Rumie goes to the North Pole

Tucked along the northern edge of the Northwest Passage, the residents of Resolute, Nunavut live further north than almost everyone in Canada – only the town of Grise Fjord is further north.

I recently had the chance to visit Resolute and several other northern towns when Scotiabank invited Rumie to join a trip to visit the Arctic communities they support through Project North.

This was my first time traveling to a place where I was considered a Southerner. The harsh beauty of the landscape left a huge impression, as did the strength and resilience of the people I met, including a 13-year-old girl from Resolute who showed me the skin of a polar bear she’d shot last week.


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We talked about using Rumie tablets to provide affordable offline access to learning materials, which they saw as a possibility for overcoming the barrier of Internet bandwidth and allowing students to use digital content in their studies.

Over a few days, we traveled from Kugluktuk to Resolute, Arctic Bay to Pond Inlet, Igloolik to Cambridge Bay – the place names were as unfamiliar as the landscape. All the communities were remote, but in such different settings: the flat tundra of Igloolik, the mountain peaks of Pond Inlet, the frozen ocean of Arctic Bay.

In each place, I met with parents, students, teachers, and school administrators. I learned about the unique challenges they face in education – limited Internet access being one. Internet connectivity in the North is slow, unreliable, and expensive, so teachers are unable to use online tools for education – even loading a website can be a time-consuming process. We talked about using Rumie tablets to provide affordable offline access to learning materials, which they saw as a possibility for overcoming the barrier of Internet bandwidth and allowing students to use digital content in their studies. A few students tried out sample tablets loaded with Inuktitut educational apps, with enthusiastic responses.

Some of our conversations with school officials have already led to new partnerships – in the next few weeks, we’ll be sending an initial shipment of tablets to the students of Cambridge Bay High School. Back in Toronto, the whole Rumie team is excited about the potential of our tablets to help address the educational barriers faced by remote Arctic communities.


Written By: Deanna Del Vecchio
Community manager at Rumie


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