Graduation Celebration for Inuit Grads of First ilinniapaa Skills Development Program

Amanda Kilabuk
Amanda Kilabuk

On Thursday, September 17th, an afternoon of celebration will take place as Tungasuvvingat Inuit honours the first graduating class of the Inuit Community Support Worker and Management Trainee Program. The two-year program is a competency-based, nationally accredited diploma program designed and delivered through funding support by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Partnership Fund. The project was developed by ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre with support from Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI).

TI Executive Director Amanda Kilabuk stated, “We are so excited to celebrate the graduate’s achievements and hard work. The program is important because it provides accredited and competency-based learning for Inuit with a goal of working in the social services field. The program has succeeded by providing new opportunities to the graduates and offering a high quality of learning through the courses offered. Courses were offered online to Inuit wherever they live and work and removed barriers to professional development and certification. It also reduced any waiting times to access college programs,let the students remain with their families and provided the opportunity to set their own pace for learning based on family responsibilities.”

Students of the program included Inuit from across Inuit Nunangat who were living or working in Ottawa or Nunavut in communities including Cape Dorset, Iqaluit, Hall Beach, Pangnirtung, and Pond Inlet and Labrador. Some students opted to return to Nunavut and Nunatsiavut for their work placements. Initially, the program received seventy-five applications and from those, forty-six students were selected. After two very full years, thirteen students will receive diploma’s and certificates.

Helen Roos with ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre added, “The success of the program is possible because of the incredible amount of passion, diligence, and dedication from students and the program team. We are thankful for our partners at TI and we are very proud of the success of the program and students. The Inuit Community Support Program is important in providing opportunities to Inuit and the support from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Partnership Fund is truly valued.”

The ceremony will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 17, 2020, at All Saints Event Space in Ottawa, ON. The keynote speech will be provided by Peter Irniq, Inuk Elder and Cultural Advisor to the Inuit CSW program. Rosie Simonee, the eldest program graduate at 73 years of age, will present on behalf of the students and offer Graduate Reflections on the program. A catered feast will follow for graduates, family members, and program guests with physical distancing practices being followed.