Indigenous students in remote Nunavut community learn about solar power

In May 2022, Indigenous children in Baker Lake, Qamani’tuaq in Inukitut, Nunavut received in person workshops for one week from Relay Education.

Baker Lake is a remote community in the Kivalliq Region in Nunavut at the mouth of the Thelon River, which is 320 kilometres inland from the west coast of Hudson Bay with a population greater than 2069.

Relay’s Central Ontario Coordinator, Allison Bradbeer traveled to Baker Lake in May 2022. 121 students at Jonah Amitnaaq School participated in 16 science workshops with Relay.

This was made possible by our generous individual donors and other funders to help Indigenous students in Nunavut receive in person renewable energy workshops.

Jonathan Turner, the teacher who hosted us, shared, “the atmosphere in the classroom filled with a buzz of excitement. Not only did we have visitors coming into town to teach about electricity. There was also excitement to see the materials and to get a chance to build solar cars.”

Children in Nunavut face unique challenges. The resources that they have for learning are limited compared to students in the south. Geographic location, high travel costs, and unreliable internet make things more difficult.

Mr. Turner shared, “Relay Education’s in-person workshops were beneficial to our students in Baker Lake because we don’t have the same sort of Internet as schools in southern Canada. It’s important for donors to support Relay Education because without their help we wouldn’t have been able to have the hands-on learning.”

Over 100 Indigenous students learned about the science and benefits of renewable energy in a community that is dependent on fossil fuels.

Mr. Turner described how important it was for his students to learn about renewables. “Here in the Arctic, our students understand that a lot of our electricity is powered by fossil fuels. It’s a yearly import that we receive, and we must ration. The students were excited to see that electricity could come from other sources. They also learned how some of these things are being implemented in the Arctic.”

Allison shared, “I was welcomed with open arms and minds by the kindest people. I enjoyed teaching the Inuk students about renewable energy and they were eager to learn and build their solar cars. They had a blast racing them against each other.”

Thank you to our donors for providing in-person workshops about renewable energy to students in Canada’s north. We’re helping children understand how they can help create an earth-friendly future.