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McGregor, Heather E. (2010). Inuit Education and Schools in the Eastern Arctic. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press. 


Since the mid-twentieth century, sustained contact between Inuit and newcomers has led to profound changes in education in the Eastern Arctic, including the experience of colonization and progress toward the re-establishment of traditional education in schools. The milestone of the establishment of Nunavut Territory in 1999 was followed by the 2006 Berger Report, which drew attention to problems remaining in the territory’s education system.

As the first history of education in the Eastern Arctic, this groundbreaking study provides the historical context needed to understand the educational challenges faced in Nunavut. With an emphasis on cultural negotiation, policymaking, and the role of tradition, Heather McGregor assesses developments in the history of education in four periods – the traditional, the colonial (1945-70), the territorial (1971-81), and the local (1982-99). She concludes that education is most successful when Inuit involvement and local control support a system that reflects Inuit culture and Inuit visions for the future.

This groundbreaking study reveals that education was used not only to assimilate Inuit but also to reflect and reinforce Inuit culture and traditions. Its focus on the themes of cultural negotiation, policy making, and the role of tradition will be welcomed by educators, administrators, and researchers in Inuit and First Nations communities across the North and anyone interested in the history of education in Canada.