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    Pond Inlet girl shows them how it's done

    Kassina Ryder
    Northern News Services
    Published Monday, August 4, 2008

    MITTIMATALIK/POND INLET - Lydia Innualuk, 17, has been awarded the Commanding Officer's Award for exemplary service with the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Pond Inlet this summer.

    Innualuk has been a cadet since she joined in 2002, a result of a family history with the cadet corps. Two of her siblings were also members.

    "My brother and sister were in cadets," Innualuk said. "So I joined, too."

    Innualuk is currently attending the Whitehorse Cadet Summer Training Centre where she is now a staff cadet sergeant. She has spent the last six summers at the training centre, and she was a cadet for four years before she was made a staff sergeant last year.

    She is working with the cadet leader course where she instructs and supervises younger trainees.

    Innualuk's step up from cadet to staff cadet sergeant means that she now gets paid to be in Whitehorse for the summer, turning her passion into a full-time summer job.

    The skills she learns at camp will come in handy when she returns to her home unit in Pond Inlet. When asked about winning the commanding officer's award, her shrug is almost audible even though she is speaking all the way from Whitehorse.

    "They pretty much gave it to me for being there in cadets every night and showing up and doing the best I can, I think," she said.

    Cheryl Major, a captain and public affairs officer for the Northern Regional Cadet Support Unit said Commanding Officer's Awards are given to praiseworthy cadets.

    "They're usually given to someone who shows really good performance throughout the year," Major said. "Really good attendance, good leadership, taking initiative and, of course, exemplary behaviour."

    The next step in cadets after becoming a staff sergeant is to become an officer, but Innualuk said she is going to wait and see before she makes that decision. For now, she is enjoying the activities at training camp, such as whitewater rafting.

    Innualuk will be going into Grade 12 at Nassivik high school in Pond Inlet in the fall.