Kivalliq youth want next 20 years in Nunavut to be devoted to jobs – by Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs (APTN National News – April 1, 2019)

Atuat Shouldice points out the usual attractions in his home community of ᑲᖏᕿᓂᖅ, Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. This includes the Red Top convenience store, Victor’s playground and the defunct nickel mine ruins known as the “elephant graveyard.”

“Pretty well everyone my age, it was their playground when they were kids. If you remembered playing around there you had a pretty good childhood,” Shouldice said. He wants the same childhood for his two sons.

“Rankin’s home. Nunavut’s home. I want to raise my boys here,” he said. What he doesn’t want is the same resource extraction jobs paving their economic future. Shouldice, 32, grew up in Rankin Inlet, population 2,842.

It is one of the largest communities in the territory and his sons help make up the nearly 30 per-cent of the town who are under 14 years of age. After working as a labourer at the mineral mines nearby, he attended school in Iqaluit for an environmental technician program.

He is now a water resource officer with the federal government. But, he dreams of a future where he can work full-time guiding on-the-land and sharing his culture with the rest of Canada. For many like him, government and mining jobs are the only feasible work to cover the high-cost of living here.

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