Iqaluit artist Ruben Komangapik is in Salluit to help Nunavik artists develop jewelry-making skills.


MONTREAL — A group of Nunavik artists will be picking up new skills from Nunavut as the Kativik School Board’s first course in jewelry production gets underway this week in Salluit.

Pins, rings and pendants from ivory, baleen or bone are popular in Nunavut, but few pieces are made in Nunavik.

KSB administrator Pierre Gosselin said the board was delighted when Iqaluit artist Ruben Komangapik applied to teach the 10-week intensive course.

Komangapik, who had never visited Salluit before, taught a similar course last year in Hall Beach for Nunavut Arctic College.

“This one will be different because we’ll be working with traditional materials,” Komangapik said.

But he also plans to introduce his students to working with metal.

Komangapik, known for his innovative designs in metal, crafted a sterling silver bowl that was presented to Governor-General Roméo Leblanc last year in honour of Nunavut’s creation.

In addition to courses at Nunavik’s vocational and technical centre, Nunavimmi Pigiursavik, several other community-based vocational courses are also starting up shortly.

“We’re trying to meet the needs of the communities,” said Gosselin, the acting director of the KSB’s adult education services.

In Purvirnituq, Quartaq and Salluit, college-level courses to train daycare workers are underway. In Kuujjuaq a one-year college program that begins in February will prepare students for jobs in health or social services.

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