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Niqitsialiurniq Project

Initiative Types:
Funding Sources:
Target Audience:

Summary of the Initiative

Ilitaqsiniq will create, coordinate and deliver the Niqitsialiuq program for 12-15 out of school and/or out of work participants in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The content of this 4-month embedded literacy pilot program will focus on traditional and contemporary food preparation. In this program, participants will develop skills for employment in the food service industry and for certificate-level training in the food service industry. The program will also work to increase the literacy, language and other essential skills of participants. A local chef will support Ilitaqsiniq staff to develop and deliver aspects of the program that are related to contemporary industrial food preparation including content related health and safety standards. Skilled local Elders will instruct program content related to traditional harvesting and food preparation. Ilitaqsiniq staff will embed literacy, language and essential skills into the content of the program. Through this program, participants will develop current marketable skills for employment, literacy skills and other transferable work and life skills.
The program will support the development and launch of a sustainable soup kitchen for the community of Rankin Inlet. This soup kitchen will serve as a training venue for participants while providing a much needed community support service.
This program will prepare local participants to access food preparation related employment at two regional mines, in local businesses or for self-employment. The program will also serve as a pre-cursor for entry into a certificate-level culinary arts program being developed by the Nunavut Trades Training Centre in Rankin Inlet. Ultimately, this non-formal context-based program will work to increase participants’ confidence in learning and risk taking – all of which lead to greater personal, familial, cultural and community connectivity, health, development and well-being .

Traditional Knowledge

The primary goal of the Niqitsialiuq Program is to develop and pilot an Inuit traditional food preparation program for unemployed, underemployed and out-of-school youth and young adults that will be taught by Inuit Elders in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. With support from a program coordinator and chef, 2 Inuit Elders will work to plan and guide skill development related to harvesting, butchering, preservation, storage, cooking and nutrition of country foods (for example, caribou, char, maktaaq). The Elder instructors are highly skilled in traditional food preparation and will be the primary instructors of the program. Elders also support the creation of an immersion environment in which youth are encouraged and supported to develop Inuktitut language and literacy skills. Elders will also help create and participate in additional embedded LLES activities related to the content of the program that support further skill development. Participants will demonstrate and celebrate their learning by hosting and preparing a feast of country foods for Elders of the community.

This program will support intergenerational learning, the passing on of important and relevant cultural knowledge and work to strengthen relationships between Elders and youth in the community. It is an opportunity to re-engage youth in learning in a safe and positive environment that values Inuit ways of knowing and doing. The program model will support Elders to share their knowledge, values, advice, skills and experience in a rich cultural and linguistic environment. In addition, participants will learn how to prepare healthy, locally available food, which supports increased food security for families. Non-formal community-based cultural programs with LLES in which Elders have a key and meaningful role can work to bridge traditional skills associated with the land-based economy and contemporary skills associated with the cash economy. In this way, participants develop pride, confidence and skills related to their cultural heritage which supports engagement or increased engagement in learning and employment more closely associated with the wage economy.

Rankin Inlet Nunavut X0C 0G0 Canada

Adriana Kusugak

(867) 645-2121

[email protected]

Initiative Timeline

7 Years Left
05/1/2016 08/31/2016

Lead Organization

  • Ilitaqsiniq - Nunavut Literacy Council
Other Groups / Organizations
  • Nunavut Arctic College - space to offer the program
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. - field trips, work placements and experiences, support from staff and guest speakers
Primary Goals

  • What is our goal?
  • Twelve to fifteen local participants will develop skills for employment and/or certificate level training in the food service industry.
  • What are our project objectives?
  • Create a culturally meaningful model of non-formal learning with embedded literacy geared towards out-of-school and out-of-work participants related to the food service industry.
  • Support participants to develop knowledge and skills in both traditional Inuit and contemporary food preparation including harvesting, butchering, preservation, food safety and storage, cooking and nutrition.
  • Re-engage participants in learning by creating a positive and culturally meaningful program that bridges Inuit traditional knowledge and contemporary knowledge related to food preparation and service.
  • Provide program participants with hands-on job experience related to the food service industry by integrating the establishment and operation of a soup kitchen into the program.
  • Provide basic workplace safety training and certification within the program – WHMIS, food safe and first aid.
  • Work with local support agencies, organizations and businesses to support participants to apply for work or certificate level training in the food service sector post-program.
  • Work to establish a network of local businesses, organizations and agencies to participate in and contribute to the establishment and operation of a soup kitchen in Rankin Inlet.
  • Work with local agencies and organizations to remove barriers to program participation (such as financial support and child care) for participants before and during delivery of the program.
  • What outcomes do we expect?
  • A pool of employment ready workers with solid basic knowledge, skills in commercial food preparation and safety certification, who are prepared for local employment opportunities related to the food service industry.
  • An operational and sustainable soup kitchen for the community of Rankin Inlet.
  • An innovative and culturally meaningful model of non-formal learning related to the food service industry that can be used by other communities.
  • A strong and committed network of partners and community members that support and sustain a soup kitchen in the community of Rankin Inlet.
  • Improved food security for program participants, their families and the community of Rankin Inlet.
  • Participants with increased confidence, pride and skills related to their cultural heritage and the practical skills to support re-engagement in employment and/or higher-level learning.
  • Participants with increased literacy, language and essential skills and a marketable skill – all of which are transferable to other learning and work.


  • Donations
  • Core
  • Short term (up to 1 year)

Funding Sources

  • Community groups and organizations
  • Territorial government departments
  • NGOs
  • Local businesses
  • Federal funding
  • Hamlet funding