Pauloosie Suvega, president of Nunavut Arctic College, said he has positive memories of his time at the original Peter Pitseoloak School in Cape Dorset, where he spent most of his youth, and Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, which was then known as the Gordon Robertson Education Centre (GREC) until the early 1990s. He lived in the old residence along with many other Nunavut students, he recalled.
He emphasized the wide range of uplifting influences in his life.
“I have been very fortunate and had a great support base from the residence managers, teachers, from our families and from each other as students,” he stated. “All of us came from small communities for high school to Iqaluit before communities started getting high school grades, so that created a strong bond and made residence life easier. We did get awfully homesick from time to time, especially at spring, but got through it.”
He went on to enroll in an advanced management diploma program in Iqaluit and then the Canada School of Public Service in Ottawa.
“There was a bit of travel involved on this. This can be a bit challenging when raising a young family but we got through it as a family,” said Suvega.
Before getting involved in public service, Suvega was a social worker in Cape Dorset. He then became part owner, president and CEO of Innirvik Support Services, a translation/interpretation business, for seven years.
Suvega served as assistant deputy minister and deputy minister in several GN departments, including Environment, Culture and Heritage and Economic Development and Transportation. He played a key role in the administration and promotion of the Inuit Language Protection Act and Nunavut’s Official Languages Act.
He took over as president of Nunavut Arctic College in December 2018.
“Life gets busy. I’m always learning, but the formal pieces are things I’ve been meaning to spend more time and energy on,” he said. “I’ve always put family and work first and have been fortunate to be asked to be involved in many exciting developments in the early history of Nunavut.”