Project Background

With the financial support from ArcticNet, Université Laval, Carleton University and Inuit Qaujisarvingat: Inuit Knowledge Centre (the research centre at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami) have been working collaboratively to develop Tukitaarvik Inuit Student Centre. This website is part of a larger project aimed at improving access to university education in the Canadian Arctic. 

The Improving Access to University Education in the Canadian Arctic project directed by Thierry Rodon from Laval University is funded by ArcticNet and strive to provide evidence-based research on Inuit participation in University education throughout Inuit Nunangat and to promote a national discussion amongst provider of university program in Inuit Nunangat, Northern institutions and Inuit organizations in order to develop a more coordinated effort in program delivery, curriculum development. More specifically this research has three objectives:

  1. Make an inventory and evaluation of past and present university initiatives in Inuit Nunangat or for Inuit in term of curriculum, delivery methods and success,
  2. Evaluate Inuit needs and experiences with postsecondary programs or courses in order to better understand educational paths and university successes from the point of view of the Inuit
  3. Develop different scenarios to improve access to university education for Inuit and Northerners in Inuit Nunangat.

The data is being collected through surveys, in-depth interviews and workshops. This research provides evidence-based data on the Inuit students’ university experience:

  • Inuit participation in university programs;
  • definition of university and educative success from a point of view of Inuit that will help university program providers deliver programs better adapted to the needs of Inuit students;
  • monitoring of Inuit student success according to this definition;
  • inventory and evaluation of the university program delivered in Inuit Nunangat and for Inuit students; and development of scenarios to improve access to University program for Inuit students.

Project Collaborators

Joel Eastwood's picture

Joel Eastwood

Joel Eastwood's picture

Hi, I’m Joel!

I’m from the small town of Dundas, Ontario. I’m studying journalism and economics at Carleton University. I’m studying journalism because I’m fascinated by the way the world works, and I love telling stories. In high school, I was interested in a whole range of subjects – English, law, history and politics. I chose journalism as my major because it lets me read and write about all of these topics. The transition from high school to university has been easier for me because I was not that far from home, only moving from Hamilton to Ottawa. I found that getting involved with campus clubs and organizations like the student newspaper really helped me adjust to university life.

I have made many close friends by getting involved with activities that interest me. University has given me a much better understanding of what I enjoy doing by exposing me to a wide range of activities, people and experiences.

Pam Gross's picture

Pam Gross

Pam Gross's picture

 B.A. Anthropology and Aboriginal Studies, is a recent graduate of Carleton University. Prior to completing her degree, she attended the first and second years of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) Training Program in Ottawa, a program for Inuit students. Originally from Cambridge Bay, NU and Hay River, NT, she has studied and worked on various Inuit-related research projects that are providing her with the foundation for a career in cultural policy and heritage. She is the recipient of several scholarships including the Alain Mucktar Heritage Scholarship, Gordon Robertson National Inuit Scholarship, and both the Kitikmeot Inuit Association Beneficiaries Scholarship and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Lands Scholarship from 2008 to 2011. Her summer job experience has included working as a research assistant on environmental and scholarly projects, and interviewing Elders for the Kitikmeot Heritage Society. Pamela continues to be involved in ArcticNet research on Inuit and Post-Secondary Education as she believes in helping youth achieve higher education. She has also recently been accepted into the Indigenous Governance Pre-Master's program at the University of Winnipeg.

James Kuptana's picture

James Kuptana

James Kuptana's picture


my name is James Kuptana. I'm Inuvialuk, 27 years old and a recent graduate from the Indigenous Environmental Studies program at Trent University. I'm born in Ottawa, Ontario and Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories is my second home. I am a father of two children my Daughter is 7 years old and my Son is five months.

University was important for me becuase it allowed me to move away from my parents and learn what it feels like to be responsible for one's self. Living on my own taught me how to budget, cook my own food, manage my time, meet new people and experience life in a completely different setting. Most importantly, University was a lot of fun. I got to play hockey, meet other young Inuit and Aboriginal students and learn about the world. At University and in College you can tailor your education to what interests you.

Going to University really changed my life, it made me realize that I could apply myself in a new setting with new people, it was a challenge no doubt but I gained a lot of confidence. I learned something new about myself and the world everyday.

University led me to my first real job in my field as a research assistant at Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). After class one day I asked my professor for extra help. He asked what I was doing for the summer and before I knew it I was working in my home community and two other communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region back home on a traditional knowledge study of the Beaufort Sea ice. Since then I have traveled around the world advocating for Inuit rights and the inclusion of traditional knowledge in policy, legilation and ciricculum. The opportunities that arise from post-secondary education are far and wide.

I encourage Inuit to continue to challenge ourselves as this is the only way in which we will realize our true potential.

Always watch, and remember, family is everything.



Teevi Mackay's picture

Teevi Mackay

Teevi Mackay's picture

Teevi Mackay was born in Arctic Bay Nunavut and grew up in the territory’s capital of Iqaluit. Currently, Teevi resides in Ottawa while she completed her honours bachelor of journalism degree at Carleton University.

Before being admitted into the journalism program, Teevi spent a year in the Aboriginal Enriched Support Program (AESP) at Carleton. She earned the Excellence Award from the AESP after completing her first year of studies.

It has not been easy for Teevi to get this far. Teevi has managed to get through her studies through perseverance, resilience, determination and a positive attitude.

Thierry Rodon's picture

Thierry Rodon

Thierry Rodon's picture

I'm a professor of political science at Laval University and adjunct at Carleton University. I've been working in the North for the last 20 years and have developed a keen interest in Inuit education because of my involvement in the Nunavut Certificate in Public Studies and my teaching at Nunavut Sivuniksavut. I'm also interested in the new models of governance emerging in Northern Canada and their impact on Northerners and Northern Policies.

Lori Tagoona's picture

Lori Tagoona

Lori Tagoona's picture

Hi guys,

How’s it going?

I’m Lori Tagoona, a young student from Rankin Inlet, NU.

Since finishing high school, I’ve been pretty lucky to have some awesome experiences. I’ve finished my first year of Nunavut Sivuniksavut (currently in my 2nd year). I’ve also volunteered in BC and Ukraine through Canada World Youth, and even had an internship with the organization in Montreal.

I know living in the south isn’t always easy, especially when your friends and family are so important to you. I’ve actually dropped out of college before because I couldn’t handle the stresses of being in school and away from home. This is why working on this website has been so important to me. If I had known what I know now, I would have stayed in school and finished my program. Thankfully, I am back in school and almost finished the program I dropped out of.

I hope you are able to use this site to your advantage. There are lots of awesome tips and warnings about what life will really be like when you’re in college or university. It can be a scary and intimidating monster, but you’re not alone! There are many of us from the north who are going through the same thing. If we can stick together and help each other out, we can all get through it.

Once you’re done your program you can help make our homes a better place for everyone! We need educated youth to take over the north!

Lucille Villaseñor-Caron's picture

Lucille Villaseñor-Caron

Lucille Villaseñor-Caron's picture

I recently returned to the Carleton School of Social Work to complete my master's in social work with a particular interest in the areas of healing practices and community work grounded in popular education philosophy and methodology. I joined the 3Ci team at Carleton University in January 2012 and have enjoyed every moment of working with the Tukitaarvik team in the development of this resourceful and interactive website. I look forward to seeing how this wonderful project unravels!