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GN, NTI release consultation reports days before first reading of revised education and language acts

As Nunavummiut wonder about the substance of a revised Education Act, the Department of Education released its consultation report May 30.

Minister of Education David Joanasie is set to unveil Bill 25 – an Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act – June 4. Meanwhile, his department released its consultation report May 30.
photo courtesy Dept. of Education

The department held consultations in all 25 Nunavut communities, engaging with 124 district education authority members and 705 Nunavummiut at town hall meetings, according to its report.

The first reading of the proposed legislation, Bill 25 – which includes revisions to the Inuit Language Protection Act to reflect changes to the Education Act – is scheduled for June 4 at the legislative assembly.

In its own consultation report, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), which attended the GN-led consultations, notes the department's legislative proposal was leaked in May 2018.

"NTI was disappointed to learn the changes being proposed were largely based on changes initially proposed in Bill 37," the NTI document states.

Bill 37, a similar attempt to revise the acts, died during the previous government's last session due to overwhelming lack of support from Nunavummiut.

But that's in the past. Come Tuesday, the proposed revisions will be public.

"I greatly appreciate the feedback we received during our consultations," stated Minister of Education David Joanasie in a news release.

"Comments from Nunavummiut helped shape the proposed amendments to the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act. This feedback creates a shared vision for education and the protection and promotion of Inuktut."

The Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities, which also had staff attending consultations, has its own soon-to-be-released report.

At stake are bilingual Inuit and English or French language of instruction, powers of District Education Authorities, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in schools, social promotion, inclusive education and student supports, among other items.

Nunavut News will publish an analysis of these reports to its website Monday, June 3, in advance of the first reading of Bill 25.