Current Initiative

Jose Amaujaq Kusugak Scholarship Program

Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk


Jose Kusugak was an Inspirational Leader

Jose Kusugak was an inspirational leader. He advocated for Inuit rights, language and culture with great passion. He fought hard through his words and actions and we still can hear and feel that today.

Because Jose dedicated his life to the fields of politics and education, we are where we are today: proud, strong, determined Nunavummiut. The challenges he faced for Inuit are forever marked and valued in our hearts, our homes, and our communities, Jose Kusugak was a superior role model and inspirational leader.

I am currently taking the Nunavut Teachers Education Program here in Iqaluit. I am moving into my fourth year in the fall. Becoming an educator was something I have always wanted to be. I grew up with amazing, inspirational teachers throughout my life and they have driven my desire to pursue a career in education and follow my dream.

The program I am taking delivers a number of courses that balance both the English and Inuktitut languages. This is beneficial indefinitely. It prepares us for the present and future generations of children and gives us teaching techniques to use as educators in our diverse society.

With the knowledge I have acquired, the skills I have developed, the growth and confidence I have obtained through my education, I want to share this with my future students, colleagues, parents and the community. I will utilize my language and culture through incorporating Inuit qaujimajatuqangit and our values inside and outside the classroom with the students. Jose has been a great example; he worked hard and spoke loud and clear, proudly representing Inuit and the importance of keeping our Inuit identity.

Upon receiving my Bachelor of Education, my goal is to pursue a job educating students, sharing our language and to make a positive impact on the lives of children by using our language and culture though traditional activities, valuing and including our elders as much as possible.

Nunavut is a growing territory and one of my ambitions is be a part of creating more Inuktitut resources that are culturally relevant, like bilingual textbooks, visual aids etc. for Nunavut classrooms. This is something important to me, and I believe it would make a great contribution to students and their educational experience.

As I look at the legacy and the path that Jose left behind, I am inspired. He went to whatever distance and length to fulfill his goals and dreams, and the product of his actions and perseverance prevailed. Inuit are only getting stronger, more educated and gaining empowerment over their land, language rights and culture. In the future, I want to see Nunavummiut, children, adults and elders, actively speaking Inuktitut, motivating each other to preserve our identity. Language is essential to our cultural identity and through cooperative teaching and learning with the right attitude we all have hope.

Jose spoke fearlessly for Inuit. He told the world he wanted the best for Inuit, and he fought for what we deserved. His profound actions had a great effect on our territory and Inuit and non-Inuit people.

I remember watching Jose on TV some time ago. His gestures and his ability to speak about Inuit in front of a large of audience were very professional. He was dedicated and he stood out. He wanted change. He wanted to take action, and he wanted to make a difference. And he did. He went out and did exactly that. He went out and worked hard to achieve his goals.

I am determined and passionate to complete my education and begin my journey to preserve, protect, educate Nunavummiut and non-Nunavummiut about our culture. I want to teach our language and our rights as Inuit. As a future educator, I am aware of the responsibility to carry on the legacy of Jose Kusugak with pride. I, too, believe in the importance of strengthening and preserving our language to our present and future generations.

“Sapiliqtailita”, lets not give up on education, and our language.” Jose Kusugak.