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Nunatsiavut School Principal Wins 2023 ITK Award for Inuit Excellence

By September 29, 2023 No Comments

September 28, 2023 – Nain, Nunatsiavut

Julie Dicker is the winner of the 2023 ITK Award for Inuit Excellence. As the first Inuk to hold the title of School Principal in Nain, and an enthusiastic supporter of Inuktut education and physical education, Julie exemplifies Inuit self-determination in education.

Julie is an educator and school principal at Jens Haven Memorial, a kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Nain, the northernmost community in Nunatsiavut. She completed a Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor and Master of Physical Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and has now begun her PhD in Arctic and Subarctic Futures at MUN.

She has worked for the Labrador School Board for 14 years, becoming the first female Inuk to teach physical education, first at John Christian Erhardt Memorial in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, and then in her home community of Nain. When Jens Haven Memorial faced a two-year gap without a permanent Inuktut teacher, Julie took on the role of teaching Inuktut as well.

Last year, Julie took time away from her regular teaching duties to become the Principal at Jens Haven Memorial. When time permits, she continues to fill in as teacher and volunteer for youth sports. This past summer, she spent two weeks in Halifax as manager of the Newfoundland and Labrador boys volleyball team at the North American Indigneous Games. She is also helping to coordinate Nunatsiavut’s 45th annual fall sportsmeet by hosting the event at her school in Nain.

“Julie’s dedication and leadership serve to inspire people across Nunatsiavut and Inuit Nunangat. Her support of sports and language programs contribute to Inuit strength, wellness and pride,” said Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “We are pleased to honour her service to Inuit.”

The ITK Awards have been presented annually for more than 20 years. With the 2023 Award, ITK is moving from a slate of many recipients, to a single individual who has demonstrated excellence in an area that contributes to Inuit self-determination.

The 2023 winner was identified by an ITK selection committee from among 39 nominations. The next ITK Awards for Inuit Excellence will be presented in fall 2024.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is the national representational organization protecting and advancing the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.

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