NUNATUKAVUT COMMUNITY COUNCIL SIGNS EDUCATION MOU WITH PROVINCE AND NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR ENGLISH SCHOOL DISTRICT
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, September 30, 2022 – The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Education with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) in commemoration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The MOU is a very significant step in a renewed and strengthened relationship among the Province, the NLESD and NCC in the area of Inuit education, ensuring curriculum is accurate and reflective of NunatuKavut Inuit culture and heritage.
On hand for the signing of the MOU was NCC President Todd Russell, Scott Reid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education, Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, and Christina White, Assistant Director of Education (Programs-Labrador) with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.
The MOU outlines some very specific and tangible outcomes to be undertaken by a working group, which will be established within 30 days of the MOU signing. The objectives of the working group are to:
- foster the development of curricula regarding NunatuKavut Inuit, including traditional knowledge and skills, history, and experiences available to schools throughout the Province;
- foster the development of resources and curriculum that address the specific experiences of NunatuKavut Inuit within the residential school system and its lasting impacts;
- explore the creation and development of Inuttitut language education in schools from, but not limited to, Cartwright to Mary’s Harbour.
- explore any other areas of mutual interest agreed upon by the Parties which are consistent with the MOU.
These objectives will be implemented through the development of a joint action plan and accountability through frequent reporting.
- NCC is the representative governing body for approximately 6,000 Inuit who reside primarily in south and central Labrador.
- NunatuKavut means “Our Ancient Land” in Inuttitut and is the traditional territory of the Inuit who belong to this territory.
- In July 2018, NCC entered into talks with the Government of Canada on the Recognition of its Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination (RIRSD). In September 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed.
“We thank Premier Furey, his government and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District for their collaboration on this MOU and for helping ensure the story of NunatuKavut Inuit is included in curriculum. It is a tangible step toward Indigenous reconciliation and a significant milestone for NCC, for our people and the Province. Our students will now be able to see their own culture, heritage and experiences reflected in their textbooks, their educational materials and in their school life experience. And students and learners in schools outside NunatuKavut can learn more about our people and all Inuit in this Province. I can’t think of a better way to commemorate this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It truly is a historic milestone.”
— Todd Russell, President of NCC
“Indigenous Education is a focus area of the Department of Education, and we are pleased to work with the NunatuKavut Community Council and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District on this project. It is important that we continue to collaborate with Indigenous Governments and Organizations in the spirit of Reconciliation to revise and update the curriculum on the culture, history and traditions of Indigenous peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador. We look forward to the completion of a joint action plan, which will help to develop the resources and curriculum to address the specific experiences of NunatuKavut Inuit.”
— Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Education
“I am pleased that the province is taking this step of formalizing an agreement with the NunatuKavut Community Council and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, setting the stage for discussions that will map out the incorporation of NunatuKavut traditions, culture and history in the education curriculum for all students of the Province.”
— Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs
“It is through collaborative initiatives like this one that we demonstrate our commitment to Reconciliation. Today continues a partnership with the Inuit of NunatuKavut that will help us to accurately, appropriately and respectfully embed Indigenous voices, culture and traditions into teaching and learning throughout the province, ensuring it is truly Learning for All.”
— Tony Stack, NLESD CEO/Director of Education
- Further information on NCC can be found at www.nunatukavut.ca. Please also join in the conversation at Facebook.com/nunatukavut, Twitter @nunatukavut and YouTube by searching NunatuKavut.
Director of Communications