Fergus, Ont. students 'in love' with Inuit community after class trip

Students from Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus return to their studies this week after spending March Break in the northern Inuit community of Kangirsuk, Quebec.

16 students and three staff spent week in community 1,470 km north of Quebec City

Exchange high school students from Fergus, Ont. pose by a mount of rocks while out on a snowmobile trip near Kangirsuk, QC, March 2017. Although cold, Cassidy Zabielski said it wasn't too bad if you dressed in layers. (Centre Wellington District High School)

A group of students at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus are in for a bit of culture shock as they return to their studies this week after spending March Break in the northern Inuit community of Kangirsuk, Quebec. 

Sixteen students and three staff left for the remote village, located about 1,470 km north of Quebec City, on Thursday, March 9, and spent the week getting to know the 500 people who live there.

Cassidy Zabielski and Banks Pellar spoke to The Morning Edition's Colin Butler from Kangirsuk, saying the experience was one they would never forget.

"When we got there, a lot of people were greeting us at the airport, which was pretty small," Pellar said. "It seemed like they were a really nice community to welcome us."

"I think I've really fallen in love with the town," Zabielski said. "Some girls asked if we wanted to ride on their snowmobiles and they took us around the town. You could really see the mountains and the ice in the distance. And I just - I loved it."

The group kept family and friends up to date on their adventure by posting pictures and stories on a blog. 

In May, students from Kangirsuk and neighbouring community Aupaluk will come south to spend a week in Fergus.


The students travelled by snowmobile to the "floe edge," to get a beautiful view of where the ice meets the water. (Centre Wellington District High School)
The students were taught how to make igloos out of hard snow, which took between 5 to 6 hours to complete. (Centre Wellington District High School)
After finishing their igloo, the students spent the night in it, which Cassidy Zabielski said was an incredible experience. (Centre Wellington District High School)
On one of the students first days in Kangirsuk, the students were given a lesson in native sports. (Centre Wellington District High School)
Another photo of the students learning traditional sports in a community gym. (Centre Wellington District High School)