Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic March 22, 2017 - 10:00 am

Colleges in Nunavut, Ottawa team up to serve Inuit

“We’re looking for ways to have exchanges in the North and vice versa”

STEVE DUCHARME
Nunavut Arctic College President Joe Kunuk and Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen sign an agreement in Ottawa March 17 on increasing access to post-secondary education for Nunavut students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ALGONQUIN COLLEGE)
Nunavut Arctic College President Joe Kunuk and Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen sign an agreement in Ottawa March 17 on increasing access to post-secondary education for Nunavut students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ALGONQUIN COLLEGE)

A three-year partnership deal signed March 17 between Nunavut Arctic College and Algonquin College in Ottawa promises to increase access to post-secondary programs for Nunavut students.

Formalized and signed in Ottawa between Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen and Nunavut Arctic College President Joe Kunuk, the partnership focuses on program delivery and curriculum exchanges between the two schools, a media release said.

“Ottawa has a large Inuit population, so we’re looking for ways to have exchanges in the North and vice versa,” the associate director of government and stakeholder relations at Algonquin College, Jean-Guy Fréchette, told Nunatsiaq News March 21.

While no specific plan for or timetable has been confirmed, some of the fields of study identified in the partnership include: health and community services, policing and public safety, environmental science, hospitality, business, applied research, trades and technology.

“This new relationship between our colleges is reflective of our priorities for post-secondary education and training,” Kunuk said in the release.

“These opportunities in education will help develop a skilled and engaged workforce that will contribute to our collective growth in today’s economy.”

The two institutions have the option of renewing the agreement in three years.

Some of the other objectives laid out in the partnership include:

• improving Nunavut Inuit accessibility, retention and graduation from post-secondary programs;

• create opportunities for Nunavut Inuit to help their communities in “development and implementation of self-governance and self-sufficiency,”;

• the creation of shared learning opportunities for students at both Algonquin College and Nunavut Arctic College;

• promotion of understanding across Inuit and non-Inuit cultures; and,

• increasing job opportunities for Inuit.

The partnership may also allow credits to be earned at both institutions, Algonquin College said.

“Algonquin College is committed to academic collaborations that allow Indigenous students, and all students, to reach their full potential, and to gain the skills they need for the future,” Jensen said in a statement.

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