Welcome our newest Elder in Residence

Takohikena, Ann Rose Kerkovius

Takohikena, Ann Rose Kerkovius

"I was born on Kikkitaukyuk Island (15 Mile Island) in the Coronation Gulf.  My life began in an igloo. When I was born, my Granny delivered me. My given Inuinnaqtun name is Takohikena, named after my Mother’s step mother. My English name is Ann Rose.

I was taken away at a young age to attend Residential Schools, my parents had no choice in the matter, as both my parents were also sent, and all children were mandated to attend. I attended three separate residential schools, first in Aklavik, then Inuvik and later for higher education, I attended the Sir John Franklin School in Yellowknife. I was placed in the general education stream, more in the clerical program. Growing up I was told by some of my teachers and supervisors that I was not smart enough to attend college or university.

My husband and I have two daughters, two granddaughters, and two great grandchildren.

My children grew up in Montrose, BC, and after they left home to further their education, I made up my mind that I would attend college and university to prove that I was worth more than just being told I was native and could not succeed.

At the age of 50 I applied and attended Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC. I completed the two year social work program. Continuing my education, I attended University of Victoria and received my Bachelor of Social Work, then went on to complete the master’s degree program.

After graduating, I told my husband that I would like us to move back to Nunavut and apply for a job so that I could work with Inuit people, also to relearn to speak my Inuinnaqtun language. In residential school settings, I was not allowed to speak my language.

My best gift was returning to my homeland, where I worked for the Government of Nunavut in Rankin Inlet, Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay as a social worker and Supervisor.  I met and worked with awesome professionals, worked with my people and continued to speak my native language.

I loved working with the Elders, young people and children.

In my younger years I loved cross-country skiing, which I excelled in, loved playing basketball and loved cross country running. I was an avid reader, liked to sew, and did a lot of volunteer work where my children attended elementary school. I also did a lot of volunteering at swim meets, as our two daughters were avid competitive swimmers as well as volunteering for the Trail and District Hospice society. 

I volunteered at our local elementary school where out two daughters attended, did noon hour supervising of students, and when asked to speak about my Inuinnaqtun background, I would go to my daughter’ s classroom, who was in Grade 4 at the time; and spoke of my upbringing, having been born in an Igloo. I also brought Inuit cultural items to show the class, such as an igloo carving, Inuit handmade dolls, and other carved items."

How to schedule time with Ann Rose:

Ann Rose will be available to support Indigenous students every OTHER Tuesday, starting Tuesday, February 27, 2024 online via ZOOM. 

Email Shannon Pelkey, iacecpl@uvic.ca or call 250-853-3821.
Appointments are every other Tuesday, starting February 27.
Appointments will take place on ZOOM and will be for up to 30min in length.
If you require additional time or support, please let us know.