Friday, September 19, 2008

Historic Day for Education in Nunavut

After a great deal of consultation, hand wringing and anticipation, Nunavut finally has an Education Act to call its own. This is a huge step forward from the past where the Education Act of the old Northwest Territories was grandfathered over until a new "made-in-Nunavut" Act was passed. Among other things, Inuktitut-language instruction is now set out in law. As I noted in my previous post, this new Act won't make everyone happy but it is definitely a step in the right direction. (Like, NTI, there are a few things in the Act that concern me but since I work for the Department of Education here and since I don't have a death wish when it comes to my job, I will keep those thoughts private.)

To give you an idea of how long the wait has been, bear in mind that Nunavut officially came into existence April 1, 1999, almost 9.5 years ago. As for myself, I began my 6th year of teaching here last month. I'm sure there will be a fair number of poo-poo'ers and naysayers but you have to start somewhere. Of course, much work remains to be done but it is days like today that remind me how lucky I am to be here during such an important time in the territory's history and development.