Nutshimit, which means “behind the lands, our territory,” “where we live, where we come from,” is the chosen name for the brand-new community living space in Sept-Îles. This innovative project, initiated by the Real Estate Society of the Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (SIRCAAQ), has recently opened its doors, marking a crucial step in promoting the academic success of Indigenous students.
Located on the campus of Cégep de Sept-Îles, close to the Sept-Îles campus of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), Nutshimit offers a unique living environment tailored to the needs of Indigenous students and their families from remote communities in Côte-Nord and other regions of Quebec. The project includes 32 housing units of various sizes, ranging from studios to six-room apartments, all fully furnished.
Nutshimit goes beyond just accommodation. It also provides a comprehensive range of services, including intervention offices, a shared kitchen, collaborative workspace, and a multipurpose hall for community activities. It also includes a 39-place Early Childhood Center (CPE) and a motor skills room for children, emphasizing the importance of family and education from an early age.
Nutshimit is the result of close collaboration between Indigenous students and the local community. It demonstrates a commitment to the academic success of First Nations by providing an environment that respects their values and culture.
In the fall of 2023, Nutshimit welcomed its first tenants, with 16 families now settled in their new homes. More families will soon join this growing community.
This innovative project marks an important milestone in creating educational spaces tailored to the needs of Indigenous students, thereby enhancing their chances of academic success and preserving their culture.