In mid March, I had the amazing opportunity to travel north to Igloolik, Nunavut with two other members of CANDAC — Ashley and Niall. We went there to launch the student-researchers collaborative research project with students in grades 1-7 at Ataguttaaluk Elementary School (AES). They were very eager to learn about temperature, winds, and solar radiation. Whenever we asked for a volunteer, everyone’s hands shot up as a chorus of “Me! Me! Me!” resounded; their enthusiasm comparable to that of the seagulls from Finding Nemo (“Mine!”).
The students also taught us about their language and culture; such as ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᒃ (qujannamiik, which reads “coy” (like the English synonym for shy), “N” (the name of the letter), “na”, “me”) and its response ᐃᓛᓕ (ilaali). We visited the high school where the elders were building igloos and we got into town just in time to see one of the people’s magnificent carvings that is now at the Inuit Museum of Art in Toronto.
The teachers were also very helpful in making our stay a memorable one. One teacher, took us out with her dog sled team—The Dream Team—and another pair of teachers had us over for caribou stew. I am eagerly looking forward to visiting the students at AES in May to wrap up the project!
(If you are interested in reading more stories and seeing more photos from the trip, visit my blog.)
– Melanie Wright
M.Sc. Student, University of Western Ontario