ITK teams up with private foundation to help plan for Inuit Nunangat University

New collaboration will allow the organization to engage with Inuit, regional leaders, educators and youth

“The support of the Mastercard Foundation will allow Inuit the space, time and resources to determine how best to lead and plan for a new reality of higher education in Inuit Nunangat,” ITK president Natan Obed said of ITK’s new partnership. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

The national organization representing Inuit has teamed up with a private foundation to help it fund plans for an Inuit-focused university in Canada.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami announced Wednesday it has struck a new partnership with Mastercard Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that funds learning in Indigenous communities across the country.

ITK says the new collaboration will allow its representatives to engage with Inuit, regional leaders, educators and youth over the next two years of planning.

“The support of the Mastercard Foundation will allow Inuit the space, time and resources to determine how best to lead and plan for a new reality of higher education in Inuit Nunangat,” said ITK president Natan Obed in a news release.

To do that, ITK is working with a task force made up of representatives from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Makivik Corp. and the Nunatsiavut Government, led by its own National Inuit Committee on Education.

The new partnership comes on the 10th anniversary of the release of ITK’s National Strategy on Inuit Education, which lays out the groundwork for building and reclaiming Inuit education systems.

Establishing a university in Inuit Nunangat was identified in that strategy as a critical part of increasing success in post-secondary education.

ITK’s task force initially said it hoped to see such a university created by 2023.

In order to pursue university studies, Inuit students must currently relocate to southern cities, although there are some university-level law, nursing and teaching programs available in both Nunavut and Nunavik.

Jennifer Brennan, the head of Mastercard Foundation’s Canada programs, said the organization is “humbled and proud” to help support higher education across Canada’s North.

“This project led by ITK is truly visionary and holds tremendous potential to transform higher education opportunities for Inuit youth and students across the North,” Brennan said in the Wednesday release.

“Inuit youth are powerful agents of change for their communities and Canada as a whole.”

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(60) Comments:

  1. Posted by Enrollment on

    Here we go again. I can see the dollars flying away for consultants, flights, hotels, per diems, boardroom rentals, catering.
    .
    Does anybody know how many Inuit enroll at university in a given year? For Nunavut alone, my guess would be that it’s probably around 25. Whatever the number actually is, even when combined with the rest of Inuit Nunangat, it’s not enough to establish a real university.

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    • Posted by Oh ima on

      At least Natan is trying to do something positive for youth! What your contribution to improving Inuit economic social and political situation?

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      • Posted by And You? on

        What is yours?

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        • Posted by Anne Crawford on

          My contribution is to persistently advocate and support iNuit learning on Inuit lands. Every profession and professional has an ethical duty to ensure that there is a transfer of systems and knowledge at the same time as we do our daily tasks.

          1) you hugely underestimate the numbers
          2) the number of students surviving in University in the South is in NO WAY indicative of the number who could succeed in an Inuit context.
          3) consider waking up in the morning with a commitment to your own honour and your long term commitment to the land and people who are your current bread and butter.

  2. Posted by Student Travel on

    I’d like to know if any of these well-paid people have considered where an Inuit Nunangat University would be.
    .
    Hypothetically let’s say it would go in Iqaluit. How about that student in Inuvik that would have to travel 24 hours and 15 minutes to go from Inuvik > Normal Wells > Yellowknife > Rankin Inlet > Iqaluit, instead of 5 hours to Edmonton?
    .
    Or maybe that student from Nain that would have to travel Nain > HVGB > St John’s > Toronto > Ottawa > Iqaluit which, from what I can figure trying to even find an itinerary, would take them from 1:50pm in the afternoon on Day 1 to 12:55pm on Day 3, which is over 48 hours of travel considering time change.
    .
    It doesn’t matter where in Inuit Nunangat you decided to put a University, when you’re spanning an area from Aklavik to Rigolet, you’re going to have some major travel times.

