With temperatures plunging and the nights growing ever long, children of Inuvik have a new way to get to school every day after a project several years in the making comes to fruition Nov. 22.
Nihtat Gwich’in Council announced a new school bus service Nov. 18 on their Facebook page. The buses made their maiden voyage at 7:50 a.m.
“There hasn’t been a bus service in the community of Inuvik and we are extremely happy to be providing this service,” said NGC President Kelly McLeod. “Our goal is to be able to provide our children with the opportunity to achieve their educational goals by ensuring that they arrive to school on time, while providing a safe, reliable and sustainable service in the future.
“Nihtat Gwich’in Council is extremely happy to be providing this for the children of Inuvik.”
Spearheaded by the previous administration and completed by the current one, the two buses and trained operators are funded through Jordan’s Principle and the Inuit Child First Initiative Fund. Each bus will cover one-half of the community, with one setting off from Ingamo Hall and the other from Tununuk Place, both at 7: 55 a.m.
Drivers are advised to be aware it is the law to stop driving behind or adjacent to a school bus that has stopped, as children may be moving around the vehicle.
Covid-19 protocols for the bus service are in full place. Students are required to wear masks and children are only permitted to sit together if from the same household. Hand sanitizer is available, but parents are asked to monitor children for symptoms and keep any children who appear sick at home.