Grise Fiord, Nunavut’s northernmost community, held a ceremony Tuesday night for its high school graduating class of one.

Grise Fiord has a population of about 150, and Umimmak School has between 28 and 32 students from kindergarten to Grade 12.


Jessie Ningiuk is the sole graduate from Umimmak School in Grise Fiord, Nunavut, this year. (photo courtesy of Cara Cormier)

Jessie Ningiuk is the community’s sole graduate this year.

"It’s just the way it worked out," said Cara Cormier, the school's acting principal.

"He’s the only Grade 12 student, so just one graduate."

Cormier said the ceremony would start with Jessie Ningiuk entering the gym in his graduation gown then walking around before taking a seat at the front.

She said there would be speeches, a receiving line and a community feast.

The ceremony is necessary, she said, to make sure Ningiuk feels acknowledged for his successes.

"We just want to encourage him to continue with learning, whether it be in a school form setting or out hands-on working," Cormier said.

"Just to keep him motivated, keep going. It doesn't stop here."

Cormier said Ningiuk is an intelligent and humorous student with a bright future ahead of him.

Ningiuk said he plans to be a mechanic.

"It feels pretty good that I'll finally graduate," he said.

Umimmak School had five students graduate last year, and one in 2011.