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Canadian North and Mount Royal University Partner to Train Inuit Pilots

October 12, 2023

Calgary, Alberta – In response to Canada’s critical pilot shortage, Canadian North, an Inuit-owned airline, and Mount Royal University, today unveiled a strategic partnership to help address and redefine the future of aviation. This transformative collaboration leverages Mount Royal University’s renowned pilot program and Canadian North’s unwavering commitment to cultivating a new generation of community-oriented pilots, with a specific focus on empowering Inuit students.

Canadian North and Mount Royal University are taking significant steps to address the pilot shortage and empower Inuit students through this partnership. Among the key components are:

  • Nomination Program: At the heart of this partnership is a unique nomination program that enables Canadian North to nominate up to 10% of Mount Royal University’s annual pilot program admissions, with a specific focus on empowering Inuit students. This initiative aims to bridge access in aviation training opportunities, supporting the development of a new generation of community-oriented pilots.
  • Conditional Letter of Offer: Successful candidates admitted to Mount Royal University’s pilot program will receive conditional letters of offer from Canadian North, opening the door to a promising career as community-oriented pilots upon graduation.
  • Financial Assistance: Through collaborative efforts Canadian North and Mount Royal University will ensure that aspiring pilots receive the financial support they need to pursue their education and career in aviation.

In addition to these pivotal elements, Canadian North and Mount Royal University are working together to shape the curriculum, ensuring that it aligns with the evolving needs of the aviation industry. The partnership also offers mentorship opportunities, valuable flight training benefits, and prepares students for the unique challenges of serving our remote and northern communities in Canada’s Arctic.

Canada is currently facing a nationwide pilot shortage, with the demand for skilled pilots surpassing the available workforce. Canadian North recognizes the vital role that pilots play in connecting remote and northern communities in Canada’s Arctic, facilitating economic growth, enhancing access to essential services, and ensuring its continued success.

“We are pleased to partner with Mount Royal University on this important initiative. This positive step addresses Canada’s pilot shortage with talented Inuit students,” said Michael Rodyniuk, Canadian North’s CEO “Canadian North is committed to our mission; making life better in the communities we serve. Together, we are securing the future of aviation in Canada’s north, building strong Arctic Aviators, providing opportunities, and empowering Inuit youth.”

“Today marks a pivotal moment in Canadian North’s commitment to supporting and empowering Inuit communities,” said Jason Kilabuk, Canadian North’s Director of Inuit Employment & Talent Strategies. “This partnership with Mount Royal University embodies our dedication to nurturing talent, especially among Inuit students who may face unique challenges in pursuing their dreams. As an Inuk, I understand these challenges intimately, and I’m deeply honoured to be part of this endeavour. It speaks volumes about our mission to redefine aviation for the better and create opportunities that may have seemed out of reach for many. I’m excited about the possibilities it holds for empowering Inuit students and strengthening our ties with the communities we serve.”

“Mount Royal University is delighted with this evolution in our long-standing relationship with Canadian North. We have deep connections with the aviation industry through our Aviation Partnership Council, which includes Canadian North. The Partnership Council provides invaluable advice that guides our programming, and this inspiring new partnership with Canadian North is the result of a shared dedication to providing outstanding educational experiences for students. It aligns with Mount Royal University’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, and we could not be more pleased that, with the support of ATB, this will help reduce a financial barrier that prevents many students from being able to pursue a career in aviation. It is another exciting chapter in the growth and development of aviation programming at MRU.” Dean Kelly Williams-Whitt, Mount Royal University


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