COLUMN: Every program funded is a victory

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It certainly was good news to learn of the federal grant secured by the Kivalliq Science Educators’ Community (KSEC) to refresh its cache of camping supplies for one of KSEC’s top annual programs.
The KSEC Science Cultural Camp did not escape the impact of the two horrific fatal bear attacks in our region earlier this year and it still remains to be seen if the organizers will be able to use the same model going forward of having the students based out on the land for the camp.

Hopefully, our regional and territorial governmental resources will work with KSEC and the schools to ensure the annual camp can be held out on the land with no threat of danger to the students or the staff members accompanying them.

The annual KSEC Science Cultural Camp is yet another example of how the region’s youth flourish when presented with opportunity to excel in their own environment.

Whether it’s hockey instruction in Rankin Inlet, a qajaqing program in Chesterfield Inlet, the region’s travelling science and cultural camp, a cooking class in Baker Lake, or the Kivalliq Inuit Association’s annual art camp – the proof is in the pudding when it comes to how valuable these programs are and how much the region’s youth gain from them.

Hopefully, the successes of these programs and many others with Kivalliq youth are making enough of an impression on those who guard the purse strings at all levels to ensure their survival in the long-term, with many more to be added as the years roll along.

There really is only one area in which our youth lag horribly behind those in the south and that’s opportunity.

Unfortunately, opportunity is one of the biggest and most powerful cards in the deck when it comes to personal development and growth.

Let’s be honest, we’ll never have the infrastructure or the power that high populations bring to our southern neighbours, but every program funded to help our youth raise their confidence level and further develop their skill-set and level of understanding brings us one tiny step forward.

The success of properly developed programs with our youth can often be a bitter-sweet pill to swallow.

On the one hand there’s the satisfaction of seeing them not only succeed, but excel in the programming that becomes available, while, on the other hand, there’s the misery of knowing just how high the youth of the Kivalliq could reach if the monetary resources existed to fund a great deal more extracurricular, educational and life-building programming for them.

That being said, every successful program that receives funding to carry on and every new program boasting that same potential that receives funding to launch is a victory for our region and its youth.

Hopefully, we’ll see plenty more of these program-funding victories racked-up in the not-too-distant future.

If success truly is the launch pad to expansion, we are certainly standing on solid ground to see a great deal more.

And, cliche or not, those who would benefit the most are our youth – and they are our leaders of tomorrow.

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