Minister Vandal welcomes the Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education’s final report
March 31, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario, Unceded Traditional Algonquin Territory — The Minister of Northern Affairs, Daniel Vandal, issued the following statement today:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to welcome the final report of the independent Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education, A Shared Responsibility: Northern Voices, Northern Solutions — Report of the Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education.
I thank all members of the task force for their leadership, commitment and invaluable contribution to finding innovative solutions to improve education opportunities and outcomes in Canada’s North and Arctic. They did this work during a very challenging time for all Canadians, but also during a particularly difficult time for education, as the COVID-19 pandemic moved a lot of learning online, challenging accessibility.
We also take this opportunity to thank the many stakeholders, including those who participated in engagement sessions, territorial governments, Indigenous partners and organizations, leaders in education in northern jurisdictions and elsewhere, and other Arctic and Northern Policy Framework partners, who contributed to and supported this work.
Every Canadian should have access to quality education and skills training no matter where they live. Northern residents, especially Indigenous Peoples, have faced longstanding inequities in education and skills training for too long.
This report highlights the challenges and barriers that exist across the North in accessing post-secondary education and identifies important strengths and new opportunities for culturally relevant, northern-based, northern-focused and northern-led post-secondary programs and institutions.
The report provides expert advice that will help the Government of Canada—together with Indigenous, territorial and provincial partners, and educational institutions in the North and Arctic—to discuss barriers and possible solutions to providing Northerners with greater access to local high-quality education, ongoing learning and skills development opportunities, and culturally relevant higher education, including greater Indigenous-based knowledge and skills.
The Government of Canada welcomes the core findings of the task force’s report and will be giving careful consideration to its comprehensive Calls to Action. What is clear is that no order of government—or group of institutions—can rise to these challenges alone. This is the kind of work the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework was created for and the reason why the task force was established. Together with partners, the Government of Canada will continue to develop new initiatives and find opportunities to improve existing programming to achieve our common goals.
Through our engagement and collaboration with framework partners, we are already in the process of addressing some of the issues raised in the report.
We continue to advance measures to help close gaps in education and skills training that exist between the North and the rest of Canada and to help support solutions led by Northerners, for Northerners. This will ensure that the unique needs of remote and northern Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are met and that—together with framework partners—we continue to deliver on the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework goals and objectives.”
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
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