Early Childhood Education Institutions

Once the Land Claim Agreement was signed there was a hope and belief that the newly formed Nunatsiavut government would be supported more by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. This should have meant more dialogue, plans and cooperation between the two levels of government, however this did not prove to be the case. The Danny Williams provincial government (2003-10) did promise to expand facilities in Nain, Hopedale and Makkovik, to reestablish them in Rigolet and to open them in North West River.

As of 2010, Hopedale and Nain had operating licensed institutions, with a total capacity of 47. Rigolet and Makkovik had both lost their licenses. In Makkovik there is no suitable building for a potential program. Postville has an adequate infrastructure but there is no one with the necessary qualifications to operate the program.

Example of an Early Childhood Education program in Nunatsiavut:

  • The Language Nest: Located in Hopedale, beginning in 2001 it was a culture-oriented program. Their goal was to create a generation of Inuktitut speakers. Native language loss among the Inuit across Canada has become a tragic issue for decades. Fluent speakers of the language- typically community elders- would expose young children to the language, leading to the development of their speaking skills in Inuktitut. The teachers were unilingual and would help develop the curriculum. This program held promise to bring a new wave of Inuktitut speakers into the community. There was a one child per instructor ratio. However because of provincial regulations, particularly those concerning teachers to be certified, the Language Nest could not be licensed officially by the province. Those who speak the Inuktitut language are older and not going to relocate to get their diploma in ECE. Without certified teachers, the Language Nest could not be licensed. The program thus could not receive the funds and support from various governments that it needed to expand and develop.

 

Next

Tagataga Inc.. “Inuit Early Childhood Education and Care: Present Successes- Promising Directions: A Discussion Paper for the National Inuit Education Summit.” Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Inuit Tapirit Kanqtami, 2007. (accessed 5 November 2014). ProQuest ebrary.

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