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  3. Posted by Kenn Harper on

    It is not only Inuit students who have to leave home to attend institutions of higher learning. Students from all over the world, of every race, relocate to attend the university of their choice, or pursue the studies of their choice. This is a mind-opening experience for many who have never ventured beyond the confines of their own community. Why should Inuit be different? I suggest that they are not. But many Inuit who attend university have rocky beginnings to their experience of higher education; that’s the fault of the sub-standard education they receive in their schools at home (I’m thinking of Nunavut). A start would be to improve the quality of the education “back home” so that they could thrive from Day One in a southern university environment. There are many universities in Canada which have faculties that cater to Indigenous students and do so well. We probably don’t need another one, located in the most expensive part of the country (Inuit Nunangat). Better to partner with one of the existing ones. But I suspect that ITK and their funders will pursue the expensive impractical dream rather than adopt a practical approach.

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    • Posted by Soothsayer on

      I think the partnership idea is the best way to go for now. Arctic College might prove to be a good testing ground for our readiness too. So, for example, NAC could do like many community colleges in the south and offer transferable credits in first and second year university level courses. If you can successfully make it through those years you can probably make it to the end, but with a little less expense (depending on your home community) and with some preparedness.

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      • Posted by Laughing out loud on

        Arctic College has no vision, no community collaboration plan, nor credentialed staff to provide this level of education.

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        • Posted by Challenges Abound on

          Arctic College would need to hire leadership and staff from all over Canada/world to implement this vision. The change of mindset and ethos from that of a community college/trade school to university is huge. It would be a challenge to overcome Nunavut’s ingrained parochialism for sure.

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        • Posted by Soothsayer on

          Dear ‘Laughing out loud’ – I agree with you 100%

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      • Posted by Rigour and Quality Though on

        This would require a major increase in quality and academic rigour ,which would lead to a higher failure rate, which would be politically unpalatable.

    • Posted by Anne Crawford on

      Kenn,

      My kids were primed from a young age that they would go to University. They had all the support in the world.

      The first two years of their Southern experience were a long tough and wrenching haul. Lots of learning, lots of adventure and lots of lonely isolation and late night calls. No coming home unless you quit. No weekend with familiar people and sounds and food and family.

      Yes it can be done, but we should not set this as the bar for Nunavut to secure the highly skilled and compassionate leadership it deserves.

      I regret the years of isolation my university educated children have been “away” from heart and home. Of course they need southern exposure. Of course much of their learning requires that context. But sending 17 & 18 year olds unarmed into “civilization” is not the formula for Education success for Nunavut.

  4. Posted by Education on

    Do the Inuit who currently go to university even want to stay in Nunavut for school? Many people leave their home communities (everywhere in the world!) to go to university or even college, having to leave home is not the main barrier to higher education. Part of the experience of a university education is going to a new place, meeting new people and seeing how the world looks through other people’s eyes and experiences. Anyone who wants any sort of specialized program (which is the sort of graduate that Nunavut actually needs) will mostly still have to go to a southern school. Funnelling resources into a University, in a region where most people’s education needs are not yet being met by regular K-12 schooling is something that will decrease equity, rather than improve it. Another nice project for the elite consultants with their connections.

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    • Posted by Escape Route and A Home on

      It would be interesting to see how many students at the college enroll just to get out of their communities – I be that it is high. Then you have the career students who jump program to program just for a place to live for as long as they can.

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  5. Posted by Not again… on

    This idea is as stupid as it gets. Once again ITK focusing on the name’s of Football teams and the pipedream of a Nuanvut University.

    1) Nunavut has less than 40k inhabitants and only 15-20 students a year go from Grade 12 to University. Nunavut also has one of the worse graduation rates in the world. Also, a grade 12 in Nunavut is comparable to a Grade 9 education down south.
    2) Arctic College can barely fill classes, so why would a University (which is far tougher to get into) be any different?
    3) Most high schools in Nunavut don’t offer University level (academic) courses.
    4) Staff – The amount of staff it will take to staff a University is huge. Not only that, University profs require Masters Degrees/PhD’s and are generally paid close to $200K. Furthermore Id say 90% of the staff would be southerners.

    Give Nunavut students a chance to experience the outside world in a big City. Maybe revisit this idea once Nunavut is actually seeing an influx of University ready students. For now, ITK would be better off using that money to light their cuban cigars in the capital.

