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Northern links

Nunavut Coastal Resource Inventory, Marine Institute develop partnership

special feature: Aboriginal Peoples

Part of a special feature focused on celebrating and recognizing the contribution and impact of Aboriginal Peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador and highlighting contemporary topics and opportunities related to Aboriginal Peoples worldwide. This feature coincides with Aboriginal Peoples Week running March 21-24.


By Leslie Earle

Although Corenna Nuyalia lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and is located more than 2,000 kilometers from the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) in St. John’s, N.L., a relationship between the two is bringing many benefits to the North.

Ms. Nuyalia is the senior advisor for the fisheries, sealing and fur programs with the Fisheries and Sealing Division, Department of Environment, with the Government of Nunavut.

Coastal work

“I deal with all of our funding programs, such as the fisheries development and diversification program, fish freight subsidy program and fur program,” she said during an interview with the Gazette. “I also work on the Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Nunavut Coastal Resource Inventory and other projects that are GIS-related.”

The GIS is what first connected Ms. Nuyalia to MI in 2009. At that time, MI had been contracted to conduct some work for the territory; she was then the project co-ordinator for the Nunavut Coastal Resource Inventory. Ms. Nuyalia worked closely with the institute’s Paul Brett to collect information on coastal resources in Nunavut and spatially map the information to assist in the management, development and conservation of coastal areas.

“Ms. Nuyalia took a vested interest in the work we were doing and was eager to help out and learn,” said Mr. Brett, interim head, School of Ocean Technology, MI. “It was clear from the beginning that she would have a bright future in this growing field.”

Noting her keen interest, the Government of Nunavut invested in additional training for Ms. Nuyalia to not only strengthen her own abilities, but to allow her to continue the work she started with MI.

Professional development

Since 2009 she has completed two intensive programs through the School of Ocean Technology, including the Introduction to Geographic Information Systems in 2011 and Introduction to Remote Sensing in 2012.

Today, thanks to her practical experiences with the MI team and in-class learning, Ms. Nuyalia is able to complete Coastal Resource Inventory work herself and is helping to train others on her team.

“My experience with MI has been very positive for my career, allowing me to be involved in more projects within our division,” Ms. Nuyalia said. “I feel more confident in my skills and abilities and that I can contribute more to the projects and programs that I work on.”

Ms. Nuyalia says her education and working relationship with MI are having a real impact. She says having the capability to create maps and understand how to present data in a way that makes sense to the people and communities of Nunavut that benefit from the information is rewarding. She also says being able to create and deliver reports that have been completed in-house and having the ability to train her colleagues to complete similar work is “empowering.”

“I’m keeping an eye on the training calendar for interesting courses as they come up.” — Corenna Nuyalia

As for what’s next, Ms. Nuyalia notes that she has taken an interest in MI’s newest graduate level program, the master of marine studies (marine spatial planning and management) and hopes to register sometime in the near future. As well, immediate plans are underway with the School of Ocean Technology to tailor training in ocean mapping for Ms. Nuyalia.

Faculty members will travel to Nunavut this summer to instruct her on the collection and processing of data using state-of-the-art ocean mapping sonar equipment currently on-board the Nuliajuk, the Government of Nunavut’s research vessel.

Always in search of an opportunity to learn and grow, Ms. Nuyalia says there are potential opportunities available to her through her employer.

“I’m keeping an eye on the training calendar for interesting courses as they come up.”

For more about Aboriginal Peoples Week: Truth and Reconciliation, please visit here.


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