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UPEI, Government of Nunavut to offer first-ever graduate-level course taught in Inuktitut

“Educational Leadership, Engaging Parents, Elders, and Community” runs July 15-20 in Iqaluit
Friday, July 21, 2017
Students enrolled in the first-ever graduate-level course taught in Inuktitut offered by UPEI’s Faculty of Education and the Government of Nunuvut

The University of Prince Edward Island’s (UPEI) Faculty of Education is partnering with the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) Department of Education to offer the first-ever graduate-level course to be taught exclusively in the Inuktitut language. ED512 Educational Leadership: Engaging Nunavut Parents, Elders, and Community focuses on the development of collaborative relationships, positive communication, and empowerment of parents, elders, and community members who lead, support, and guide education in Nunavut. The course is offered July 15–20 in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

“This course promotes collaboration and communication among the members of the community who support and guide education in Nunavut,” said the Honourable Paul Quassa, Nunavut’s Minister of Education. “We are also excited for the opportunity this course provides for students; accessing post-secondary education in Inuktitut is a necessary step in keeping the Inuit Language alive.”

ED512 is one of five courses offered by UPEI and the Department that make up the curriculum for the Certificate in Educational Leadership (Nunavut), also known as CELN. Participants will learn approaches to educational leadership involving the extended community. Community involvement in the daily life and vision of a school can create collaborative learning communities with parents, caregivers, and elders based on cultural values, beliefs, and principles. 

“This is a noteworthy and exciting moment for education in Nunavut that will have a positive impact for our educational leaders and students,” said Rebecca Hainnu, one of the instructors of the ED512 course. “This certificate will contribute to Inuit educators using Inuktitut as a language of instruction.”

Dr. Jane Preston is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at UPEI and the academic lead for CELN. “The CELN program provides educators with the history, knowledge, attitudes, and skills that embody culturally-based, effective school leadership. Encompassing the unique language, culture, and specialized knowledge of Inuit, the certificate is earned by completing five courses pertaining to effective school leadership in a Nunavut context.”

UPEI’s Faculty of Education has a long history working with educators in Nunavut. In July of 2009, 21 Inuit women were conferred with the Nunavut Master of Education in Leadership and Learning—the first graduate program offered exclusively in the territory. The program was offered by the University of Prince Edward Island, in partnership with Nunavut's Department of Education, St. Francis Xavier University, and Nunavut Arctic College. UPEI previously ran a pilot graduate-level course in Inuktitut a few years ago, and while it did not continue, it did lay important groundwork for this course within the CELN program.

“As we know, language is culture,” said Dr. Ronald MacDonald, dean of the Faculty of Education at UPEI. “We at UPEI, in strong collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, have honoured Nunavut culture through infusing the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, an Inuktitut phrase often translated as ‘Inuit traditional knowledge’, in all we do. The only way to truly honour culture is through course delivery in the manner and language of the Inuit.”


Nicole Phillips
Associate Director
Marketing and Communications
(902) 566-0947
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