Four Canadian military recruiters from Ottawa arrived in Arctic Bay to speak to the high school students about careers in the Canadian Armed Forces and summer training programs for Indigenous Peoples. The presentation was in my classroom and occurred on November 27th.
Contact between the school and the Ottawa recruiting office was established in September. I was the school’s liaison. The recruiters mailed a box of posters, pamphlets, application sheets, and memorabilia prior to their arrival. They would stay in the community for a week, helping interested students fill out applications, conduct interviews, and carry out medical & physical tests. The recruiters would also speak to the community and find people interested in signing up. I was glad that the school had just enough space available to accommodate the visit.
The presentation began with the recruiters introducing themselves to the students. There was a lieutenant, warrant, sergeant, and corporal. The sergeant conducted the presentation, using a PowerPoint slideshow as a visual aid. He explained the 5Ws & 1H of the Canadian Armed Forces, and listed some of the careers you could pursue. (There are over a 100 job types available in the military). He mostly focused on the Indigenous summer training programs: Bold Eagle, Raven, Black Bear, Carcajou, and Grey Wolf. The programs are 6 weeks long and introduce military training & routines to successful applicants. The programs incorporate Indigenous culture (ie: First Nations, Inuit, Metis) into the curriculum. The military provides everything and you get paid $4,200 for attending. The programs are open to all Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The sergeant fielded questions from the students & teachers after the presentation.
The recruiters returned to my classroom the following day to help interested students with the applications. I was surprised and glad to see many students filling out the applications. The recruiters told me they would focus on getting the applicants onto the Black Bear program. Unfortunately, the program can only accept a certain number of candidates. Since the program attracts applicants from all over the country, competition for spots is inevitable. I hope at least four people from Arctic Bay get selected for Black Bear.
One of the superintendents from Qikiqtani School Operations visited Inuujaq School near the end of November. He wanted to see how the new principal was handling the day-to-day operations and talk to the students. He was also there to give out long service awards to several teachers.
|Principal Morty receives her long-service certificate.|
|Grade 1 Teacher Piuyuq.|
Arctic Bay is relatively safe from extreme weather because of the surrounding mountains. However, sometimes being surrounded by tall mountains & hills isn’t enough. The people of Arctic Bay found that out on Monday, December 10. A blizzard had rolled into the area, blanketing everything with snow. Winds were roaring at 71km/h with gusts reaching up to 91km/h. The temperature was -35˚C with windchill. The entire town was shut down for the day until the blizzard was over. I had enough supplies to last me several days.
I went outside at 3:30pm to record the blizzard with a camera. It was very dark outside, but thankfully, the street lights were still on. I was able to record snow blowing by the street lights and the sounds of the wind. I later walked around the neighboured to see if the conditions listed on the Government of Canada website were correct. To be honest, it didn’t feel like the winds were howling at 71km/h. Maybe they were down by the bay.
The blizzard came to an end in the evening. School continued on Tuesday.