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MUN enters partnership with Nunavut Arctic College

Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo
Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo, director of the Labrador Institute of Memorial University.

Director of Labrador Institute says commitment to Northern learning made the school a front-runner

After a comprehensive and competitive process, engaging 11 universities from across the country, Nunavut Arctic College has selected Memorial University as its university partner.

Ashlee Cunsolo, director of the Labrador Institute of Memorial University, said the Institute was part of Memorial’s team working with the College during the selection process.

“Memorial was one of the universities that emerged right out front (in the selection process) because of our ongoing commitment to Northern learning,” she said.

Cunsolo said the Labrador Institute is growing and expanding its programs to better serve its learners.

“We are a hub of research and education that aims to meet the priorities of Labradorians, and also the three Indigenous groups and governments in Labrador, with a particular focus on Circumpolar North,” Cunsolo said. “Now with this partnership we can consider the question of, how do Northern educational institutions such as the Nunavut Arctic College and the Labrador Institute support each other to achieve their own educational goals?”

While in its early stages, Cunsolo said, the partnership with Nunavut Arctic College and Memorial is an exciting one.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to work with and learn from the Nunavut Arctic College and their students and the opportunity for Labrador students and Inuit and Innu students in particular to connect across the North... and to find ways to really enhance and explore Northern innovation, research and education,” she said.

According to a press release dated Oct. 18, the selection process ended with a unanimous recommendation and selection of Memorial University to partner with the College.

“Memorial University is the clear choice as our partner due to its history of engagement with communities, its commitment to learner excellence, and its international reputation for research. We look forward to continuing to build capacity as an institution,” said Minister Responsible for Nunavut Arctic College, David Joanasie.

“Throughout this process,” Joanasie said, “the need to deliver the highest quality programs and services for Nunavummiut reflecting Inuit culture, values and language was on the forefront of the selection committee’s minds.”

The next phase in the process is to develop a 10-year partnership agreement that will outline the relationship between the institutions.

Nunavut Arctic College president, Sheila Kolola, said Nunavut is one of the largest post-secondary service regions in the world and a major centre for research.

“Partnering with Memorial University will only benefit our learners now and in the future,” she said.

Memorial president, Gary Kachanoski, said the university is delighted to be selected to partner with Nunavut Arctic College to help further develop post-secondary education in Nunavut.

“Memorial began as a college in 1925, raised by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to meet their aspirations for higher education,” Kachanoski said. “Since then we have been building strong programs in teaching and learning, research and public engagement, with special interest and experience in the North, including Labrador and Nunavut.

“We look forward to collaborating with the college and the Government of Nunavut to help achieve their post-secondary education aspirations,”

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