NAIT grad to use culinary skills to help her remote community

NAIT grad to use culinary skills to help her remote community

Published on April 29, 2019

Tasha Tologanak recognized for her charitable work in Cambridge Bay

EDMONTON – Tasha Tologanak has always felt a strong tie to her remote, northern community, along with a need to see the world beyond it.

That’s why the 23-year-old travelled 1,800 km from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to Edmonton to study Culinary Arts at NAIT. She’ll graduate this weekend at NAIT’s convocation, with her parents and boyfriend watching.

The culinary program introduced her to foods she had never before seen, let alone tried, in part because food is so expensive and choices are limited in the far north. Like many in her community of about 1,800 people, Tologanak eats mostly traditional Inuit foods, like bison, caribou, whitefish and Arctic char, she says.

Throughout her three years studying at NAIT (she completed the one-year Meat Cutting program followed by the two-year Culinary Arts diploma program), she has posted photos of her creations on Facebook for her friends and family to see.

“I’ve been exposed to so many different foods – it opened my eyes. People back home are really interested in what I post and they want to learn more because they’ve never heard of these foods either.”

Now she looks forward to returning to Cambridge Bay to share her new skills with her community by opening a catering business with her father.

In addition to her passion for cooking, Tologanak has been devoted to helping the needy in Cambridge Bay. She was recently recognized by the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council with the Outstanding Young Woman Award for her charitable work, including gathering winter clothing for people in need and toiletries for the local women’s shelter. She also volunteered as the youth representative on the Community Justice Committee in Cambridge Bay.

Tologanak, who is expecting her first child later this month, plans to return to Cambridge Bay after her baby is born.

NAIT's 2019 Convocation will be held on Thursday, May 2 (3 p.m.), Friday, May 3 (9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 4 (9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Ave. About 7,700 students will graduate this year.

Tasha is available for media interviews prior to convocation. She will cross the stage at the Saturday morning ceremony (Saturday, May 4 at 9 a.m.)

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta’s prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.