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Nunavut game company offers tech scholarship

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

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A Nunavut game company known for its Inuit language games and apps is offering a new scholarship for students interested in technology.

Pinnguaq, based in the community of Pangnirtung in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, announced the first recipient this month.

Pangnirtung resident Talia Metuq, 21, will head off to the Visual College of Art and Design in Vancouver this September to study 3D modeling animation and design.

She’ll receive Canadian $6,000 (U.S. $5,620) from Pinnguaq towards the costs of her education, plus the opportunity to work on Pinnguaq projects and develop her portfolio.

“I was speechless when I heard about it,” Metuq said over the phone from Pangnirtung this week. “I’m really happy and excited.”

Supporting local talent

Pinnguaq’s director Ryan Oliver said the idea for the scholarship came out of the regular code clubs the company hosts for students in Pangnirtung who want to learn about computer programming. A session on 3D modeling inspired Metuq to apply to school in Vancouver.

She was accepted but the costs exceeded what financial assistance was available. That’s when Pinnguaq decided to step in. He says the company will continue to find ways to support local talent.

“We continue to host these code clubs and we’re going to continue to find these stars in the territory that really want to pursue this.”

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.