Current Initiative

Jose Amaujaq Kusugak Scholarship Program

Miali-Elise Coley

*Translated from Original Inuktitut Essay*   I believe that teaching is an asset. Since I can remember as a little girl, it has been my dream to be a teacher. Watching my former teachers doing their jobs professionally, I became very interested. I really enjoy it. I contemplated about what kind of career I was interested in, and it comes down to finishing my teaching program. I have completed three years of it here in Regina. I have one more year until I finish this course. Even though I am taking the courses here in Regina, I am looking forward to going back home to teach. I think of the day that I will be back to my homeland after living in Regina for three years.

I was born and raised in Iqaluit. My mother is Inuk and my father is Jamaican. I have been told by many that my features do not resemble those of an Inuk. But I was raised in the Inuit homeland. I know I am Inuk and very proud to be one. Whether I am different and live the Qallunaat way of life, I am still proud to say I am Inuk. My mother taught me Inuktitut and some of my school teachers taught me also, and that makes me proud.

Even though I am living down south, I was taught Inuit culture. I have also experienced Qallunaat culture. Having been taught two different cultures has helped me advance in the teacher education program. There are all kinds of cultures. It makes me think that we can benefit a lot from these different cultures.

The lessons I learned from family and Inuit I want to put to good use when I start teaching. I want to include Inuktitut classes in my teaching career. I want to teach about family and kinship, younger sibling, older sibling, brother, uncle, aunt. These are Inuit values. Students today are very interested in world issues. We can teach about the world issues, but we can still teach Inuit values.

I really appreciate my mother who taught me Inuktitut, to my advantage, and to help others. When I want to speak Inuktitut, I need another person to talk to. We were not meant to be alone. We have to share our knowledge.

When I become a teacher, I will have to remember to use Inuit traditions and values and modern culture. There are a lot of students who do not know who they are. They use the Qallunaat culture. Although that is the case, there can be ongoing education in Inuit culture. Inuit qaujimajatuqangit is becoming more available through computers. There is also a lot of information that can be obtained from collections. As a teacher, I want to use teaching materials about Inuit knowledge. I find Inuit values very interesting. Today, Inuit are still advancing and that increases pride. I want my students to have pride in who they are and where they came from. We all are different and learning is life-long. We can advance using our differences. I am very grateful that I will one day be a teacher after I graduate from here.

I am happy to see the differences in how teachers teach. There are different ways for students to learn, and I myself have to learn to use different ways of teaching so that I can help others.

I find Inuit culture challenging, but that is not going to stop me from using it, from pursuing different programs that I want to take. I expect there will still be more available as time goes on. We have different talents and will have positive outcomes. We want to use our unique talents in a positive way. I am still learning.

Inuit process different kinds of teaching techniques. I am taking teacher education in English. I am interested in using Inuit practices. I am following the English approach very much, but I still believe that my Inukness is very strong. I recognize that who I am will help me as a teacher. Today, I see many Inuit who are fluent in Inuktitut and English. I know both languages and I will do anything to help with my knowledge. I will invite and welcome students, parents, workers, Elders to come and teach in the school. That is my

I want to make my career as a teacher worthwhile. I am proud of Nunavut and Inuit. We have been given different talents through challenges and we have succeeded. That is something to be proud of. I appreciate that students get support. Nunavut demonstrates the importance of getting education. For that I am grateful and proud.