Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik June 20, 2017 - 10:00 am

Nunavik school board “disturbed” by Makivik’s call for education audit

Solutions won't come from a government that underfunds education, KSB says

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
“In education, the solutions to the challenges will not come from an audit conducted by the government that has failed to provide us with adequate funding for all those years,
“In education, the solutions to the challenges will not come from an audit conducted by the government that has failed to provide us with adequate funding for all those years," KSB chair Alacie Nalukturuk wrote in a letter to Makivik last week. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

The Kativik School Board says it won’t support Makivik Corp.’s call for an audit of Nunavik’s education system, saying it could go against “the best interest of Inuit.”

In a May 30 letter to Quebec education minister Sebastien Proulx, Makivik president Jobie Tukkiapik pressed the province to resolve an issue that came to light in recent months: since 2015, Quebec has not issued standard diplomas to Nunavik students who complete Secondary 5.

Instead, students have been receiving an equivalency certificate.

Tukkiapik said the diploma issue is symptomatic of larger shortfalls within Nunavik’s education system, suggesting an audit could help get to the bottom of it.

But the KSB disagrees.

“Your letter and the approach behind it disturb the Kativik School Board,” said KSB chair Alacie Nalukturuk in a June 9 letter to Tukkiapik.

“We strongly believe that we, as Inuit, will find the solutions to challenges that have been perpetuated by decades of public underfunding that add to the enduring repercussions of a history of colonization,” said wrote.

“In education, the solutions to the challenges will not come from an audit conducted by the government that has failed to provide us with adequate funding for all those years.”

In February 2016, the KSB filed a complaint with the Superior Court of Quebec.

The school board’s lawsuit argues that both the Quebec and Canadian governments have failed to respect the rights of Nunavik Inuit under Chapter 17 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement on how education is funded in the region.

It relates specifically to the KSB’s ability to negotiate the working conditions of its unionized employees and the development of budget rules which the board said would allow it to address the needs of its students through curriculum, support staff and other services.

In the KSB’s June 9 letter, the school board asked for Makivik to support its legal action against both levels of government.

“This is within your responsibilities and power,” Nalukturuk wrote.

“Today more than ever, the Canadian and Quebec governments are waking up to the needs and realities of Indigenous people,” she wrote.

“In this context, the school board believes it must continue to seek the adequate funding the Nunavik education system requires.”

Makivik has not indicated whether the organization has heard back from the education minister on its initial request.

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