After a successful first year, the second cohort of Nunavik Sivunitsavut students graduated on May 10. We met with Lisa Mesher, Director of Post-Secondary Student Services, to get an update on the program.

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq: Can you tell us what Nunavik Sivunitsavut is about?
Lisa Mesher: Based in Montreal, Nunavik Sivunitsavut (NS) offers a one-year post-secondary experience that provides students with an opportunity to develop their knowledge and their work and leadership skills through approaches and content rooted in Inuit culture. The courses that students complete are fully accredited and can count toward any CEGEP diploma students may want to complete in the future.

KI: Where are we at with student selection for NS’s third cohort?
LM: Students who have applied for next year can expect to hear from the Nunavik Sivunitsavut team soon, as the selection process is nearly complete.

KI: What are some of Nunavik Sivunitsavut’s long-term goals?
LM: First and foremost, we want to have an impact on student perseverance at the post-secondary level. Our initial analysis indicates that we are doing things right. Most of the students choose to continue their education at the post-secondary level after graduating from the program.

Another one of our objectives is to ensure Nunavik Sivunitsavut’s long-term sustainability through support from Quebec’s ministry of education. The provincial government took a positive step forward this year by providing funding for our operational costs.

Beyond this, the School Board is currently working on a five-year plan. In the future, we’d like to be able to accept more than 20 students, start a division of the program in Nunavik communities and work on securing more funding for the next 20 years. Nunavik Sivunitsavut is one of the first steps on the road to the increasing levels of higher education in Nunavik communities.

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