Family affair: Mother and daughter share graduation day at Nunavut Arctic College

Family affair: Mother and daughter share graduation day at Nunavut Arctic College

Mother and daughter Joanna Qammaniq and Anne Hellwig will celebrate receiving their diplomas together at Nunavut Arctic College's graduation ceremony on Friday.

Hellwig, 22, considered a few programs before deciding to stay in Iqaluit and take jewellery and metal work at the college. The following year, partly inspired by seeing her daughter further her education, Qammaniq, 51, went back to school in the Inuktitut/English interpreter-translator program.

"The first month was overwhelming," Qammaniq said. "But we learned a lot in both languages because in both we were learning a higher level."

Before going back to school, Qammaniq worked for a daycare, but was looking for a career that provided more financial stability.

Now she has plans to upgrade her diploma at the college next year. It's piloting a degree version of the interpreter-translator program, which she's applied to.

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Hellwig is looking for work in office administration, pointing to the skills she learned in school.

"You learn a lot of patience working with metal. You learn a lot of problem solving and you learn a lot of working independently," she said.

While she looks for a job, she'll continue to work on her jewellery in her tiny home studio.

Years ago, Qammaniq used to wear her daughter's macaroni and bead creations.

"Growing up she was always very artistic, so I am not surprised that she took jewellery," her mother said.

Nunavut Arctic College expects around 30 graduates at the ceremony Friday, which will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit. CBC's Madeleine Allakariallak will emcee the ceremony and Nunavut's Minister of Health, George Hickes, will speak, along with college staff and valedictorians.

Degree program graduates will have their ceremony on June 8.