Press Release

UQAT and CEGEPAT Join Forces to Provide Postsecondary Education in the Inuit World

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UQAT and CEGEPAT Join Forces to Provide Postsecondary Education in the Inuit World
Val-d’Or, September 14, 2001 – The Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CEGEPAT) and the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) team up to work on a new project: Educational Approaches for the Inuit. The purpose of this joint initiative is to meet the need for postsecondary education of the Inuit of Nunavik (Northern Quebec). This audacious project has received recognition from the Quebec government, as the latter agreed to provide $335,986 in financial support under the "Programme de collaboration universités-collèges" (University and CEGEP collaboration program). In concrete terms, this means that the two educational institutions will develop CEGEP and university programs intended for the First Peoples of Nunavik and tailored to the needs of their 14 communities.

"Over the past 25 years, UQAT has forged a special relationship with the Inuit of Nunavik, a relationship based on respect toward their culture, including through the Unité de recherche de développement et de formation en milieu inuit et amérindien (URDFMIA). Our expertise positions us as leaders in providing coaching to First Peoples in their postsecondary education efforts. This is a tremendous challenge, since we will work on proposing several programs to the communities of Nunavik. Making the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue a partner was one of the priorities of the UQAT 2009-2014 Development Plan. This partnership gives us the necessary impetus for creating a very structured educational project that provides solutions to challenges of mutual concern: coaching, success, perseverance," points out the Director of the UQAT Val-d’Or Campus, Vincent Rousson.

"In fall 2010, the Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue began the development of its 2011-2016 Strategic Development Plan. Four major guidelines were drawn from this effort, including the following: A general and vocational college open to the First Peoples. CEGEPAT thus reaffirms its readiness to accompany the First Peoples in their efforts to raise the level of postsecondary education in their communities. This guideline includes two objectives: supporting the First Peoples on their path toward postsecondary education, and offering services and programs tailored to their realities. The UQAT/CEGEPAT partnership demonstrates a concern to remain proactive and to work actively together on identifying the training needs of the First Peoples," says Marc Bertrand, Director of the CEGEPAT Val-d’Or Campus.

The Inuit consider that education is a social and economic development tool. This educational project is a key opportunity to play an active role in the economic development of Far North regions and a means to ensure the survival of their culture and knowledge of the Arctic world. This initiative is part of their leadership and governance project. The purpose is to offer educational programs that help them address the issues associated with educational achievement and meet skill labor requirements. The project "Educational Approaches for the Inuit" is consistent with the desire of the Inuit and their representatives to play an active role in their leadership and governance project. UQAT and CEGEPAT will be allies whose tailored action will contribute to ensuring that the Inuit take ownership of their future through educational curricula that specifically meet their needs.

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Pamela Kell, Information Officer
Communication and Recruitment Service
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
1.877.870.8728 ext. 6527

Last update : 2 août 2011