The trip of a lifetime for five Clyde River, Nunavut, students has been put on hold indefinitely, after a graduate trip to Europe was cancelled.
The students fundraised more than $24,000 to travel to Europe — a 'dream trip' organized by student support teacher Heather McIsaac.
McIsaac said she wanted to reward the graduating class of five, a larger number than usual for the small hamlet of Clyde River. None of the graduating students has ever been out of the country.
The group raised money locally through bake sales and cake walks, as well as online through a fundraising campaign to meet their goal.
However, according to McIsaac, Clyde River's Quluaq school received a letter from Qikiqtani School Operations, which oversees the school, saying the students couldn't go on the trip.
According to a statement on the group's fundraising page, McIsaac, calling the news 'devastating,' says the trip wasn't approved because the students didn't have passports yet, as well as because they didn't have a male Inuktitut-speaking chaperone on the trip.
"I was very disappointed and sad," said Tyler Pudlu, one of the students. "It was going to be a very big trip, once in a lifetime. I don't really understand how we got declined.
"I've been here most of my life in this small community, and after all the donations and fundraising we did ... it's not approved, and I'm wondering why."
The group will lose about $3,000 in cancellation fees from the tour company as a result of the decision.
McIsaac says the students are planning to save the money they've raised, with the hopes of finding another time to go on their graduation trip.