A message to Nunavik’s young graduates


This year in Nunavik, many of our young people graduated from high school. I’m writing to tell them how incredibly proud I am of them.

Each and every single one of you make me proud and happy and hopeful. I look at you and I see real potential, real energy and the reality of the future.

You guys did it! You beat all the odds, fought all the battles and ultimately succeeded. The hard work, early mornings and stupid teachers seemed so endless. I know, I’ve been there too.

But you did what many said can’t be done and you set the standard for the future.

Just know that the next few years of your life will both suck and rock at the same time.

If you choose to go to college, I promise you it will be the best time of your life. You’re going to experience freedom like never before, but with new freedoms come new restrictions. It will take time to get used to. Time, patience and dedication, but it’s worth it.

If you choose not to go to college, that’s fine too, no judgments. Everyone has their own path and their own circumstances. It only makes you a good resource for the community. Just don’t let your ability and potential go to waste.

College or not, don’t you all think it’s time to take Nunavik back? We can be doing everything for ourselves! There are just so many opportunities.

We’re getting closer and closer to self-government — the rest of your life kinda starts here, whether you like it or not. Pretty soon, us young people are going to be in charge.

It’s a huge task and duty, but we really have no other choice. We have to wake up and start taking our places. These dusty old politicians are deciding our future, one election, one policy and one broken promise at a time.

Did you know that there are over 2,500 eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 35 in Nunavik? That’s more people than have ever voted in any election in Nunavik, ever. That’s huge. We have the numbers to start making changes. We can make improvements to our region. We just don’t use the full power we have.

Can you imagine what we could have if each of us lived up to our full potential? I know hidden in each community are the next great Inuit doctors, artists, teachers, athletes and politicians! Each person is valuable to the community. Don’t ever feel worthless. You belong to Nunavik and Nunavik belongs to you.

Life is hard, but life happens. Hard times will and do come. You will fail sometimes and you will fall sometimes. Some of the obstacles in your path will seem like more than you can handle.

But with work, faith and determination, you will get past it. You are strong, you know that. And seek help when you need it; it’s always available, no matter what. But you have to seek and accept it yourself.

That’s all i really wanted to say. I’ll finish with my favorite quote from Amelia Earhart:

“Fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. you can act to change and control your life, and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

Janice Grey

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