News Release

REF NO.: 80

SUBJECT: Memorial University and Nunatsiavut Government partner for enhanced cultural research and collaboration

DATE: February 3, 2014

An agreement between Memorial University and the Nunatsiavut Government will help preserve and enhance the rich culture and heritage of Labrador Inuit while opening up a host of new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.
Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo and Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Northern Lights 2014 conference in Ottawa, Ont., on Saturday, Feb. 1.
The agreement provides a framework to facilitate collaboration in cultural research, policy development, leadership and administration and is based on long-standing co-operation between the people, institutions and leaders of Nunatsiavut and Memorial researchers, scholars and students.
“This agreement formalizes and advances a relationship that goes back decades and touches on many aspects of life in Nunatsiavut,” said President Leo.
 “Our hope is that we can better preserve, share and celebrate the culture of Labrador Inuit with the help of Memorial’s academic resources, while the university
and others will benefit from a greater understanding and appreciation of Inuit expressive culture and traditional knowledge.”
Dr. Kachanoski noted that a responsibility to place and a special obligation to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are among Memorial’s core values.     “This partnership presents rich and diverse opportunities for collaboration in culture, arts, fine arts, social sciences and humanities. We greatly look forward to working co-operatively with the people and institutions of Nunatsiavut.”
Among the areas of collaboration the MOU cites for further discussion include helping the Nunatsiavut Government build capacity in primary research and analysis, developing digital archives of the social history and culture of Labrador Inuit and further developing research and educational opportunities.  
The agreement also encourages Memorial to host Labrador Inuit community members on campus to work with researchers and the Nunatsiavut Government to host researchers and students from Memorial to assist in projects and to intern at government agencies.
About Memorial University
Memorial University of Newfoundland, positioned on the edge of the North Atlantic, is the home of 21st-century explorers keen to develop their innate creativity and ingenuity. On four campuses and via distance technology, about 19,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff from more than 90 countries learn, teach, research, create and engage. The Memorial University experience goes beyond pure academics and invites a discovery of self, community and place. At our university, we celebrate our unique identity through the stories of our people — the work of our scholars and educators, the ingenuity of our students, the achievements of our alumni — and the impact we collectively make in our province, our country and our world. Memorial is the natural place where people and ideas become.
About the Nunatsiavut Government
The Nunatsiavut Government was established on Dec. 1, 2005, as a result of the signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It has many of the rights and responsibilities of other governments, such as planning for sustainable economic development, protecting and preserving Labrador Inuit culture, and implementing social programs on behalf of beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Nunatsiavut is comprised of five Labrador Inuit communities, namely Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet.

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