Population: 39,407
Number of K-12 Schools: 45
Number of K-12 Students: 10,902
Number of K-12 Distance 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

Historically, the Department of Education tracks student enrolment information through its agreements with distance learning providers. In the past the department has had agreements with distance learning providers such as the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (which closed in 2021) and Contact North in Ontario. It is not known the status or level of activity from any of these agreements.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

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

Remote Learning

Fall 2021 Reopening

All students in Nunavut returned to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, with land-based learning and outdoor education continuing. The focus for the beginning of the year was on ‘recovery learning’ as a transition for curriculum and achievement as well as mental health and well-being. Should a return to remote learning occur, schools used Edsby as their online platform. Daily learning would be adjusted to age and grade level and accommodations for diverse needs of students. A blended model of learning could also be put in place where students were in-school 50% of the time and then in online cohorts. Devices would be delivered to students in need as well as learning packages and supplies to support remote learning. Finally, assessments and reporting also continued (LaBonte et al., 2021).

2021-22 School Year

Schools remained open to in-person learning until the return to school from December holidays when, due to increasing community spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, school reopening was delayed until January 17, 2022 with a return to remote learning. School safety plans were put in place for student return to in-person learning January 24 at either 100 percent or 50 percent capacity depending on the COVID-19 situation (e.g., schools in Iqaluit, Kinngait, Arviat, Rankin Inlet, and Cambridge Bay opened at 50 per cent capacity) (Nunavut Department of Education, 2022). Masks were required on school buses and in schools until April 11 when the government lifted all mandatory restrictions other than masking restrictions at government workplaces and health facilities.


LaBonte, R., Barbour, M. K., & Mongrain, J. (2022). Teaching during times of turmoil: Ensuring Continuity of learning during school closures. Canadian eLearning Network. https://canelearn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Teaching-During-Times-of-Turmoil.pdf

LaBonte, R., Barbour, M. K., & Nagle, J. (2021). Pandemic pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the first 18 months. Canadian eLearning Network. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gaNFXDCt44W9DaAC9iRAf33pDTKup2C8/view

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.