Why an Inuit-specific collection and why now?

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) has identified education – and early childhood education in particular – as a key priority that contributes to the development of healthy and happy Inuit families.

However, not all Inuit communities have equal opportunity and access to high-quality, culturally relevant early childhood programs and services. Furthermore, early childhood services in Inuit Nunangat receive their funding primarily from a series of fragmented federal programs, none of which are specifically targeted to serving the educational or cultural needs of Inuit children.

ITK, together with Inuit child care coordinators throughout Inuit Nunangat, have committed to addressing one area where resources and infrastructures are not readily available so that Inuit children have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. In the absence of a standardized Inuit-specific early childhood curriculum, we are creating a web-based collection of culturally and linguistically appropriate materials that will be available to every child care centre in Inuit Nunangat. We hope the collection will also prove useful to other audiences including teachers, parents, policymakers, and researchers.

We work in partnership with the National Committee on Inuit Education to help implement recommendations of the National Strategy on Inuit Education and to promote education that is grounded in Inuit knowledge, worldview and traditions.