The Globe and Mail shared the Canadian Press’ report about Nunavut’s interest in establishing a local university, one based in the territory and reflecting Inuit values. Given the lack of opportunities locally for higher education, I think there’s a case for doing something.
The government of Nunavut has announced it will take the next step toward creating an Arctic university by funding a feasibility study.
“The purpose is to enable access to higher education at home that represents our diverse land,” Nunavut Commissioner Nellie Kusugak said Tuesday in a speech opening the new session of the territorial legislature.
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The idea for a university in Canada’s Arctic has been around for years, but it has gained new energy after a recent high-level report written by northern educators, government and land-claim organizations.
That report recommended a university be located in Iqaluit and suggested the school would need to be independent of government and Inuit organizations. While it would be open to all, it would mostly serve Inuit students from across the North.
Classes in traditional Inuit knowledge and language would be mandatory. Elders could be given the same status — and salary —as full professors.
The report proposed an initial course list of Inuit studies, fine arts, linguistics, political science and indigenous governance, education, health, natural science and law.