IQALUIT, November 9, 2020
At a virtual press conference given jointly with the Honourable David Joanasie, Nunavut’s Minister of Education, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the Government of Canada is providing $10,769,000 in funding to École des Trois-Soleils and the Centre de la petite enfance les Petits Nanooks child care centre for work to expand their premises and modernize their equipment. The Government of Nunavut has committed to investing $9,001,000 in this important project, which involves adding a gymnasium and four classrooms, purchasing equipment, and expanding the child care centre. Once expanded and better equipped, École des Trois-Soleils will be able to accommodate all of the region’s Francophone students under one roof. Currently, students have to transfer to an English-language high school after grade 8.
Inuktut, English and French are Nunavut’s three official languages. As the territory’s Francophone population has grown, this increase has been particularly noticeable within the school system. It is therefore important for the federal government to support this official-language minority community.
In addition to wanting to preserve Inuktut, the Government of Nunavut aspires to make this territory a fully bilingual society whose population would be fluent not only in Inuktut, but also in English or French.