How Do You Double the Number of High School Graduates? A Snapshot of Schooling in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT


  • Melanie O'Gorman University of Winnipeg
  • Holly Carpenter Mangilaluk School, Tuktoyaktuk


Mangilaluk School in Tuktoyaktuk has seen large increases in the number of graduates over the last 10 years. This article describes the factors that are thought to be behind this achievement, according to Tuktoyaktuk residents themselves in May 2019. In this community, on the edge of the Beaufort Sea, school competes with traditional activities throughout the year and the legacy of residential schools is still strong. Despite these challenges, a range of efforts are drawing youth to school and causing them to thrive in school. This article will describe such efforts and the areas where such efforts can be complemented by increased resources.

Author Biographies

Melanie O'Gorman, University of Winnipeg

Melanie O'Gorman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Winnipeg. Her current research focuses on socio-economic issues in Indigenous communities, including research on factors influencing high school graduation in the Arctic and on the health impacts of a lack of clean drinking water and sanitation. She teaches in the areas of macroeconomics and economic development.

Holly Carpenter, Mangilaluk School, Tuktoyaktuk

Holly Carpenter is an Inuvialuktun language specialist originally from Inuvialuit, and currently resides in Edmonton AB. She has taught in her home region for 10 years. Alice holds a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies as well as a Bachelor of Education, both from the University of Alberta. She and her husband have two children.