(November 17, 2015 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) The Education Act was reviewed in the Nunavut legislature earlier this month. The Special Committee had 23 recommendations for the Government of Nunavut on the Education Act. Although Nunavut Tunngavik Inc’s (NTI) Vice President James Eetoolook is in agreement with most of the 23 recommendations, Eetoolook says he requires further clarification before providing a position on all of them.
For example, the recommendation to amend legislation to ensure “that Nunavut’s education system delivers bilingual education according to a single, standardized model for all schools across the territory.” NTI would support this recommendation if the single model is the Qulliq model. “The majority of Nunavut’s population are Inuit therefore, the language of instruction should be in the majority’s spoken language.” Says Eetoolook, “In this case, the first language of instruction must and should be Inuktut.”
Another recommendation that requires clarification is the one that purposes to revise, amend or delete the deadlines for the implementation of the language of instruction requirements. NTI would not support this proposal unless the Department of Education involved all stakeholders in this process and factored in all Inuit language rights in deciding on next steps.
“I look forward to discussing these recommendations and receiving clarification from the Minister of Education, Paul Quassa” said Eetoolook.