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Schools should offer firearms safety courses for students, Pedersen says

Calvin Pedersen (ledge)
Kugluktuk MLA Calvin Pedersen wants to see students learning firearms safety and wilderness survival skills in school. photo courtesy of the legislative assembly

Students ought to have the opportunity to learn firearm safety at school, Kugluktuk MLA Calvin Pedersen recommended in the legislative assembly on March 11.

"We live in the North and guns are a common feature in our daily lives. Firearm safety awareness is possibly more critical for Northerners than learning how to drive a car. Knowing how to use and store firearms safely saves lives. Would the minister consider offering firearm safety courses in all of Nunavut’s schools?" Pedersen asked.

Education Minister David Joanasie said he believes this could be an option, if supported by district education authorities and if all proper safety precautions are taken.

Pedersen further encouraged the teaching of survival skills, such as wilderness first aid, GPS training and an introduction to signalling and communications, which "could be critical if they ever end up stuck on the land, hundreds of miles or hours away from help. There are plenty of qualified trainers all across Nunavut who could deliver these courses."

Joanasie replied, "Those are something that the schools always look at." He also gave teachers credit for providing instruction to students in skills such as driving, sewing and cooking, and sometimes it's done "over and above their day-to-day work."

About the Author: Derek Neary

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