July 2014    Print this article

Important Meetings in Kuujjuaq

Pierre Lacoste, Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

From April 28 to May 1, 2014, the Makivik Corporation organized a series of workshop days for students at the Jaanimmarik School in Kuujjuaq, Northern Québec. The organizers’ aim in presenting the workshops was to introduce the students to geology and mine development, in the hope that they would understand and come to realize the scope of the mining projects available to them in the future, and develop an interest around which they could plan their education, given that Nunavik is a vast area with undeniable mining potential.

My colleagues Debborah Smith-Sauvé from the Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Foundation, Roger Guay from the Club de minéralogie de Montréal, Robert Bergeron from Hewitt Equipment, Dave McMullan from the Kativik School Board, and myself, Pierre Lacoste, a geologist with the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, were privileged to lead the workshops and meet nearly 400 students of all ages, from Grade 3 of elementary school to Secondary V. Interestingly, the vast majority were trilingual, and were able to speak French, English and Inuktituk.

A memorable experience

The students, regardless of their age, were keen to discover, and showed a great deal of interest in all the workshops. Naturally, it was important to surprise them from time to time, and find ways to maintain their interest. But their expressions, when we spoke and taught new notions, were eloquent. The experience was a memorable one for the facilitators, and they are ready and willing to repeat it. My special thanks go to Jean-Marc Séguin from the Makivik Corporation, who invited us to take part in the activity, and to Dave McMullan, our on-site resource.

In the meantime …

While we were with the Kuujjuak students, several hundred people were in attendance at the Town Hall for the “2014 Kuujjuaq Mining Workshop Congress” organized by the Nunavik Mining Exploration Fund. The Congress presented conferences on regional mine development, and its aim was to give participants an opportunity to create networks and partnership opportunities. In addition, it offered a forum at which Nunavik’s leaders and inhabitants were able to ask questions and express their concerns in connection with mine development.



Pierre Lacoste is very popular as a facilitator for youth events. He gives regular workshop conferences in schools, presenting the basics of geology and mine development. He recently received the top Innovation Recognition award at the evening ceremony held by the metropolitan region Conseil du Loisir Scientifique to celebrate School and Library Innovators. Pierre was the most popular Innovator and obtained the best evaluations from schools and teachers alike. Well done!

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