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Vikki Niptanatiak Awarded 2018 CPRA Emerging Leader Award

The Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut (RPAN) is pleased to announce that Kugluktuk resident and Youth Centre Coordinator has been selected by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) as the 2018 Emerging Leader recipient.

Vikki Niptanatiak from Kugluktuk was nominated by RPAN, who first met Vikki five years ago as part of a pilot youth leadership program.  Vikki had just started working part-time at the Kugltukuk Youth Centre.  “At that time, she was shy and I am not sure aware of her ability…but she was determined and had a vision for working with children and youth in her community.”  Said RPAN, Executive Director Dawn Currie.

Today, Vikki is the full-time Youth Centre Coordinator…the pathway she has traveled in these last five years, the growth and confidence she has established, the values and integrity she instills in herself and in others around her, the acknowledgement of benefits of quality recreation programs for children and youth; the passion to ensure every child has an opportunity to participate…these are just a few of the characteristics that sets Vikki apart in Nunavut!, said Dawn Currie.

Vikki has been a leader for RPAN with their youth initiative programs, including the Get Happy Summer Day Camp and the newly piloted NU Play After School program…she provides support to the youth leaders in her community, but also is key in supporting other communities to develop their programs.  A friend and colleague, Jodi Alderson recalled how Vikki, after running a successful summer day camp program for a couple years, recognized particular segments of children in the community were not participating…subsequently, she took it upon herself to reach out to parents, help them complete registration forms, and then worked with her staff to ensure camp inclusivity.

Perhaps the greatest impact made by Vikki was summed up by Breale Hokanak, who is part of the Youth Council and works with Vikki in the youth programs…She has gotten funding for recreation programs for children and youth. This keeps the children and youth busy, involved in activities and safe. Everyone knows that she is always there for the children and youth of Kugluktuk.  As a supervisor, she is incredibly patient, not just with the kids but, also the  staff. Whenever there are any issues or conflicts, she is so calm and able to help us or the kids figure things out. She has helped us take advantage of training and other leadership opportunities.

In January 2018, Vikki was one of two Nunavummiut RPAN sent to Toronto to develop skills and leadership under the Jays Care Foundation – Rookie League program.  Vikki is also part of an RPAN Team that will soon be bridging the Get Happy Summer Day Camp and NU Play After School program into a year round youth initiative where youth are being trained and supported to run programs for children in their communities…she knows what is needed, and she knows how to do it.

The CPPA Emerging Leader Award recognizes the importance of supporting and celebrating young Canadians, as they are the future leaders of the parks and recreation sector. This Award, presented for the first time this year, provides national recognition to an emerging leader in the field of parks and recreation who has made a valued contribution to the sector.

RPAN is pleased to have Vikki Niptanatiak recognized for her contributions toward making our communities healthier and happier!  We are pleased that her efforts are also recognized at this national stage!

Congratulations Vikki!

 

 

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