Sanikiluaq’s youth inspired by career fair last week
SANIKILUAQ — Martha Qivvik appeared excited, but a little apprehensive, as she watched Iqaluit hairdresser Suzanne Laliberte attach electric blue hair extensions to her newly-trimmed locks.
Qivvik quietly said she liked the new look, as local residents gathered around to examine the new highlights.
But Qivvik, a student at Sanikiluaq’s Nuiyak School, didn’t just get a chance at a rare professional hair cut, she got a glimpse of what the future could hold.
The hair dressing demonstration was part of a special career fair put on in Sanikiluaq last week by the Nunavut government.
“A hairdresser,” Qivvik responded when asked what she’d like to do for a living shortly after receiving her cut.
Qivvik said she hadn’t considered hair dressing as a career before that day. After watching Laliberte she said “it’s a lot of work.”
Qivvik was just one of about 500 hundred Sanikiluaq residents who attended the career fair. Possible careers in police work, travel agency management, tourism, and government administration were on display.
Johnny Eyaituk said he learned about opportunities for getting a home-based business, and says he now wants to open a pool hall.
Sanikiluaq has held career fairs in previous years, but this year was the first to include professionals from Iqaluit.
The Nunavut Department of Education flew about 15 business owners and professionals to the fair.
The fair gives students a chance to see occupations other than jobs that exist in Sanikiluaq right now, said Jane Stewart, a teacher at Nuiyak school and a co-ordinator of the fair.
“I’m sure [students] are aware of some of the options. But when you’re in an isolated community it’s hard to get around the concept that there are other opportunities than what’s already here,” Stewart said.
By talking to the professionals, students were given a chance to find out what type of training would be needed to start a career and maybe bring a new type of business to Sanikiluaq.
Students developed a list of questions to ask about the various occupations. Stewart planned to go through the answers the next day to find out what students discovered.
One of the most popular booths was manned by a local RCMP constable.
Students gathered around the booth to watch an RCMP training video and asked questions.
Cst. Wills Thomas said the students asked him good questions, and he said he thinks the day showed that some of the young people they can do something with their lives.
“It’s important to have dreams and to nourish those dreams. It’s important that they are exposed to different opportunities,” Thomas said.