Earning marks in Sweden
Arviat project named finalist for European award

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat ( May 22/00) - An educational project that started two years ago now has a chance of winning a top European award.

The Arviat Inuktitut Pictionary Web site has been named a finalist in the Stockholm Challenge Award 2000.

Project manager Mark Kalluak and Web page designer Eric Anoee will be travelling to Sweden for the awards ceremony on June 4-5.

Kalluak says the project was a real team effort.

"A lot of people had input into this, including Shirley Tagalik who really helped us put things together," says Kalluak.

"Our main goal was to create something educational that could be applied in schools using modern technology.

"We also wanted the Web page because we're trying to get local Internet through the IYI Society, which we think would be a big boost for our local schools."

A group of students from Qitiqliq high school (Wayne Irkok, Louis Irkok Jr., Jimmy Muckpah, Janet Suluk, Cedric Manik and Billy Sinnisiak) spent a month on the land with Donald Uluadluak Sr. during the summer of '98 to study the environment and gather data on animals, plants and place names.

Wayne Irkok, then a Grade 9 student, said the group learned a lot about the land and the traditional way of life from Uluadluak.

"Donald taught us many things about hunting, trapping, and boating," said Wayne.

"We went on a six-mile (10 kilometre) field trip by foot and collected terms and definitions from what we saw and learned from the land."

Upon their return, the students began to input the definitions and stories into computers and scanned hand-drawn images by Uluadluak.

The historical society added to the compiled data by interviewing elders and researching books and magazines dealing with Arviat history.

The Web site (http://-www.ssimicro.com/~arviat/pictionary/pictionary.html) was completed by the students at Qitiqliq high school, with help from volunteers, project staff and a local Web-design company, Inukpuk Technology.

Projects from around the world will be displayed during the Stockholm Challenge, including the creation of a global cultural arena and innovative examples of how new technology might be used in education.

"We're so pleased to have earned this recognition," says Kalluak.

"So many people put effort into this and it's nice to see that effort recognized."