Aglukark brings therapy through art

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The Kivalliq’s own international recording artist, Susan Aglukark, was in Rankin Inlet to deliver an arts program to students at Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik (MUI) on Jan. 11.

Susan Aglukark, right, spends a few warm moments with Lana Sigurdson during the first delivery of Aglukark’s Creative Cultural Reflections program in partnership with Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik in Rankin Inlet on Jan. 11.  Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The Creative Cultural Reflections (CCR) program is being delivered in partnership with MUI through the Aglukark-founded Arctic Rose Foundation.

Aglukark said the CCR pilot is an “arts-driven, culture-connections” program that provides youth with a much needed creative outlet and helps them to get in touch with their region’s cultural and historical communities, families and stories through research.

“The real work is turning that research into art, and we’re going to introduce art therapy as an outlet, but also as a tool for learning, so they’ll use that research and family connections and turn it into an art,” Aglukark said.

“That will give them an opportunity to practice an art form that they might not have had a chance to do before. They already identified they’d like to play with graffiti, so we’re going to bring an Inuk graffiti artist this March, and, since they’ve done some work with slam poetry, we’re going to bring in an Inuk slam poet, as well.

“We’re also going to bring some artists who do paper art, and stuff like that, so they can work in their journals and explore art therapy through their journal writing.”

Aglukark said the research will be submitted in the form of monthly creative reflections, such as creative writing, art journals, poetry, a song or any other form of art that the youth participants would like to explore.

About 14 participants attended the MUI session in Rankin – the first in the program, which is delivered online and in-person.

Aglukark said the CCR program was developed to meet a need in the local community.

The Arctic Rose Foundation’s goal is to nurture Northern children and youth and help them to create environments that are safe: culturally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

The foundation partners with grass roots, community driven volunteer programs, such as local registered food banks or graduation committees, that address and meet the immediate needs of children and youth.

Whenever a need is identified and a program does not exist, the foundation strives to develop one with the assistance and participation of respective communities and local Northern children and youth.