(June 16, 2011 – Ottawa, Ontario) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. executive member Okalik Eegeesiak today announced support for a series of bold new recommendations intended to fundamentally improve the Inuit educational system in Canada. Together with Inuit educational leaders from across Inuit Nunangat, Eegeesiak introduced the new transformational plan.
A total of 10 core investments and recommendations are set out in First Canadians, Canadians First: The National Strategy on Inuit Education. The report represents the first-ever national Strategy for Inuit education. The Strategy will focus on interventions that are common to the four Inuit regions of Canada; Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories.
“Inuit are asking for equal opportunity to access education, training, and development that are based on our own language and culture, which are privileges enjoyed by other Canadians,” said Eegeesiak. “Our vision for Inuit education, training, and development will make for healthier Inuit communities and make Canada as an example for a true north strong and free that it really deserves to be.”
The Strategy is the culmination of two years of work by the National Committee on Inuit Education (NCIE), who represent the signatories of the Inuit Education Accord from regional and national Inuit organizations, federal, provincial, territorial and regional governments, as well as school boards. Immediate action items include securing funding to establish a National Inuit Education Secretariat at ITK to implement the recommendations, under the direction of the NCIE.
Mary Simon, chairperson of the NCIE stated, “Our objective is nothing less than to graduate children confident in the Inuit language and culture, and capable of contributing with pride to the emerging opportunities in Canada’s Arctic. This is an opportunity for us to turn the words of the Prime Minister’s Apology for the legacy of residential schools into real action.”
For more information or to view the First Canadians, Canadians First: The National Strategy on Inuit Education document, please visit www.tunngavik.com
For further information:
Acting Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4939
Cell: (867) 222-1821