Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

April 02, 2009 09:45 ET

Inuit and Partners Agree to National Committee on Inuit Education

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT--(Marketwire - April 2, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, and Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), today added their signatures to the Inuit Education Accord.

The Accord is a 14 party agreement between Inuit of Canada, as represented by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and their partner organizations and governments, to establish a National Committee on Inuit Education. The committee will work together to develop a strategy for moving forward on educational outcomes for Inuit students.

The federal government's integrated Northern Strategy includes a commitment to promote social and economic development, and recognizes that Inuit communities across the country are important partners in creating a strong, sustainable northern economy.

"The Government of Canada welcomes the opportunity to be included as a partner in this important initiative," said Minister Strahl, "I want to congratulate the ITK on working with so many partners in different provinces and territories, all of whom will work together to develop an education strategy that will strengthen Inuit culture and identity, while preparing students to be full partners in the knowledge-based economy."

"The Inuit Education Accord marks a point in our modern Inuit history where
Inuit, and our governments, are in agreement that getting our education
system right is the key to our success," stated national Inuit leader Mary Simon. "As Inuit parents, educators and leaders have said for many years 'getting our education system right' means graduating students grounded in their Inuit language and history and with the skills to be global citizens. To close the education gap between Inuit and other Canadians, we must grab hold of the Inuit Education Accord and make the most of its possibilities."

"The accord we have signed here today creates a process for Inuit communities throughout the North to share their experience, provide expertise and work together to improve education", added the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, "The Inuit Education Accord promises to provide Inuit students of all ages with a better understanding of their land, their language and their culture."

The National Committee, made up of representatives from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, its member organizations, federal government partners and governments in the four Inuit regions, will develop a Strategy on Inuit Education to address issues to improve educational access and outcomes for Inuit.

The Government of Canada, ITK and other signatories recognize that creating education systems designed from the Inuit societal and cultural worldview will lead to better educational outcomes for Inuit.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    INAC Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
    Stephen Hendrie
    Director of Communications
    613-277-3178
    hendrie@itk.ca