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    • Posted by Newfievut U on

      It’s not just about Nunavut students.
      If Greenland can do it, we can too.

      And don’t worry you non-Inuit, everything will be inevitably setup so you and all your cousins from down home can still wangle themselves some free education and a GN job.

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      • Posted by Pink Martini on

        Sincere question, why is it that you believe non-Inuit are reflexively against this notion? You seem to imply that we are afraid it is a threat to us somehow. I don’t see it that way at all, I just think it’s an incredibly impractical idea. Can you explain?

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        • Posted by Grass is always Greenlandic on

          I have to second Pink Martini – I for one would loved to have had the chance to study northern subjects in the north – rather than at a southern university. I think maybe you are misinterpreting many commentators concerns. I don’t see that establishing a northern/Inuit university that then is full of southern folks who are qualified to function in a university environment really helps anyone. I think what folks are saying is that it would be nice to see territorial high-school education and the NAC graduate to the point where students were demanding a university level program rather than embarking on this boondoggle.

    • Posted by Agree on

      I agree. Education should be focused on the actual graduation, attendance and Educators. Right now, we have nothing. Once again time Natan to step out of his darkness and propose such a dollar wasting initiative. Master Card will run away crying as soon they discover the real student learning situation in Nunavut

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    • Posted by k-12 on

      Focus on getting kids to finish high school first, would be a great start. As well as getting more Inuk teachers, how many are there in each school now? 1 or 2 positions per school out of a dozen southern teachers.

      Arctic College is continuedly dropping courses because of lack of enrollment. What makes anyone think a Northern University would be any different?

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  6. Posted by wow, a reaction on

    Great idea; and good to see ITK partnering with private-sector -rather than relying on any level of government- to pursue this important initiative.

    As usual, the most becoming of comments start this off –almost a given, with an article about Inuit leading Inuit, on a path they plot and choose for self-determination; it’s funny {not really} that commenters –and to say, commenters that live in the North?, are still learning of what Inuit can bring the world, their traditional knowledge, {a considered equivalent, if not superior, to PhD or Masters-} their elders, their means for construction building and innovation, their way to live, and ways to live, and understand holistically how we –even yes, the Quallunaat and their always insightful comments, fit in a changing world.

    Well done ITK, and here’s to seeing something similar, soon, for housing , further, responsible natural resource development, schooling and health care; find the private-sector partnerships -don’t rely on funding or government bodies that may help, but not help enough- when it comes to ensuring Inuit are choosing their own self-determination; Inuit leading Inuit … the way it’s supposed to be.

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    • Posted by Optical Delusion on

      Great comment, which leads me to a couple questions: what subject area do you think traditional knowledge would be equivalent to a PhD or Masters in? And what are the physics of sending one qamutik, two qimmiq and a pound of akpik berries to mars?

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      • Posted by You Asked on

        To become a hunter down south you have to spend a few hours in a gun safety course and pay for a licence.
        .
        To become a good hunter in Nunavut you have to spend thousands of hours watching animals, observing where they go, what they do, what they eat, etc. It’s learning by observing. Isn’t that what good scientists do? A person earning a Master of Science degree in Biology spends thousands of hours reading books, attending lectures and doing lab work. If they are “lucky” they will spend two summers doing field work – perhaps a few hundred hours.
        .
        A good hunter has to be able to fix anything at hand, without spare parts, special tools, shop manuals, or Google. That’s not the same as a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, but it’s a lot more practical.

        If you and one other person were to survive a plane crash in the arctic in winter, who would you prefer your survival partner to be? Would you like someone with 2 PhDs and a law degree? Me, I’d prefer an experienced Inuk hunter.

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        • Posted by Context Rules on

          This a good example, but I ask a question back, if you want kids to know how to function as part of a cash based society, be invested in the greater economy, work in the information economy, and deal as equals with the world outside of their hamlet, would you rather have a couple of commerce and law degrees, or your hunter above?

          It is all about context, and your hunter above would be as useless on Bay Street, as a Bay Street banker would be in the plane crash.

