Savanna Pikuyak is pictured here in this photo provided by her mother. (Photo courtesy of Sheba Pikuyak)

GN announces scholarship in memory of Savanna Pikuyak

22-year-old student was killed in Ottawa Sept. 11; annual scholarship will give one Nunavut Inuk nursing student $5,000 toward studies

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A scholarship is being created in memory of a young woman from Sanirajak who was killed in Ottawa earlier this month, Nunavut’s Department of Health announced Wednesday.

Savanna Pikuyak, 22, was identified by Ottawa police as the victim of a Sept. 11 homicide. Her body was discovered in a house near Algonquin College in Ottawa, where she was studying to become a nurse.

Police charged 33-year-old Nikolas Ibey with second-degree murder.

“Savanna was a role model and a kind and good-hearted individual,” Minister of Health John Main said in a news release.

“She was a person who wanted to better herself to help better Nunavut.”

The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded each year to one Nunavut Inuk student entering pre-nursing studies at Nunavut Arctic College, the release said.

To earn the scholarship, applicants are required to write a 500-word essay, including a brief description of who they are as an individual in their community, an explanation of why they want to pursue nursing and how their career in nursing will benefit Nunavummiut.

The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarship is Oct. 14. It will be awarded during a public ceremony, at a date and location to be determined.

“Savanna’s death is a great loss to her family, her friends, community and indeed to all of Nunavut,” Main said.

“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Savanna’s family and community. I hope this small gesture in her name will help in their healing journey.”

The GN’s scholarship is one of several tributes that have come in in the week and a half since Pikuyak’s death.

Last week, friends and family held a vigil outside the home where she was killed. As well, online tributes were shared by Algonquin College and Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the Inuit college in Ottawa that Pikuyak previously attended.

“She was also such a good cook and had a vast knowledge of everything in general,” said Sheba Pikuyak, Savanna’s mother, in a Facebook message to Nunatsiaq News.

“She loved replying sarcastically, as she loved making people smile and laugh.”


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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Umingmak on

    This is a great way to honour Savanna’s memory, but the recipient, and all other Nunavummiut seeking education down south, need better services and assistance to ensure that they are able to find safe housing and prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.

    • Posted by Cb on

      If I could donate to this fund, I would. I would donate at least $1K. Has the GN co side red how to make this possible? If so, please inform us. Thank you. And I agree with this prior posting so I would be happy to see this scholarship fund increase to make safe housing possible. As a 22 year old I went to study in another country and the safe on campus housing helped keep me safer. As a 25 year old I came to Canada as an international student from a very small protected community and the on campus housing helped keep me safer till I figured things out. At least this much must be done for our children from our communities. I hope this scholarship helps this come about.

  2. Posted by random qallunaq on

    Great idea! I also wish there was a scholarship in the name of Kelly Fraser.


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