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Tuesday April 15, 2008 – Inuvik, Northwest Territories – The National Inuit Education Summit begins this morning at the Midnight Sun Recreational Centre in Inuvik, NWT. The summit is called Inuit Ilinniarnirmut Sivummuaningat: Toward a National Inuit Education Strategy. It will bring together approximately 90 education stakeholders across the Canadian Arctic regions (Inuvialuit, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut). This is the first time Inuit educators, political leaders, and government officials have come together to discuss the educational challenges facing Inuit, their families, education systems and infrastructure, and their communities.Participating at the summit is Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. The Governor General will deliver a keynote address today at noon.
“I am very pleased that the Governor General travelled to the Arctic to participate in this vital summit,” says National Inuit Leader Mary Simon, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). “Governor General Jean’s presence is testimony to her personal belief in education as a basis for the development of Inuit Youth.” Ms. Simon went on to say, “This is without a doubt the most important Summit I have held during my Presidency. The future of our people and communities hinges on a well educated Inuit population. Without access to properly resourced, culturally relevent education, our youth cannot flourish. And if they do not suceed, what hope is there for the future of our society? By bringing together relevant education officials and experts we are seeking to improve the quality of education Inuit receive, and the outcomes for Inuit children and youth.”
The goal of the summit is to work towards the creation of a national strategy and partnership for Inuit education building on the Summit discussion themes of: Capacity building; Building post-secondary success; Investing in what we teach and how we teach; Graduating bilingual students; Mobilizing partners in education; and collecting and sharing information.
“This is not only a dialogue about Inuit education challenges and priorities, it is a working Summit. Months of research and preparation have gone into the design of this Summit. Each and every participant has been invited because of their particular area of expertise in the subject of education. All participants will roll up their sleeves this week. We need concrete results for Inuit and I will accept nothing less than a comprehensive, workable Education Strategy that will bear fruit and make a difference for our children.” said Ms. Simon.
The Summit is made possible by the major sponsorship of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Additional financial support is provided by the Inuit Relations Secretariat – Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; and the Canadian Council on Learning and its Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre.
>Inuit Education Summit Agenda (75 KB)
Senior Communications Officer
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
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