          Hunting skills, while admirable, are far from sufficient to develop Nunavut.

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          • Posted by Adaptability on

            I am a retired Bay Street banker who has known quite a few Inuit hunters.
            .
            Yes, at first each would be quite lost in the territory of the other.
            .
            But it is appearent to me that the observational skills, the adaptability, and the situational analysis skills of most Inuit hunters is greater than those of most Bay Street bankers.
            .
            I think the education of the Inuit hunters has better prepared them to deal with anything that confronts them than does the education of most Bay Street bankers.
            .
            I expect most Inuit hunters would adapt more quickly and more successfully than would most Bay Street bankers if they were switched.
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            I think it is due, at least in part, to learned adaptability.

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            • Posted by Bay Street on

              I disagree. In my experience many of the patterns of behaviour and key skills which work well (indeed are required) in northern communities and in the activities like hunting which are an important part of life are pretty fundamentally opposed to the way we do things in the south (as other commentators here have correctly pointed out).

              There’s no question survival on the land is about adapting to a situation – but fundamentally you are fitting observation into a pattern – and that pattern is traditional and community knowledge. When that pattern changes dramatically or very rapidly, the comparison point begins to be of diminishing value. Hugh Brody made this point very clearly about 40 years ago (and it continues to be a trend in research today as scholars assess how Inuit are responding to the threats posed by climate change and the increased risks faced by hunting).

              Down south we learn not by watching but by asking – indeed the question is at the heart of the southern way of thinking – and the oppositional/argument-based way of thinking that goes with this is I think a huge part of what sets Inuit ontologies apart from southern/Euro-Canadian patterns of thought. Can you picture a hunter speaking up in meetings? Slapping down some BS bro who’s spouting to the room on his latest ETF? I’m not saying the hunter wouldn’t sit there quietly then go crush his morning trades, but I think he’d have a rough time in meetings.

              I suppose both are about adapting to circumstances within set bounds but I would argue one engenders learning at a far more rapid (if more upsetting, and in a small community perhaps disrespectful) pace. I’m not saying one approach is better, but that they are fundamentally different and frankly evolved for different purposes. Are you trying to get somewhere fast in a competitive environment or are you trying to go somewhere as a group, together in quasi-consensus so that everyone is equally invested in the outcome?

            • Posted by Poor Example Tho on

              I wish the person who had tried to draw the contrast between a hunter and a PhD (presumably) would have picked something less flaccid than a banker on Bay Street. That really is a poor example of the point. How about a physicist, psychologist or chemist… ?

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        • Posted by Karl Popper on

          To ‘You asked’

          You are trying to establish that a hunter has skills that are equivalent to a PhD or Masters, by arguing that hunting skills in certain contexts are more valuable. I won’t dispute that I would also rather be lost on the tundra with a hunter in many situations, over a mechanical engineer, but that doesn’t make hunting skills the ‘same as’ a PhD or Masters in any way.

          By valuating these knowledge sets based purely on situational utility you aren’t telling me anything about how they are the same. A rock can be more useful than a nail, at times… but knowing that, there is nothing about a rock that makes it the same as a nail.

          Obviously, there are unlimited scenarios we could imagine were nearly any skill could be understood as more useful within their own niche than any other.

          Let’s consider the example of a biologist. A Hunter may spend thousands of hours studying the behaviour of an animal, the knowledge they gather is useful for hunting and may even be useful for the biologist. Yet, nothing in the methodology or approach of the hunter will ever come to tell us the same facts known by the biologist; DNA structure, how cell division works, evolutionary history.

          Scientific understanding is based not only on the observation of data, but on the constant discovery of newer knowledge using a specific methodology.

          A good mechanic too is invaluable in certain contexts, but there is nothing about being a good mechanic that will suddenly yield an ability to build a space station or to send a human colony to Mars.

          But so what? When I need a good mechanic on the land, you might say that is more valuable than those abilities, and I would agree. No doubt about it. But that doesn’t make those skills sets equivalent in any meaningful way, it only suggests greater value under specific conditions. Those are not the same thing to claim.

