Improving Inuit education discussed at Iqaluit conference

December 12, 2012

More than 125 educators and officials from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway gathered in Iqaluit late last month at the Circumpolar Conference on Education for Indigenous People. Co-hosted by the Nunavut and Greenland governments, the conference included a presentation by Mary Simon, former president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, on the 5-year research study titled "First Canadians, Canadians First: the National Strategy on Inuit Education." Attendance is one of the biggest challenges for Inuit education, said Simon. The average Aboriginal student misses more than 41 school days each year, which is equivalent to missing 2 full years of school by the time a student reaches secondary school, said Simon. To address this poor attendance record, Simon said Inuit need to stop blaming parents and demonstrate the value of education through a media campaign. This includes using social media, videos, TV, radio, news feeds, and Inuit leaders to spread messages about the importance of showing up to school well rested and well fed. Nunatsiaq News