Inuit college finds a home for its students

A college program for Inuit youth now has a place for them to stay when they come to study in Ottawa.

Nunavut Sivuniksavut sets up the first student residence in school's history

Nunavut Sivuniksavut now owns three apartment complexes in Sandy Hill and will use them as residences for students. (CBC)

A college program for Inuit youth now has a place for them to stay when they come to study in Ottawa.

Nunavut Sivuniksavut brings Inuit youth down from the north for a college program focused on studying Inuit culture, history and language.

Until now, when students arrived in Ottawa they were on their own to find a residence.

The school purchased three apartment complexes that will house between 40 and 50 students each year. The units are in Sandy Hill, close to the school, at the corner of Rideau and Chapel streets.

'Already a hard enough transition'

Jesse Mike, chair of the school's board of directors, said it will mean a great deal to students to have a home.

"It's already a hard enough transition moving down here from where we live in Nunavut, so it's important we make them feel as comfortable as possible," she said.

Jesse Mike, chair of the school's board of directors, says the new residences will be helpful for students adjusting to life in Ottawa. 0:41

Having students come to Ottawa and have to find accommodations meant some lived in apartments with either high rent or poor living conditions, Mike said.

"[Now] we have a safe space where all of our students can live together."

The first students will move into the suites in September.

Last December, private donations contributed $5 million for the purchase of a residence.

"This is a big milestone for us. I think it will help us with the success of the program," Mike said.