New memorial scholarship open to new grads, environmental tech students

Scholarship honours memory of Siu-Ling Han of Iqaluit

Inuit sled dogs are seen standing on the melting bay ice near the causeway in Iqaluit in May. A new scholarship aims to help an Inuit student study environmental technology. (File photo)

By Jane George

If you are an Inuk student from the Qikiqtani region, you can apply for a $2,500 scholarship to encourage students to undertake environmental technology studies.

The scholarship, which has been set up in memory of Siu-Ling Han, a long-time Iqaluit resident and sled-dog musher who died in 2016 of cancer, is open to students who plan to attend Nunavut Arctic College’s Environmental Technology program this fall as either an incoming or second-year student.

“Everything is closed now, but students who are interested can start writing a one-page essay explaining why they want to study ET, why they think they deserve the scholarship, and how they think they’ll be able to contribute to Nunavut’s environmental and wildlife programs Siu-Ling was involved in,” said Siu-Ling’s mother, Kim Han.

Many across Nunavut knew Siu-Ling from her work as a biologist, specializing in Arctic wildlife management issues and contaminants, first for the Government of Nunavut, then for the Canadian Wildlife Service and what was then called Environment Canada.

Han also studied Inuktitut with pioneering Inuktitut-language teacher Mick Mallon at Nunavut Arctic College in an intermediate-level class along with Mary Wilman, who is now a teacher at Iqaluit’s Pirurvik Centre, and later with private tutors.

Siu-Ling’s goal was to follow meetings, talk with hunters and fellow sled-dog mushers, and to better understand—and contribute to—Nunavut.

Through the scholarship, her family said they hope to keep Siu-Ling’s spirit alive by giving young Inuit the opportunity to continue the work she was doing in the North and her respect and love of its people, the environment and wildlife.

Kim Han has also written a book about Inuit dogs, whose sales benefit Qimmivut, a land-based program of the Ilisaqsivik Society.

Han said this mental-health and mentoring program for Inuit youth honours Siu-Ling and “the way she cared about people, the environment, northern wildlife and her beloved Inuit dogs.”

For more information, you can email Han:

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Jay Arnakak on

    Inuit culture pass along names of the people who were important to families and the community; this is a great honor to both Inuit and Sui-Ling Han, who was a decent, caring, beautiful human being.

    • Posted by Kim Han on

      Dear Jay,
      Thank you for your nice comment about my daughter, Siu-Ling. We all miss her dearly. She loved the Arctic, its environment, people and Inuit Dogs. One Elder once told her that she was Inuit’s “long-lost sister.”
      Siu-Ling wanted to make a difference for Inuit and that’s why we created this scholarship for an Inuk student so he or she can carry on the work that was so important to Siu-Ling. We are also making donations to Qimmivut in Clyde River where Siu-Ling used to work, to help Inuit teenagers and young adults find healing by working with dogs. As you know, dogs were a very important part of Siu-Ling’s life in the North.
      May I ask how you knew Siu-Ling?
      Please take care. Best wishes and love from Siu-Ling’s mom,

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