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Community pride

Meeting local needs and priorities at the Cartwright-Memorial community hub

Campus and Community

By Lisa Browne

I was so delighted to recently visit Cartwright, Labrador, as part of a series of events marking the opening of the Cartwright-Memorial University community hub.

This hub, hosted by the Sandwich Bay 50-Plus Club and the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), is one of a network of community hubs being established throughout Newfoundland and Labrador with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, and with Global Affairs support, to other locations across the Arctic.

The Cartwright hub builds on so many long-standing collaborations in the community, with NCC, and with Memorial University and NCC.

The hub features high-speed internet, a 3D printer, a video-conferencing system and many science-based activities for youth and people of all ages, brought up by Laura McCardle, project co-ordinator, Climate Collective, with the Johnson Geo Centre.

Lisa McCurdle presents to a group of people in a classroom setting.
Climate Collective’s Laura McCardle presents on climate change at the community hub.
Photo: Submitted

Emphasis on community

Community is perhaps an overused word, but rarely have I been to a town and so strongly felt such a sense of community pride.

Long rows of tables with people seated around in a gymnasium. Two people speak at a podium with banners and flags behind them.
The entire community gathered for a meal to celebrate the opening in Cartwright.
Photo: Submitted

The Sandwich Bay 50-Plus Club is an amazing partner and host of the hub, and even hosted a community dinner, along with the NCC, featuring incredible fish and salmon dishes, partridge soup and moose stew.

Oh, the partridge soup! And of course, bakeapple and partridgeberry desserts!

The Sandwich Bay Drummers Group performed a curated program and provided context to the impact of the residential school system on the community.

Traditional Drummers in Labrador perform in matching red coats in a circle in a gymnasium.
Sandwich Bay Drummers Group performing their drumming program at the opening of the Cartwright-Memorial University Community Hub.
Photo: Submitted

Community members expressed particular appreciation for Dr. Amy Hudson of Labrador Campus and Dr. Kelly Vodden of Grenfell Campus for championing the hub and working with the community through their research activities.

Shawn Holwell provided a historical tour of the community to Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo, founding and interim dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Labrador Campus, and me.

Shawn Holwell, Lisa Browne and Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo take a selfie in front of the ocean.
Time for a selfie: Lisa Browne, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo and Shawn Holwell during a tour of Cartwright.
Photo: Submitted

Commitment to communities

Our president, Dr. Vianne Timmons, is very committed to the hubs initiative, which is being administered through the Harris Centre in close partnership with the Grenfell and Labrador campuses.

She sees great potential for Memorial University to enhance our continuing education opportunities for residents throughout the province, on topics that meet local needs and priorities.

And, we see the potential for so many other collaborations, as faculty and students connect with community partners.

This commitment to communities is one of our strategic priorities.

I’m looking forward to the opening of more community hubs.

Though the partridge soup will be hard to beat!

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