Front row, from left: Bishop David Parsons, Esau Tatatopik, Annie Keenainak, Martha Kunuk, Manasee Ulayuk, and Bishop Darren McCartney gathered for the graduation ceremony. Joseph Royal stands at left in the second row.

Matt Gardner reports for the Anglican Church of Canada:

The first new graduating class of the Arthur Turner Training School (ATTS) is ready to begin its ministry.

Since the Iqaluit-based school—located in the Diocese of the Arctic—reopened its doors in 2016, this class of ministers has been highly anticipated by both the diocese and their communities. This is partly because each of the new graduates is Inuit and bilingual, speaking Inuktitut as well as English. Bilingualism in both of these languages is highly advantageous for the graduates as they prepare for their ministry throughout the north.

“It’s a big deal, a couple reasons,” ATTS director the Rev. Joseph Royal said of the new graduating class. “First of all, we just don’t have enough ministers in the diocese. There are parishes all over the north that want a minister and can’t get one.

“But also, all the graduates are Inuit. They’re bilingual. So they’re going to go to a community in the north, and unlike someone coming from the south, they don’t have to learn a new culture or language. They have that already.”

“Not only do we have new ministers,” he added. “We have really good ones who are trained well, but who also know the culture. It’s their culture and language.”

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