Population: 39,407
Number of K-12 Schools: 45
Number of K-12 Students: 10,902
Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: 0
Number of K-12 Distance Learning Students: Unknown

Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.

Governance and Regulation

The Education Act, 1999 allows various educational bodies to “authorize, supervise and evaluate the use of distance learning programs in the provision of the education program” (p. 75). The Department of Education defines distance learning as involving the use of appropriate technologies to provide learning experiences for students who are physically separated from their instructor for the majority of the learning process. Distance learning applies to courses that cannot be offered due to insufficient numbers of students or when the subject matter is highly technical, requiring specialized teaching staff that may not be available in the community. Distance learning can be delivered as online courses or as print courses.

There are also territorial agreements between Nunavut and various distance learning providers, for example the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC).

Distance education and/or online learning is not funded differently than traditional brick-and-mortar education. However, territorial students who are officially registered as part of a homeschooling program are eligible to receive up to $1000 of expense reimbursement for distance education programs to cover the costs of registration fees, books, and equipment.

Finally, the development of a Ministerial Directive regarding access to and delivery of distance education has been underway since 2012.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

The Department of Education tracks student enrolment information through its agreements with distance learning providers. For example, the ADLC grants the Department access to their online tracking site to verify students’ final marks. During the 2020-21 school year students from the territory continued to enroll in courses offered by the ADLC. The ADLC closed at the end of the 2020-21 school year (officially September 1, 2021), and the website was shut down before the Department of Education was able to log in and view the student data. As such, any data regarding the 2020-21 school year was not received from ADLC.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

At present, the Department of Education is not involved in any blended learning initiatives.

Remote Learning

Spring 2020 Closure

Schools in Nunavut closed on March 17, 2020. The Department of Education created their remote teaching website called Angirrami ilnniarniq (Learning from Home) which offered resources for teachers to print and prepare packages to be sent out to students with limited internet access. The website included downloadable books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos, learning activities, and Inuktut language apps made available to students. The curricular focus was on literacy, numeracy, and health, and well-being. Community and family-based learning activities, such as hunting and fishing, were encouraged, particularly if these communities and families were on the land and not able to receive at-home learning packages. Teachers were asked to check in on families via telephone, text, or email on a weekly basis to offer students support. Reports were distributed, but they were based on the progress already met before school closure. All high school exams were cancelled and student progress was assessed on an individual basis for credit requirements (Nagle et al., 2020a).

Fall 2020 Reopening

As there were no cases of COVID-19 in the territory of Nunavut, schools fully re-opened as usual for grades K-12. However, added health measures were put in place, which included enhanced cleaning, physical distancing, and limited group activities. Masks were not required (Nagle et al., 2020b).

2020-21 School Year

The 2020-21 school year proceeded with in-person learning but on November 18th, 2020, Nunavut went into a two-week territorial lockdown. After schools in Iqualit closed again in mid-March 2021 as a preventative measure to combat COVID, the government closed all schools across the territory for a three-week period. As such, the learning models throughout the year varied from fully in-school, to partial in-school and remote home-based learning with student cohorts in staggered schedules of attending in-school, to fully remote. Remote learning supports during partial and fully remote learning included learning packages, ‘supplemental learning tools’ (not specified), ‘enhanced land-based’ learning, and daily check-ins with teachers and students (Nagle et al., 2021).


Nagle, J., Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020a). Documenting triage: Detailing the response of provinces and territories to emergency remote teaching. Canadian eLearning Network. https://secureservercdn.net/

Nagle, J., Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2021). Toggling between lockdowns: Canadian responses for continuity of learning in the 2020-21 school year. Canadian eLearning Network. https://secureservercdn.net/

Nagle, J., LaBonte, R., & Barbour, M. K. (2020b). A fall like no other: Between basics and preparing for an extended transition during turmoil. Canadian eLearning Network. https://secureservercdn.net/

Previous Territorial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

When Nunavut was first created in 1999, it continued to utilize the Education Act, 1996 – a piece of legacy legislation from the Northwest Territories.  In this legislature there was a provision that allowed various educational bodies to “authorize, supervise and evaluate the use of distance learning programs in the provision of the education program” (p. 58). This legislation was updated with the Nunavut Education Act, 2008, which only referenced  distance education in  a statement that a university providing “distance learning programs by mail or by electronic means from outside Nunavut to persons in Nunavut” was not considered to be operating in the territory (p. 95).

Since the inception of this study, Nunavut has not had any active K-12 distance education programs.  While the Ministry of Education has stated that there have been pilot programs in the past, there has been no information found or provided about these pilot projects.  Around 2012, the Ministry indicated it was developing a ministerial directive regarding access to and delivery of distance education.

The State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada study has always reported that students from Nunavut have only enrolled in distance education offered through the Alberta Distance Education Centre.


Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 

To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey

Inter-territorial and International

If a student in Nunavut wished to receive credit for a course taken from an online program in another province or territory the process varies depending on where the online program is located. If the online program is located in Alberta, the list of specific transfer credits is available in advance and specific equivalencies are automatically granted (i.e., due to the fact that the Nunavut senior secondary core program is linked to the Alberta course curriculum). If the online program is located in another province or territory the school principal would request the curricular information from the jurisdiction from which the course originates. Where the online course can be shown to be equivalent to an existing credit course contained in the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada Student Transfer Guide, the guide outlines the steps for credit transfer. Finally, using online programs from a jurisdiction other than Alberta would require Ministerial approval. The same process would occur if the online program was located in another country.

As Nunavut does not offer any distance education programs of its own, students from other jurisdictions are unable to enroll in their courses to receive credit.