November 29, 2023

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Baby-care centre presents culturally related training to Ottawa’s Inuit youth

Baby-care centre presents culturally related training to Ottawa’s Inuit youth

A brand new child-care centre designed to ship culturally related early childhood training for Ottawa’s massive Inuit group is opening.

Pirurviapik, that means “a spot to develop” in Inuktitut, will function year-round out of a devoted area at Rideau Excessive College within the metropolis’s Vanier neighbourhood.

Operated by the Inuuqatigiit Centre, an Ottawa-based Inuit cultural group, the brand new child-care area can accommodate as much as 49 Inuit youngsters from six months to 5 years of age. That whole will embody 10 infants, 15 toddlers and 24 pre-school college students.

“The Inuit tradition has tried to outlive in an city setting,” stated Stephanie Mikki Adams, the centre’s govt director, at an open home Saturday. 

“Guaranteeing that our youngsters nonetheless have the data and functionality to talk, write and perceive Inuktitut is essential to make sure that our tradition and language thrives.”

From left to proper: Kathleen Jadan, Stephanie Mikki Adams and Heather Ochaulski. (Ben Andrews/CBC Information)

The centre took three years to finish, in response to a press launch from the Inuuqatigiit Centre, and included a renovation of the Rideau Excessive College area to suit Inuit design components.

The $1 million renovation was funded by the Metropolis of Ottawa, the Ottawa-Carleton District College Board and the province of Ontario.

Largest Inuit inhabitants exterior Nunavut

Statistics Canada estimates Ottawa’s Inuit inhabitants at round 1,800, however that quantity is probably going a major underrepresentation. 

Inuit well being businesses in Ottawa estimate the true quantity to be hundreds extra, and round 6,000 Inuit are registered with the Ottawa-based Akausivik Inuit Household Well being Group.

Heather Ochalski, director of early studying at Pirurviapik, stated the brand new centre helps meet the wants of Inuit youth by immersing them in an surroundings the place caregivers converse Inuktitut and by supplying them with culturally vital toys and video games.

“It is a part of id growth,” she stated. “It reveals us the place we come from, our kinships, our historical past, and the place we’re going as Inuit in up to date Canada.”

Elder Elisapee Birmingham lit the qulliq, a culturally vital oil lamp, on the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday. (Ben Andrews/CBC Information)

‘Cultural revitalization’

Natasha Cant praised this system for giving her adopted daughters, Laetitia Amaroalik Cant and Giselle Amitnaaq Cant, a spot to find out about their language and tradition.

“There’s such a fantastic cultural revitalization,” she stated. “It makes them very pleased with who they’re and their tradition.”

Adams stated this system responds to the Reality and Reconciliation Fee’s twelfth name to motion, which recommends the growth of “culturally applicable early childhood education schemes” for Indigenous households.

“Serving a toddler means serving a household,” Adams stated.