Our program began in 1985, at a time when Inuit of the eastern Northwest Territories were negotiating their land claims with the Government of Canada. These negotiations spanned almost two decades prior to the signing of the Nunavut Agreement (NA) in 1993. It was this Agreement which also committed the government to creating the Nunavut territory in 1999.
Established by the Inuit negotiating body, the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut, our original purpose was to train fieldworkers who could then return to their communities to both spread and collect information about the land claims negotiations. Over time, the NS program evolved into a more comprehensive educational experience, in part due to the overwhelming positive response of the young Inuit who attended.
The initial program was simply called the "TFN Training Program," but in the second year, students recommended that its name be changed to "Nunavut Sivuniksavut" or “Our land is our future.”
Our program humbly began with two instructors and an enrollment of ten students. As financial resources allowed, our intake rates gradually increased to the point where we were able to accept a total of 54 students into our program in 2015. This also allowed us to increase our complement of staff, permitting us to offer a broader range of programming activities.
At its core, NS is founded upon the desire to help students learn about the world they’re stepping into as young adults (Nunavut)—how it came to be, and their own place in it.
Students enrolled at NS embark on a life-changing journey of self-discovery and personal development. They leave the program with a greatly enhanced sense of pride in their Inuit identity, a newfound confidence in their ability to pursue their dreams, and a passion for contributing to Nunavut’s future.
Over the years, NS has achieved this success through innovative and experiential programming that includes:
- A unique ‘Inuit-focused’ post-secondary curriculum, designed and taught from the position that the Inuit point of view matters, and delivered with passion and attention to each individual student.
- A supported independent living experience wherein students are encouraged to develop self-management skills and a strong sense of autonomy.
- An exposure to various cultural learning experiences that reinforce students’ personal identity and allow students to develop valuable cultural skills.
- An opportunity for students to become ambassadors for Inuit culture and Nunavut, while helping create a positive awareness of Inuit society in Canada and abroad.
Today, NS offers two Certificate programs: Inuit Studies, and Advanced Inuit Studies. Each is accredited through Algonquin College, but delivered by NS instructors at NS’ own facility in downtown Ottawa.
Eleanor Cipriano, originally from Gjoa Haven, is an experienced educator. Eleanor has her Bachelors of Education and has been teaching at the elementary school in her hometown since graduating NTEP in 2015. Eleanor has also taught in Saskatchewan and Quebec before moving to Ottawa in the fall of 2022 to work at an Inuit Organization. Eleanor is passionate about teaching, sewing, and her family. As an instructor-in-training, Eleanor will be mentored by Daniel Guay as the Land Claims instructor. She will also co-teach the Contemporary Issues course with Jukeepa as her mentor. We are so happy to welcome Eleanor to our team.
Paul Cipriano | firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul is originally from St. Catharines, Ontario and moved to Gjoa haven Nunavut in 2003, where he taught until he left in January 2021. Prior to Joining NS as an instructor this August, Paul was a superintendent of schools in Hatchet Lake Reserve in Wollaston, Saskatchewan and a principal in Val d’or, Quebec. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology from Brock University and teacher certification from D’Youville college and a Master of Education from Memorial University. Paul will be shadowing/Learning the Land Claims from Dan Guay.
Augatnaaq Eccles (NS Alumni 2017-2018) originally from Rankin Inlet, is a talented and eager individual. Augatnaaq has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in History, with a minor in English. She is a published historian whose research is known for the way in which it combines Inuit history with Inuit sewing techniques and has curated two exhibitions. She is passionate about Inuit History, sewing, and working with youth. As an instructor-in-training, Augatnaaq will be mentored by Maata Kyak as the Inuit History instructor. She will also teach the beginner Inuktitut course. We are so excited to have Augatnaaq re-join our team as an instructor.
