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Skidmore College

Skating the ice less traveled

November 19, 2012

Skating the ice less traveled

Junior David Dupuis may be the first Inuit to play N.C.A.A. hockey. As the New York Times reports, he has come a long way to be here. 

November 18, 2012

How many kids who go to a private liberal arts college can say they’ve hunted a wolf, a walrus, tracked a polar bear or set up a fishing net on a fall salmon run to help feed his community?

Skidmore’s Dave Dupuis can. A junior, he is among the first Inuit to play N.C.A.A. hockey, if not the first. He is from Kuujjuaq, an Inuit town in subarctic Quebec. The New York Times tells his story in a major feature here.

David Dupuis hunting
David Dupuis hunting

As the Times reports, Dupuis – a third-line left wing with four goals and eight assists -- was born and raised in Kuujjuaq (pronounced kooj-wak) by his mother, Shirley, an Inuk and a nurse, and father, Jean, a French Canadian who moved north from Montreal at 17 to work for an airline. His parents were politically active. Jean Dupuis, a competitive speedskater, wound up leading the regional government and helping to get an indoor rink built.

That led to connections for David with N.H.L. stars, including Joe Juneau, an N.H.L. veteran who ran a hockey and youth development program in Kuujjuaq and 13 other villages in the area. It was Juneau who persuaded David to think beyond playing Canadian junior hockey and to pursue higher education.

“There are people in Kuujjuaq who have university degrees, who have gone to McGill,” Dupuis told Times reporter Jeff Klein. “Our generation is really starting to get out and explore the world, and coming back and using it.”

Posted On: 11/18/2012

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