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      • Posted by North Baffiner on

        IQ – Equivalent to a PhD/masters in biology, ecology, geology, marine biology, anthropology, psychology, sociology, anatomy and that is just to name a few. Non Inuit really are THAT stupid to ask that type of question.

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        • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

          It’s really not the same thing at all, and even more amazing that you think you can convince anyone that IQ is better by calling them stupid, which to me shows how weak your so called values really prove to be in the face of any kind of contestation.

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          • Posted by Horatio’s Hornblowing BS-er on

            It is, if you insist on only using western categories to “categorize” IQ. You have to be really ignorant to try to categorize a polar bear as a land animal, but you are saying the same thing here. Yet, you are trying to be high and mighty.

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            • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

              “It is the same” !

              Repeat that all you want, it’s doesn’t change anything, and nothing you have said has been one bit compelling in proving your point.

              IQ is critically useful in context, but is it a method for acquiring knowledge or for generating and testing hypothesis? Can you give me an example of how IQ might establish when Polar bears diverged as a species and from which type of bears they diverged from?

              There are questions about the world IQ is simply not equipped to address.

              As for using “western categories” (a popular linguistic tactic amongst cultural relativists who try to impose false equivalence on things) the irony is that you are doing the exact same, categorizing a PhD, which I am almost certain you don’t have, within your own framework as something equivalent, even inferior to IQ. In reality all you are really doing is showing us how little you really know about a PhD.

              What I see in these comments are a lot of people in under the delusion that by gaining a university in Nunavut they will finally be able to throw university credentials onto traditional knowledge and that will vindicate their fantasies that they are really just the same thing… the reality is they are not even close.

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            • Posted by Farming and Botany on

              All the you’ve managed to prove through your comment is that you don’t understand the higher education system, and specifically how research is conducted.

              A good hunter has a large amount of information no doubt, but he or she has zero knowledge of how to design and conduct research, epistemology and ontology, methodologies, research design, and statistical analysis.

              I come from a family of farmers, and I guarantee you that we have an as intimate and deep relationship with our land and weather as any Nunavut hunter. I also guarantee you that what I learned becoming a botanist only has a small overlap with farming.

              You are comparing apples and carburetors.

    • Posted by Uvanga on

      I don’t know which part of Nunavut you are in, but Inuit are never recognized nor paid for their knowledge and are always less paid by the southerners that come to Nunavut. Majority of the time, the southerners are paid double of what Inuit make in Nunavut based on their Degrees, Masters, PHD’s etc. Inuit will never fare as well as these people that are sent from the south and “Trained” for the very jobs that Inuit could have possibly been “Trained” for.

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      • Posted by “Training” on

        Yes, these “inuit” you speak of that could have been “trained” to be nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, social workers? This is the flaw of Article 23, it gives Inuit the dangerous idea that you can simply be trained for these GN jobs and that southerners with degrees are “stealing their jobs that they could be trained for”.

        No level of training will put someone in the position to do advanced mathematical calculations to calculate the rate of increase/decrease over the next 100 years of animal populations, to diagnose and treat a heart condition, to help repair a broken home by putting a neglected infant in the arms of caring foster parents, or, to start, to show up to work 40 hours a week.

        I obtained my Masters degrees by studying eight years in my field and going into crippling debt by doing so. I also spent tens of thousands of hours of my life getting the skills and knowledge I needed to fit in this world. I am passionate about what I do, so for you to just say “train someone” to do the job that I have poured my blood sweat and tears into, is an insult to all professionals.

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        • Posted by Uvanga on

          The southerners hired by their “relative” or “friend” from the south are “trained” for jobs that the higher up (Directors, Executive Directors, etc.) are positions are Human Resources, Finance, Mental Health and the list goes on. These people who hire their friends and relatives from the south “claim” Inuit did not have the “desire” to learn when in fact, they make it difficult for the Inuit to survive in these areas that are over run by non-Inuit. In fact these “higher ups” declare they are not “racist” or “prejudiced” against Inuit when they actually are. The ministers are not subjected to this kind of behavior as an Inuk so they have no idea and they favor the “higher up’s” story based on the only Inuk they may have tried to train. Just take a look at each department and you will see “those” departments that do not have any Inuit at all in their areas, those are those “higher ups” that need to be looked at and investigated as to why that is the case. Then once you clean up house, the departments/divisions will then be booming with Inuit that were deemed “no desire to learn” flourish!

