Northern Umiujaq preparing to do a “black reveal” in celebration of Black Friday.
A manager in training from Umiujaq, QC shares her history with the Northern Store and her motivation to get better at what she does every day.
Bertina Tooktoo has spent most of her life in the northern village of Umiujaq. As part of the Inuit community, family values are very important to her, and she learned from a very young age to be hardworking, caring and endearing. When she was only 14, Bertina’s father, Moses, gave his daughter some advice: “If you want things in life, you should get a job.”
Bertina started working at Northern Store as a cashier. She thoroughly enjoyed the job, as it kept her productive when school was out. Bertina values her position and is dedicated to improving store services, as this job has allowed her to support her family over the years. The mother of three young boys says they are the main source of motivation for her to keep learning. Thanks to the unwavering commitment Bertina has shown to Northern Umiujaq, she is now in training to become a manager.
“For the past three years, I had always been impressed with Bertina’s connection to the community and the business. She always had ideas about things we could be doing in the store as well as insights into what was driving things within the community,” says National IV Director Sales and Operations Mark Blake, who supports Bertina’s ambition fully. “Bertina has always been prepared to go the extra mile for the store, so when she expressed her interest in taking on a bigger challenge, I had no doubt that she is capable of the manager role, with some training.”
Bertina recently participated in the training program at The North West Company’s Training Centre in Winnipeg, MB, where she could learn more about department foundations, leadership and cultural awareness as well as receive some hands-on practice in a few local stores. One new skill that she learned as a manager in training is taking food orders, which requires great attention to detail.
Bertina says she hopes the skills she acquired from the training program in Winnipeg will help her be an effective manager, provide improved customer experiences, and give her family a good life.