NAC, Baffinland team up to offer program in Pond Inlet


Nunavut Arctic College students in Pond Inlet will get a chance in 2012 to learn skills like wildlife conservation, law enforcement and parks management.

It’s all part of a diploma in Environmental Technology that the college will offer in Pond Inlet in the New Year, thanks to money from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., the college announced in a Dec. 19 news release.

The goal of the new program: to train local students to go into careers at Baffinland’s Mary River iron ore mine, which is under development 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet.

“Pond Inlet students will be well positioned upon graduation to take advantage of the many careers available in Nunavut’s rapidly-growing mineral exploration and mining sectors,” said Daniel Shewchuck, minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College, said in the news release. “The Government of Nunavut hopes to see more industry partners in developing and supporting community training initiative for Nunavummiut in the future.”

Shewchuck said the program should set a precedent for other industry leaders who plan to develop in the territory.

Graduates of the new environmental technology program will also be prepared for careers in resources development, waster and water management and environmental monitoring.

The diploma will meet local needs, too, in a community adjacent to three natural parks and a proposed marine mammal sanctuary in Lancaster Sound.

As part of the program, students will study a wide range of environmental sciences and participate in field work including a specialized course designed for, and delivered by, Baffinland at the Mary River site, the NAC release said.

Erik Madsen, Baffinland’s vice-president of sustainable development, said the company’s support for the new diploma program will help maximize Inuit participation in the mine’s operation.

“As the mining development progresses, there will be a critical need to hire job -ready Inuit environmental technologists from the North Baffin region who can contribute to the future success of the project,” Madsen said in the release.

In addition to the Baffinland contribution, NAC has received financial support from the Kakivak Association and the GN’s department of Economic Development and Transportation to deliver the program.

The Environmental Technology program begins Jan. 9 in Pond Inlet, where 13 students are entering the second year of the program.

For more information, visit NAC’s website.

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