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          • Posted by Training (cont’d) on

            Your argument is laughable at best. A finance director better be a CPA or a CA at the minimum. I can guarantee you, any Inuk with one of these designations, would get the job over a southerner with the same designation. You can’t “train” someone to be an accountant.

            Nepotism is a (big) problem in the north but its getting better, and it is up to HR to figure out how to improve their hiring practices. This isn’t a southerner hiring southerner cousin, or newfie hiring newfie cousin, or inuk hiring inuk cousin problem, this is a GN problem. If a job is up for grabs (finance director, lets say) and both applicants have the same credentials, but one is inuk and the other is a southerner, there is no doubt the inuk gets the job. This is fair and the way it should be in Nunavut.

            That being said, often the “better man for the job” is being replaced by the “inuk for the job”. Not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but it can be unsettling if the individual shows zero engagement or will to improve their credentials once hired (this is quite common and concerning), it will mean that the GN will have to keep hiring non-inuk workers to do the job.

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            • Posted by Uvanga on

              Of course you can train someone to be an accountant. Start them small, train them to use a calculator, train them like you would the southerner, with patience and in steps. Don’t give them hard tasks instead allow them to shadow the accountant for tasks that may need more hands on. Is that now how they train the southerners they bring up here? Do the same for the Inuit.

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              • Posted by Actual training exists, it’s called school on

                Or, the Inuk could just go to school and do the program, since that is the standard way everyone learns how to do that job. Expecting special hand-holding in a workplace where the work still needs to get done,just to save the Inuk the bother of having to do schooling and gain actual useful credentials, is not going to work, even though the GN keeps trying it.

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    • Posted by Apples and Oranges on

      Comparing IQ values to a PhD in any subject is comparing apples to oranges. The skill taught from both are incredibly valuable, but in no way at all similar. Think for a moment what would happen if you switch a hunter in Nunavut with a professor from Toronto, neither with any previous knowledge of each other. Neither would be very successful, a hunter is going to be hard pressed to survive in Toronto using IQ values, the same goes for the professor in Nunavut. They would eventually manage but there is no doubt their very specialized skills would put them on completely different playing levels.

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  7. Posted by Uvanga on

    Alianait! A space for inuit to re-learn the language and customs is a dream for youth. Taki! Land-based programming, integrating ISV, and linking textbook knowledge to a spiritual connection to the land would be ideal in an Inuit-focused university.

    And to all the commentator here: Niaqunnguyunga. Kinauvit? Nanirmiutauvit?

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    • Posted by just a thought on

      If you are interested in learning spirituality I am sure you would be happier in a seminary than a university.

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      • Posted by Wait. What? on

        Seminary?! Our spirituality should not be confused with Christianity. What a silly concept. Going to go out on a limb and assume you are a settler in this country. Who asked you for your thoughts on an Inuit University? No room for colonial thoughts here.

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        • Posted by Welcome to Philosophy 101 on

          Nope, I was born in Canada, I did not ‘settle’ here.

          As for ‘spirituality’ let’s pretend we are in university for a moment. My challenge to you is twofold; define what spirituality is, then justify your belief that the spiritual exists.

          I look forward to engaging with you on this issue.

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          • Posted by Wait. What? on

            So, you’re Canadian, eh? Perhaps not a settler but a southerner, it shows.

            Are you familiar with inuk customs, traditions and their beliefs as people? If not, do you think your ideal for a inuit focused university will match our ideal? No. So, please keep your colonial thoughts to yourself. Again, not your place to comment.

            Lol, a seminary. SMH

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            • Posted by Original Commenter on

              Dear ‘Wait, What?’

              The seminary comment was a joke, clearly traditional spirituality, whatever that entails, is not same as Christianity. However, the point was that we don’t go to university to have our superstitions re-enforced; though a seminary wouldn’t be encumbered in that way.

