End-of-year message from Director General Harriet Keleutak

Director General Harriet Keleutak © Jade Bernier
2023 | 04 | 27

This year has been a peculiar one, with many twists and turns along the way, and yet, I feel like everything has gone by so quickly. It’s already the end of the school year! Again, I find myself dreaming of the day when we’ll celebrate the achievement of students with pride and joy, and with a heart that’s not also heavy with grief and loss for those we have lost during the year…

I’m not going to lie, it was particularly difficult to find teachers and administrators this year, but I am confident that the new collective agreements will facilitate our local recruitment efforts for the coming year.

Speaking of twists and turns: the Education sector has undergone a fair share of changes in 2022-2023. In short, Bill 14 (formerly Bill 96) puts a cap on the number of students accepted at English CEGEPs, and this move directly impacts our programs here in Nunavik. For example, our partner CEGEPS and colleges now find themselves in a position where this cap prevents them from developing new English AEC programs for Nunavimmiut. We have joined forces with Quebec First Nations and Makivik Corporation in advocating for Bill 14 to be suspended for Inuit students pursuing higher education in Quebec. So far, our efforts have yielded no results.

Despite these efforts and hard work, it remains difficult to ensure the continuity of services in the Education sector. Incidentally, if parents feel that youth don’t have access to all the services they deserve (like we do), they will soon be able to file a complaint with the provincial Student Ombudsman*. This new institution was created under Bill 9, in June 2022. It will come into effect in September 2023. We can use it as another way to let the Quebec government know our reality. If we need to insist, we will: we want quality services in education.

Now let’s put politics aside for a moment and shift our attention to the things that make me proud.

First off, our infrastructure is doing well. Material Resources is working hard to build more houses for our teachers and renovating several of our existing properties. Their team is also adding mobile classrooms to meet school needs, pending the delivery of new buildings.

Next, despite anything and everything that happens, our students can achieve great things. I’m talking about their projects in arts and literature and in sports, their activities with Nurrait, their brilliant accomplishments at the Indigenous Science Fair… Our students never miss a beat or the opportunity to put a smile on our faces.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to promote the upcoming summer school. For a third time, we will once again be offering students who are missing credits the chance to graduate too. Spread the word! What keeps us going is our common goal: the success of our students!

* Read the October 2022 Council of Commissioner meeting highlights for more information.