Iqaluit Qajaq Society

Iqaluit Qajaq Society

The Iqaluit Qajaq Society is an initiative led by Students on Ice alumnus Robert Comeau to teach and promote the sport of Qajaq-ing (kayak) among Iqaluit youth.

Originating in the Arctic, the qajaq is a symbol of Inuit ingenuity. Although there has been a recent surge in interest (even qajaqing competitions!) in Greenland, the sport has largely disappeared from the Canadian Arctic.

Inspired by his experience on SOI’s 2015 Arctic Expedition and with generous funding from Polar Knowledge Canada through their Polar Inspiration Grant Program, Robert has partnered with Iqaluit resident and polar adventurer Sarah McNair-Landry to reintroduce traditional qajaqing within their community. This project includes the following key objectives:

  • Cultivate an open and positive community that practices Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge),
  • Develop qajaq-ing and traditional qajaq-building skills within the community, and
  • Promote healthy living among Iqaluit youth

The Iqaluit Qajaq Society launched in the summer of 2016 with a series of qajaq paddling workshops among Iqaluit community members to promote the job of paddling, help paddlers become certified and grow participants.

Future goals include competitions and qajaq excursions to help foster the joy of qajaqing.

This project is in the initial stages. Updates will be posted here throughout 2016.

Iqaluit Qajaq Society is one of three winning recipients of Polar Knowledge Canada’s 2016 POLAR Inspiration Grants.

About POLAR Inspiration Grants
The Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation, in partnership with Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR), launched the POLAR Inspiration Grants program to support SOI Arctic alumni in making a difference within their community or region of the Canadian Arctic. Winning projects for 2016 include Northern Lights, The Iqaluit Qajaq Society and Melting Ice for Safety. To learn more about the Polar Inspiration Grant Program

About Robert Comeau
Robert is an Inuk from Iqaluit Nunavut who is currently studying History and Political Science at Carleton University. Robert has lived in, quite literally, all four corners of Canada. Having the chance the experience the West coast, the Prairies, the East coast, and Ottawa. Home will always be the Arctic for Robert. He strongly believes that youth should be not only participating in the dialogue but helping also helping direct this dialogue. Robert is engaged in his community in Ottawa with organizations such as the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Center and he hopes to help improve the overall quality of life for Inuit and ensure that youth in the Arctic have opportunities to have their voices heard. 

 

 

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Northern Lights

Northern Lights

This alumni-led initiative engaged youth in Kangirsujuaq in conversations and awareness building about mental health through photography. This project is generously funded by Polar Knowledge Canada.

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Arctic Youth & Partnership Program

Arctic Youth & Partnership Program

An SOI Foundation program developed to support SOI’s Arctic alumni through educational and professional opportunities as well as the resources and mentorship to make a difference in their communities.

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Melting Ice for Safety

Melting Ice for Safety

An initiative led by Students on Ice alumnus Paulli Illuitok to provide better insight into the speed and patterns of sea ice breakup during the spring months.

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This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.