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Online Collection of Early Learning Materials Helps Inuit Educators Share Resources

Media Release: September 02, 2015

Responding to appeals from early childhood educators, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, in collaboration with its Inuit Early Childhood Development Working Group, has developed an interactive digital library of English and Inuktut materials to allow educators to share teaching tools across Inuit Nunangat and build upon existing resources.

Katiqsugat: Inuit Early Learning Resources is a central repository for materials that contribute to high-quality, culturally relevant Inuit early learning. (Katiqsugat means “collection” in Inuktut.) The collection currently includes items such as games, songs, craft ideas, child care policy and program manuals, resources for parents and original research on Inuit early childhood development.

“We know that early childhood development lays the foundation for lifelong wellbeing and future learning. However, not all Inuit families have access to early-learning programs that are grounded in Inuit knowledge, emphasize traditional teachings, or promote the development of Inuit language skills,” said National Inuit Leader Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Chair of the National Committee on Inuit Education.

“Katiqsugat offers a way for Inuit to share our knowledge, and provides support to childcare centre staff and other professionals in communities that may not have training opportunities. It is a necessary first step toward assembling all existing Inuit-specific educational resources in order to identify and address gaps in early childhood education curriculum.”

Materials currently in the collection come from Inuit organizations and governments, but the collection has been designed to encourage the contribution of original work by individuals, including educators, parents and childcare centre staff. Katiqsugat provides full-text of materials where possible. Copyright remains with the creator, and licencing agreements are mindful of rights related to the respectful use of Inuit knowledge. Contributors are encouraged to submit items in English as well as any dialect of Inuktut.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is the national voice of 60,000 Inuit living in 53 communities across Nunavut, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. It promotes the interests of Inuit on a wide variety of environmental, social, cultural challenges facing Inuit at the national level.

Visit Katiqsugat: Inuit Early Learning Resources at katiqsugat.itk.ca