Nicole Hachey | email@example.com
Nicole Hachey is Inuk from Baker Lake, Nunavut. Nicole is an NS alumni, she attended both year one in 2013 and year two in 2014. Since then, Nicole has attended Algonquin College and worked with the federal government in various departments. Nicole joined NS as a 2nd year Facilitator in January 2021 and is now the 2nd year coordinator. Nicole is the main contact for 2nd year programming for applications, student support and more. Nicole also helps facilitate cultural studies, by teaching throat singing to NS students.
Jukeepa Hainnu, originally from Clyde River, is an exceptional educator. Jukeepa has a Master of Education and is working towards her PhD. She has been in numerous positions as a teacher, principal, the director of Piqqusilirivvik, and started the Ilisaqsivik healing program in Clyde River. Jukeepa is a dedicated educator who is passionate about Inuktitut and Inuit culture. She has worked on curriculum and resource development. Jukeepa will be the Inuktitut Program coordinator and Instructor, and will be the Lead Instructor for the Contemporary Issues course with Eleanor. We are so fortunate to welcome Jukeepa to our team.
Kim is originally from Toronto. She spent five years as a high school teach in Igloolik, Nunavut. She has been an educator with over twenty years, working with youth in traditional and alternative classrooms. She specializes in English, Outdoor Education, Geography, and student support. Kim's favourite foods include tuktu and Arctic char. Outside of N.S., Kim works and plays at a Forest School, and spends every available opportunity with her three kids.
Meeka Kakudluk is originally from Qikiqtarjuaq Nunavut. She has been living in Ottawa since 2013. Meeka is a retired teacher with 37 years of teaching experience, having taught in three Nunavut Communities. Meeka is one of Nunavut Sivuniksavut’s Inuktitut instructors and counsellors. Meeka also works with TI as a part of their Allurianiq program as their Elder. Meeka is also a member of the NSRT (Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal) committee, and she was recently appointed to the Healthcare Excellence in Canada.
Meeka has three grown children, ten grandkids and two great-grandkids.
Martha Kyak| firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Kyak has been actively involved in Nunavut education for many years. Before joining NS in 2010 Martha had worked as a classroom teacher, as a Principal at Ulaajuk School in Pond Inlet, as Superintendent of Schools at Qikiqtni School Operations, as well as the Manager of the Teaching and Learning Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University. At NS Martha focuses on teaching Inuktut, Inuit History, and Cultural Education.
Dan Guay| email@example.com
Dan Guay’s involvement with Inuit education has involved a diverse range of experiences, included coordinating Youth Outreach at the Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre and coordinating international exchange trips for Northern Youth Abroad. Prior to joining NS in 2012 Dan taught high school in Igloolik where he was involved in the development of curriculum and many new program initiatives. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. Dan teaches the courses Land Claims and Inuit-Government Relations and he also coordinates the music and shop programs.
Samantha Mitchell| firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Mitchell joined the NS team in 2013 to develop the new role of coordinating the Year 2 Advanced Inuit Studies program. Samantha completed a Master of Education at the University of Ottawa and brings many new active learning and engaging innovations to her delivery of Year 2 courses in Research Methods and Circumpolar Studies. While she enjoys beading, sewing, cooking, and gardening, Sam’s main focus outside NS is on her new son and family.
Robyn Mo-Lian | email@example.com
Robyn Mo-Lian completed an internship at NS as a requirement for her Social Work degree and then promptly joined NS in 2013 to develop a comprehensive role for student support; a role that includes individual counseling, supporting families for child-care and schooling, coordinating and maintaining housing, arranging individual academic support, and organizing extra-curricular student activities. Robyn also assists the Cultural Studies program, guiding performing practice and art workshops. Robyn recently completed a Masters of Social Work degree from Carleton University.
- David Erkloo, Cultural Studies, tool making
- Asenath Kannutaq, Cultural Studies, sewing
- Greg Brown, Cultural Studies, music
- Charlotte Lee, financial administration | firstname.lastname@example.org
“NS was such a great opportunity. I’ve learned so much. One of the greatest decisions I’ve made. Amazing things are constantly happening here.”