When Jamie Takkiruq was 13 years old, he decided he was going to be a leader in his community.
Now, at age 17, Takkiruq is well on his way to doing just that. The Arctic 2015 alum was recently accepted to a new four-year law program at Nunavut’s Arctic College.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” Takkiruq said. “I was just so shocked, it was crazy. I really can’t describe how amazing it was to know that I was accepted.”
His mother was in denial too.
“My mom, she couldn’t believe it. She was like, did you read that right? Are you sure? She was super proud of me. It was such a shock.”
Takkiruq was one of 25 students, and one of 18 Inuit, awarded acceptance to the program set to begin in September 2017. A total of 86 people applied to the program.
“This kind of program is going to help me become a leader. Hopefully with the actions that I take in the future, because of this program, it will inspire the next generation of leaders,” he said.
Originally from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Takkiruq graduated from Nunavut Sivuniksavut this year and is now working in Ottawa on the Parks Canada Northern Engagement team. He will be travelling again with Students on Ice, this time as a Parks Youth Northern Outreach and Engagement Team Member, on this summer’s 2017 Arctic expedition.
“SOI helped me become more outgoing, become more passionate about achieving what I want to achieve,” Takkiruq said. “It helps you realize that nothing is too small for one person to do.”
The new law program will run in partnership with the University Saskatchewan College of Law. Takkiruq said he hopes there are more programs like this in the future to teach the language of the law to Inuit youth.
“So that we can better understand our own land claim agreements,” he said.
At Nunavut Sivuniksavut, Takkiruq and his classmates studied the Nunavut Land Claims agreement.
“So when it was broken down for us, it was actually really quite understandable,” he said. “And so that’s my hope – to inspire more Inuit to learn the language of the law.”