Iqaluit high school celebrates Pride week for the first time

Students at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit initiated a week-long Pride celebration.

‘Pride is such a vast topic and it can't really just be covered in one afternoon,’ says Grade 12 student

Jessica Matthews is a Grade 12 student who helped initiate the Pride Week celebrations at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

"You're beautiful."

"Things will get better."

"I'm with you."

"It's all OK."

These are the words posted all over a wall in the vibrantly decorated Inuksuk High School this week.

A poster that is hanging in Inuksuk High School for their week-long Pride celebration. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

For the first time, students at the Iqaluit high school initiated a week-long Pride celebration.

"It's important that like other students know that they're not only supported by staff but also by their peers," said Jessica Matthews, a Grade 12 student with the school's positive space club.

A positive message on the pride week board. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

The students decided to spread the events throughout the entire school week.

"Pride is such a vast topic and it can't really just be covered in one afternoon," said Matthews.

LGBT 'exist everywhere, that includes up here'

The week will consist of events like flag signing, dancing, a positive space assembly, and even watching a LGBT documentary that's Nunavut specific.

"LGBT-plus, they exist everywhere, that includes up here in the North," said Alexis Amores, a Grade 11 student at Inuksuk high school.

Northern communities need more awareness of LGBT-plus issues, according to Alexis Amores. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

"In the North, we need to spread more awareness about LGBT-plus communities and since this is Iqaluit, perhaps we could influence other communities to start talking about this."

A board of colourful post-it notes fill the hallways of Inuksuk High School. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

Amores said the aim of the Pride week is to make the school a more safe, positive space.

"Hey, whether you're gay, lesbian, transgender, whatever you identify as, you're safe here," she said.

A banner in Inuksuk High School that shares the hashtag for their Pride week - #IHSPride. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

With files from Kieran Oudshoorn