Nunavik Sivunitsavut: college courses tailored to the needs of Nunavik Inuit
Montreal, QC (September 12, 2016) – The Kativik School Board (KSB) and John Abbott College are delighted to announce that following the approval of a $666,921 grant from the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP) of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Nunavik Sivunitsavut will offer culturally-relevant college courses to Nunavik Inuit, as of August 2017.
“The INAC grant will be instrumental for Nunavik to fulfill the long-time dream of accredited college courses aimed specifically at educating and training our people,” said Alicie Nalukturuk, President of the Kativik School Board.
The funding approved by INAC’s PSPP will enable Nunavik Sivunitsavut to fill an important gap by providing post-secondary courses where Nunavik youth can learn about Inuit history, language, culture, politics and governance. “The idea is to offer a space where our youth can reflect on Inuit society and on who they are as a person while studying their own history, language and culture,” Alicie Nalukturuk emphasized.
Nunavik Sivunitsavut proposes accredited courses designed to prepare Inuit youth to further post-secondary education, develop workplace skills relevant to positions in Nunavik institutions and support the creation of a critical mass of culturally confident youth equipped to lead the political and social future of their region. In Inuktitut, Nunavik Sivunitsavut means “Nunavik, our future”.
“We have a long history of partnership with the KSB and we are proud to be part of the development and implementation of this initiative,” said Erich Schmedt, Academic Dean at John Abbott College.
As part of the creation of Nunavik Sivunitsavut, the Kativik School Board mobilized Nunavik organizations to respond to a broader regional issue: the lack of an accredited, culturally-relevant college program for Nunavik youth. “This project follows on discussions initiated more than 10 years ago by the [former] youth organization Saputiit,” said Alicie Nalukturuk. “It responds to a long-time need that Nunavimmiut have also reiterated during the 2013 Parnasimautik consultations,” she also added.
The Kativik School Board coordinates the development and implementation of Nunavik Sivunitsavut in partnership with the office of the Academic Dean and the Department of Continuing Education at John Abbott College, under the leadership of the Nunavik Sivunitsavut Advisory Committee. In addition to representatives from John Abbott College, the Committee is composed of representatives from several Nunavik organizations: the Makivik Corporation, the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), the Avataq Cultural Institute and the Kativik School Board.
Nunavik Sivunitsavut will be offered in Montreal with a component in Nunavik.
The Kativik School Board would like to acknowledge the financial support of the PSPP, a program of INAC. In addition to the INAC grant, financial contributions from the KRG, KSB, and the Makivik Corporation will enable Nunavik Sivunitsavut to operate for the next two years. In the meantime, options for long-term sustainable funding are being explored.
About the Kativik School Board:
The Kativik School Board (KSB) was created in 1975, under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Since 1978, it has been the exclusive provider of academic services to the Nunavik population. Education programs developed by the KSB are offered in schools of the 14 Nunavik communities, in Inuktitut as first language and in French and English as second languages. The school board operates 17 primary and secondary schools as well as 5 adult education centres. More information at: www.kativik.qc.ca
About John Abbott College:
John Abbott College is a public Anglophone college offering both pre-university and career programs and has been serving students since 1971. Today, the increasingly diverse student body includes 6,500 fulltime day students and an additional 2,000 continuing education students. John Abbott College has a long history spanning 25 years working with indigenous communities. In particular, it has been working in partnership with the
Kativik School Board to provide support to Inuit students coming from Nunavik for more than 20 years.
John Abbott is situated on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. More information: www.johnabbott.qc.ca
Parnasimautik is a comprehensive consultation process led by the Nunavik Inuit and their regional organizations, including the Kativik School Board. These consultations were held in all Nunavik communities as well as Chisasibi, Kawachikamach and Montreal, between February and December 2013. The consultations were the continuation of a discussion initiated under Plan Nunavik, a regional response to the 2011 Quebec government Plan Nord. The Parnasimautik consultation report and Plan Nunavik can be accessed at: www.parnasimautik.com.
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