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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


January 10, 2004 - Issue 104


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New Grads Ease Task of Making the Law Accessible

by Sara Arnatsiaq Nunatsiaq News

The task of providing equal access to Nunavut’s legal system just got a little easier with the certification of 10 students enrolled in the latest legal interpreting portion of the interpreter-translator program at Arctic College.

The students, who have just finished a two-month course, were presented with their certificates in the courthouse last week. Instructors Makee Kakkik and Susan Sammons presented the awards with the help of Justice Minister Paul Okalik.

Susa Qappik, 25, of Pangnirtung, said the hardest part of the course was the examination on criminal law.

She also said that because there are only three full-time students in the interpreter-translator program this year, the extra legal interpreting students made a big difference and made the program more interesting and exciting.

“I would recommend this program to anyone interested in working with language. It’s very interesting.” Qappik said.

Peter Petaulassie, 21, of Cape Dorset, said that he did not really struggle too much with the course and he felt the course went smoothly.

Petaulassie works in Cape Dorset when there are show-cause hearings. He also processes applications. He said that he wants to go to Toronto to study law.

“I had a good time. It was quite a learning experience.”

Syula Bobinski, who works as a justice coordinator in Kimmirut, said she found the family law part of the course was harder than the other aspects. She is interested in attending Akitsiraq Law School if it offers courses again.

Okalik said that as the students enter the workforce, they’ll find that it will not always be easy or pleasant, adding that Nunavut needs them and thanks them for their interest in law.

Students from other communities included Della Ootoova, Susa Qappik, Doris Tautu, Nadia Kooneeliusie, Della Nault, Syula Bobinski, Noella Nipisa, Phillippe Lavallee, Elisapee Ikkidluak, and Peter Petaulassie.

Full-time interpreter-translator students still have several more months to go before they wrap up their studies. Successful students will have graduation ceremonies in April 2005.

After the presentation of certificates, appreciation awards were handed to judges, lawyers and other court workers who helped deliver the legal interpreting course.

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