Media Centre

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and Government of Nunavut Announce New Nunavut Day Scholarships

NR 07-14 NDG ENG Nunavut Day Grants.doc

(July 9, 2007 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak and Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik today unveiled two new annual grant programs in honour of Nunavut Day. Entitled Kakiniit, Nunavut Day Cultural and Academic Grants, one scholarship will award $1,000 to five students seeking to improve their cultural skills, while the other will award $1,000 to five students enrolled in academic training at a post-secondary institution.
Both scholarship programs are open to Beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA).

The Inuktitut word kakiniit was chosen because it represents a mark or tattoo a person gets on their body as a symbol of something important in their life. It’s like a record of an important event. If an Elder is asked about their tattoos, they likely have a story to tell about what significant event it represents in their life. People today usually have a story or a reason for a tattoo they have. Because receiving a grant to pursue cultural or academic education is a significant event in a person’s life, the word Kakiniit seemed appropriate.

I am honoured today to announce to Inuit that our organizations are offering financial support to promote cultural and academic education. It is even more meaningful that we are announcing this initiative on Nunavut Day, our special day. As Inuit know, this historic day marks the 14th anniversary of the signing of the NLCA in Kugluktuk, and illustrates NTI’s commitment to cultural and educational excellence, said Kaludjak.

In celebration of Nunavut, we are pleased to be working together in support of our students, said Premier Okalik. I know first hand the obstacles students face in achieving their goals. I am very proud to support those who are contributing to the cultural and economic sustainability of Nunavut.

Application forms for the scholarships will be sent to all communities, and are also available on NTI’s website. As part of the application process, students will be asked to write a short essay about an individual who has contributed in some way to the negotiations of the NLCA, and the creation of Nunavut. A committee will judge the essays using set criteria and award the grants to the 10 applicants who score the highest marks.

Though the scholarships are co-funded by NTI and the Government of Nunavut, NTI will be responsible for administering the program to Inuit.

Application forms are due Sept. 1, 2007. Scholarships will be awarded in October this year.

For further information: