The Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) now offers a degree program in social work, the university announced on June 21.
The program is in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, which entered into a 10-year agreement with NAC in 2019 to help the college expand its services.
The CNA currently offers a two-year diploma in social service work. This fall, graduates of this program can apply to be part of the first cohort of the Bachelor of Social Work program, which will be offered for an additional two years in Cambridge Bay.
The Government of Nunavut has also committed $ 1.8 million over three years to deliver the program, the college said.
Fiona Buchan-Corey is the Dean of Health and Wellness Programs at the NAC.
She said the Bachelor of Social Work program is a step towards improving social work services for communities in Nunavut, which is important given the history and impact of residential schools on the territory.
“People who went through the residential school system are suffering the legacy [and have] have been through life’s challenges, ”Buchan-Corey said. “We are now seeing Inuit developing these new skills, becoming passionate about taking care of their communities, providing services and giving back.
All faculty teaching in the program will be from Memorial University, but will work with members of the local community to ensure that cultural elements specific to Nunavut are part of the program, she added.
Vanessa Totalik graduated from the Social Service Worker Diploma Program earlier this month. She has already applied for the Bachelor of Social Work program and said she hopes to use that degree to become a regional manager.
As a summer student in the Department of Family Services, Totalik said she chose the field of social work because she wants to help children in the territory cope with intergenerational trauma.
“[Children] are our next leaders, ”she said.