              I’m curious and this is a sincere question, what do you think mission of a university is? Is a university a place where views are not welcome based on where they come from? What kind of learning environment discriminates between valid and invalid opinions based on who says them?

              You say I am a southerner and it shows, do these comments suggest that you’ve never been to university?

              You say this not my place to comment. Yet a university is an environment where the discovery of truth is paramount, how are you going to discover what is true if you refuse to listen to diverse opinions?

              You asked what my ideal of an Inuit focused university might look like, my answer is that it would not be ‘Inuit focused’ at all; it would be focused on the pursuit and discovery of knowledge.

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            • Posted by IQ values on

              IQ values only apply to certain people then? No one forcers “settler” rights on you, you are welcome any time to go back to living on the land. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of your trashed housing unit.

        • Posted by Nice Try at Stifling Conversation on

          There is room on this forum for all thoughts – whether you like them or not.

          If there is a university built in my home territory, you can be damn sure that I’ll speak on it, particularly if any taxpayer money winds up in it.

          Drop the settler line too. It is meaningless microaggression – if you were born in Canada you are not a settler.

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  8. Posted by Reynold Ikpik on

    Then they can have satellite offices in the communities, We be educated then,

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    • Posted by Working Well? on

      Because post-secondary offerings in every community works so well now….

      • Posted by Uvanga on

        Why ITK of all places. Majority of the office in Ottawa are non-Inuit because the president doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t want to feel left out during conversations, he tends to hire people who are non-Inuit or Inuit who do not speak the language. Sheesh!

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  9. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Has anyone here including Obed had a chat with the President and Board of Arctic College to find out and perhaps learn what they have been doing vis a vis a northern university??

    From the comments here I suspect not.

  10. Posted by Colin on

    This is great news! I hope this university will partner with the University in Nuuk, another great little Arctic University. Such a contrast to the large southern universities.

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    • Posted by DIfferent Approaches on

      European universities operate so differently from ours though. The model could be tough.

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  11. Posted by Jobie Weetaluktuk on

    Yes to the idea. Then to the question of how? Arctic College is the best way to go. 1 Because Universities do not just pop out of nowhere. They begin as something and develop into something greater than themselves. 2. A university like Concordia has at least a major studies program on indigenous matters. Other universities are also opening Indigenous oriented classes. 3. Territorialism is a new colonial thing. Inuit even in the 1950s were much more fluid movers. Back then, a whole family could move from region to region for traditional or colonial matters. These include harvest induced moves or to chase the ships so they could get temporary work and meet relatives. Why are people now so dedicated to their own village or town?

    • Posted by Pork Pie on

      It seems like a position meant to have ethical resonance to me, based on the principle that all things should be equal (in the new parlance, ‘equity’). In this case, if a kid in Vancouver or St. John’s doesn’t need to leave their home to get a university education, a person in Grise Fiord shouldn’t have to either.

      I’m with you on the College model, we need to build on what we have and scale up as demand increases. Many universities have followed that model.

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      • Posted by Greener Pastures on

        You’re not comparing the resources of St. John’s or Vancouver to Grise Fjord I hope. By this logic, no small- town or rural students anywhere in Canada should have to leave home.

        I understand where Obed is coming from though, 30% or so of the population of the Inuit regions have permanently left for greener pastures. Trying to keep them at home is worth a try.

        The irony is that Obed himself left home for the greener pastures and the education that gave him the skills for his career today.

        • Posted by Pork Pie on

          It was an extreme example meant to touch on some of what I perceive to be the underlying logic animating the pro-University side, the comparison is intentionally absurd.

      • Posted by Infrastructure on

        By that logic then everyone community should have a fully functioning hospital offering every conceivable medical service. I can’t wait for tax time to pay for that!

        Since everyone is comparing Grise Fjord to NL, then it’s time to bring on forced resettlement, something still happening in NL today. The good news is everyone would get $100k in the process.

  12. Posted by articrick on

    Obed, please name it “Eskimo” University. That would be awsome.

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