A delegation from Memorial University is at Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) in Iqaluit today for the official signing of a memorandum of understanding cementing a 10-year partnership between the two institutions.
Over the next decade, Memorial will work together with NAC to promote northern research opportunities, build administrative capacity and expand post-secondary programs available to learners in Nunavut through joint credentials with the expressed purpose of increasing Inuit employment.
The new credentials will be degrees awarded by both NAC and Memorial.
“This MOU guarantees a true collaboration between the two institutions, where both will benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience,” said President Gary Kachanoski. “Given the strengths, wisdom and innovations in Nunavut, and the increasing need for more accessible and diverse learning opportunities in the territory, it is imperative we respond with thoughtful and timely support through higher education.”
Working together with communities, governments and organizations in the North, Memorial has forged world-leading expertise in the environmental, social, economic and technological issues and opportunities impacting Arctic and northern coastal communities, and is carrying out collaborative research and teaching and learning initiatives in northern and Arctic communities.
The first initiative of the 10-year strategic partnership is the delivery of a refocused Nunavut Teacher Education Program that has already begun in several communities.
The program equally values Inuktut and English, and prepares graduates to teach in Nunavut’s unique education system. A strong selling point for the partnership with Memorial was the Inuit Bachelor of Education Program that successfully prepared Inuit teachers to work in schools in Labrador.
The MOU is an extension of this work and the work Memorial has done in, and with, Nunavut and beyond over the past several years.
“Given our long and successful partnership, there’s almost no limit on what might happen over the next decade. Our partnership and relationship can grow organically in a lot of different ways,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “Our students, faculty and staff look forward to learning from and working with our Nunavut partners. We look forward with pride to the relationship and partnership that will evolve over the next 10 years.”