Media Centre

Education Reforms Must Strengthen Inuit Rights

(June 28th, 2016) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) Vice-President James Eetoolook today reminded the Government of Nunavut (GN) that proposed changes to Nunavut’s education system must give Inuit the opportunity to participate in the design and delivery of schooling, as required by Article 32 of the Nunavut Agreement.

The GN is conducting a short period of consultations with district education authorities (DEAs) and other parties over the summer on the changes proposed to reform the education system in Nunavut.

“Education reforms must strengthen our right to be educated in Inuktut, promote Inuit cultural instruction and Inuit identity, and dramatically increase the number of Inuit teachers in our schools. Inuit language, culture and identity must be the foundation of the education system,” said Eetoolook.

NTI believes the following key elements are critically necessary to develop an Education Act that truly reflects the goals and objectives of Inuit:

— instruction in Inuktut for the majority (80 per cent or more) of educational programs from Kindergarten to Grade 12;
— curriculum that reflects and promotes Inuit identity and culture;
— 85 per cent Inuit teachers and principals as required by Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement;
— DEAs that receive adequate training and resources, and have the authority to make decisions about staffing, operations, school calendar, curriculum and language of instruction;
— regional boards should be re-established to support DEAs;
— the timeline for Inuktut instruction must not be deleted from the Education Act;
— government provision of inclusive education is key to allowing all Nunavummiut students to fulfill their potential.

The Department of Education stated they plan to expedite the consultation process in accordance with the recommendations of the Special Committee on the Review of the Education Act. NTI emphasized that it is possible to meet the above objectives in partnership with NTI.

For further information:
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated