Kelly Black and Sheena Kennedy Dalseg have been selected to present their research titled “An Institutional and Social History of Post-Secondary and Adult Education in the North” at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS).

ICASS is held every three years and is put on by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA). This year it will be held at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, from May 22 to 26th, 2014.

The research that will be presented contributes to the history of post-secondary education in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut from approximately 1960 to 1999. The researchers explore their findings regarding the programs and initiatives offered to provide post-secondary and adult education (to Inuit) in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. They also address the evolving ideas and debates surrounding the establishment of a university in the territorial North. Historically, post-secondary and adult education programs offered in the North have tended to mirror the political and economic priorities of their time, often responding directly to short-term labour force needs in the resource development and government sectors. The discussions and debates, dating back to the 1960s, point to the fundamental relationship between education, self-determination, and democratic development. The debate around a ‘bricks-and-mortar’ northern university is ongoing and their research brings attention to the questions and concerns of the past in order to inform present and future dialogue around post-secondary education in the north.

This research was conducted for an ArcticNet funded research project, titled Improving Access to Post-Secondary Education for Inuit.