On June 14, some 2,400 kilometres northeast of Regina, President Timmons participated in a very special celebration in the tiny hamlet of Hall Beach, on the shores of Foxe Basin. The narrow strait is across from Baffin Island on the northeastern tip of the Melville Peninsula in the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut.
The occasion was the graduation of five students from the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP), a partnership between the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education and Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) that began in 2007.
The program prepares Nunavummiut (people of Nunavut) to become teachers in Nunavut schools with an emphasis on training primary and elementary teachers. The program strives to include an increasingly greater amount of Inuit content in the curriculum and includes a variety of locally relevant topics, including core courses in Inuktitut, the Inuit language spoken in the central and eastern Canadian Arctic.
“We are proud to have partnered with Nunavut Arctic College for close to a decade on this important initiative,” said Timmons. “We are pleased to be able to offer additional support and resources so that Nunavummiut can find their way into Nunavut classrooms. This is very much in keeping with the University of Regina’s strategic priority on Indigenization in all of its forms.”
Tuesday’s graduation ceremony was followed by a traditional Inuit feast.
Most NTEP students complete their four years at the Nunatta Campus in Iqaluit and earn a University of Regina Bachelor of Education degree. Under the terms of the agreement, the University of Regina provides a range of services, including visiting instructors, professional development opportunities for students, and learning experiences through exchanges.
The Nunavut Teacher Education Program is only one of the many community-based partnerships between the Faculty of Education and partners across Saskatchewan and into other provinces. The partnerships date back some 30 years.
Posted: June 15, 2016 12:00 p.m. U of R Feature Stories