The Mentor Habitat Iqaluit team was the fifth and final team this year to take part in the Habitat Iqaluit project. For one week (September 15-22), Rachel Parker, Brooklyn Rushton, Lauren Fletcher, Chris McGivern, Aly Ambler, Heather Alley, Asia Van Heyningen, Julia Cappellacci, Michael Moss, and Jill Mackenzie worked tirelessly on the build site in the small village of Apex, located 5km outside of Iqaluit. After meeting the homeowner, Joanna, and learning more about her family, our students embraced all worksite tasks. While the exterior of the house was mostly complete, a wheelchair ramp and staircase leading up to the house still had to be made, and soffit installed.
Our students rose admirably to these labourious and skill-intensive projects, and they preserved against the Arctic wind. On the inside of the house, students helped dry-wall, lay flooring, insulate and clean windows. The site contractor commended the “insiders” for their team work, leadership, and skill. Most build days began at 9am and finished at 5pm. With an average temperature of -3 degrees, the team members did well to keep busy and warm! Aside from the actual building experience, students were able to appreciate the surrounding culture and environment through a multitude of activities. We visited a local high school where we had an opportunity to meet local students and observe Iqaluit’s impressive education system.
A cooperative workshop with first and second year Fine Arts students at the Arctic College provided an opportunity for our students to design and craft brass pendants. Thereafter, our team visited the CBC for a tour with Joanna (who, as it turns out, is a CBC Radio producer!). During a two-hour hike of the mountainous Sylvia Grinnell territorial park, our team was able to appreciate the surrounding environment including an Arctic Fox and Arctic Hare! Before departing, our students were able to learn how to throat sing, and they visited the Youth Centre which provided additional opportunities for our students to connect with their peers from the North.