Students find lots to SAY

Iqaluit (Feb 14/00) - Web pages now exist for six Inuit youth who participated in a recent training course in Iqaluit.

In the territorial capital to learn the ropes of Supporting Arctic Youth (SAY) the students spent two weeks in an intensive computer course learning skills they will take back and share with their communities.

Developed by Inuit and Nunavut organizations, SAY incorporates Internet communication skills with education and career information.

The result is discovering ways to provide emotional and peer support to Arctic students studying outside of their home communities.

That's where the six trainees come in -- they have learned skills such as video conferencing, chatting, discussion groups and how to navigate their way around an online Arctic youth directory and Web page gallery.

"The course has been fun and interesting," said Eema Palituq, chair of the Clyde River youth group.

"I've learned a lot about Internet chatting and video conferencing and I can teach people in my community what I've learned."

Palituq designed her own Web page that asks the question "Am I the only pop-a-holic?" and she says she will reveal the address to people in her community so they can view her work.

Similarly, Pond Inlet resident Mark Henderson says he will take the skills he has learned back to Pond Inlet to teach to other youth.

"I've learned a lot of valuable information and had a lot of fun," he said.

"I'll be able to help and teach youth about computers and I'll be able to help people from Pond Inlet who are out of town and might be homesick."

Henderson says the good thing about the video conferencing skills he has acquired is that if someone is homesick, they will be able to see him when they're speaking over the Internet.

Organized in part by the youth wing of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and funded in part by the Kakivak Association, four instructors were involved in putting the course together.

The students will get to take the computers and video conferencing equipment back to their home communities, as it was purchased by the individual hamlets.

The Web address for SAY is say /aboutsay.html