UPEI partners with Nunavut on unique Inuit Leadership Program

by NationTalk on March 2, 20091360 Views

Post date: Monday, March 2, 2009

Two representatives from the Nunavut Department of Education visited UPEI recently to develop plans for a unique Convocation ceremony to take place in Iqaluit on Canada Day. Twenty-one Inuit educators from nine communities scattered across all three regions will receive the first graduate degrees ever offered in their home territory.The degree is a Master of Education in Leadership in Learning and it is being conferred by the University of Prince Edward Island. This leadership milestone presents the promise of positive change for the educational system in Nunavut.

“This Master of Education in Leadership in Learning enables graduates to provide leadership within the school and post-secondary systems of education, as well as in other educational settings,” says Dr. Fiona Walton, an associate professor in the UPEI Faculty of Education who co-led the development and delivery of the program. “Graduates carry deeply-held Inuit values, beliefs and knowledge, as well as Western educational knowledge, and their own research and scholarship into these leadership roles.”

Mary Simon, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the organization that represents Canada’s Inuit on national issues, has identified the importance of educational reform on numerous occasions. At a First Ministers meeting in Ottawa in January she stated, “We need to invest in leadership development because it will take leaders to create the conditions in our schools to implement a program of change. We need to foster a whole new generation of education leaders like our business schools create business leaders.”

The Master of Education in Leadership in Learning is being offered as a unique partnership between the University of Prince Edward Island, the Department of Education, Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Arctic College and St. Francis Xavier University.

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