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Inuit education in Nunatsiavut, Canada

Jodie Lane, director of education, Nunatsiavut Government, speaks during the 13th annual UW Fulbright Canada Chair in Arctic Studies lecture.

June 3, 2020

At the end of May, Kathy Snow, UW’s 2019-20 Fulbright Canada Chair in Arctic Studies, and colleagues from Nunatsiavut, discussed Inuit education in Canada. Across the Arctic, innovative teachers, principals, school boards, and community members have been moving forward the National Committee on Inuit Education’s goal of supporting Inuit youth to stay in school and achieve stronger educational outcomes.

This was the 13th annual UW Fulbright Canada Chair in Arctic Studies lecture and the first to focus on education. Education in the North is a key focus for the Inuit in Canada. Indeed, when the fourth and final Inuit land claim was settled in 2005 creating Nunatsiavut, Mary Simon, then-president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami declared that a national strategy on Inuit education would be the next priority. This discussion contributed to that long-term vision.

In the panel discussion hosted by Kathy Snow, 2019-20 UW Fulbright Canada Chair in Arctic Studies, the efforts made in Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Canada’s most recently acknowledged land settlement region were shared and discussed. Panelists included Jodie Lane, director of education, Nunatsiavut Government; Doris Boase, a teacher at Amos Comenius School in Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Diane Obed, an Inuk mother, scholar and community member originally from Hopedale, Nunatsiavut now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Each shared their unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing youth in Nunatsiavut.

This event was held virtually, which allowed Jodie, Doris, and Diane to participate, and created a more holistic discussion of Inuit education in Nunatsiatvut. Their collective and individual experiences as scholars, teachers, and administrators gave the audience new insights into the challenges and innovative approaches to teaching in and about Inuit communities.

The event was co-sponsored by Fulbright Canada; ArcticNet; Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium; Consulate General of Canada in Seattle; Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, University of Washington; and the International Policy Institute, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.

A video recording of this talk will be available at a later date.

The Fulbright Canada Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies is supported by the UW Office of Global Affairs, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Social Sciences Division, College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment, and Fulbright Canada. The Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, serves as the hosting unit for the Fulbright Canada Chair.

Canadian Studies Center

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle WA, 98195-3650