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Medal winner heads to Ottawa

Yumimi Pang
Northern News Services
Published Monday, June 30, 2008

QAUSUITTUQ/RESOLUTE - The future has opened wide its doors for Sylvia Kalluk.

Kalluk, 18, just graduated from Resolute's Qarmartalik school as this year's recipient of the Governor General's Academic Award.

"As the teacher of Sylvia, I'm very proud of the work she's put in this year. She received the Governor General award because she received top marks," said Jennifer Borden, Kalluk's homeroom teacher.

Kalluk graduated with the highest average at her school at about 85 per cent. She expressed a particular fondness for science and added that she is also interested in Inuit history and the history behind the current government.

To add the proverbial cherry on top, Kalluk found out recently that she has been accepted into the Nunavut Sivuniksavut training program in Ottawa - the first student from Qarmartalik school to attend the program in the last six years.

"She's a bright, articulate, intelligent young lady," said Qarmartalik school principal Brian Manning. "She possesses terrific people skills that will do much for her at (Nunavut Sivuniksavut)."

Kalluk is excited for the unique opportunity that the Nunavut Sivuniksavut affords. The eight-month college program, created by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Government of Nunavut, is specially designed to prepare for Inuit youth from Nunavut for education, training and career opportunities.

"I have the determination to be successful in NS. I never think of the word quit," said Kalluk.

During her time at Qarmartalik school, Kalluk has distinguished herself on many fronts. She participated in several cultural activities, notably Inuit art projects like carvings. She worked with an elder and successfully created a fish and a bird carving, which were featured in a cultural fair.

While she's looking forward to the chance to learn to live on her own and meet new people in Ottawa, Kalluk said what she'll miss most about Resolute is her family. An aficionado of the land, camping is also high on her future nostalgia list.

Kalluk is thankful for the help she has received from Manning as well as from her parents and teachers for her application.

She is now looking ahead to a bright future and is open to whatever it may bring.

"I want to go to university," she said, adding she hopes the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program will help her decide on a field of study.