Canadian North and Mount Royal University to train Inuit pilots

Cockpit view from a Canadian North jet on an icy runway.
Photo Credit: Canadian North

In response to Canada’s critical pilot shortage, Canadian North, an Inuit-owned airline, and Mount Royal University, have unveiled a strategic partnership to help address and redefine the future of aviation.

Canada is no stranger to the vast and remote landscapes of its northern territories, where connecting communities and ensuring access to essential services can be challenging.

The lifeline to these regions places a heavy reliance on air operations to bridge the gap between remote communities and the rest of the country. However, in recent years, Canada has been facing a critical pilot shortage, putting these vital connections at risk.

To combat this shortage and empower Inuit students, Canadian North, an Inuit-owned airline, and Mount Royal University have unveiled a strategic partnership.

This collaboration aims to redefine the future of aviation by combining Mount Royal University’s renowned pilot program with Canadian North’s commitment to cultivating a new generation of community-oriented pilots.

A Unique Nomination Program

At the heart of this partnership lies a unique nomination program that signifies a paradigm shift in the aviation industry.


Canadian North has the privilege to nominate up to 10 percent of Mount Royal University’s annual pilot program admissions, with a special emphasis on empowering Inuit students.

This initiative aims to bridge the gap in aviation training opportunities, ultimately supporting the development of a new generation of community-oriented pilots.

It’s not just about filling the pilot seats; it’s about ensuring that these pilots understand and are dedicated to serving the communities they connect.

Photo Credit: Canadian North

Opening Doors

The dreams of aspiring pilots are often hindered by financial constraints. This partnership addresses that concern by offering successful candidates admitted to Mount Royal University’s pilot program conditional letters of offer from Canadian North.

This offer acts as a gateway to a promising career as community-oriented pilots upon graduation, giving them hope, direction, and a clear path towards achieving their dreams.

Mounting tuition fees can be a significant deterrent for students aspiring to become pilots.

However, through collaborative efforts, Canadian North and Mount Royal University are ensuring that aspiring pilots receive the financial support they need to pursue their education and career in aviation.

This financial assistance will remove a significant barrier, making aviation education more accessible to a wider range of students.

Curriculum Tailored to Industry Needs

In addition to these pivotal elements, Canadian North and Mount Royal University are working together to shape the curriculum.

They are ensuring that it aligns with the evolving needs of the aviation industry. By doing so, they are preparing students not just to become pilots but to meet the unique challenges of serving remote and northern communities in Canada’s Arctic.

This tailored approach equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their aviation careers.

Mentorship Opportunities

The partnership between Canadian North and Mount Royal University goes beyond the classroom. It offers mentorship opportunities that allow students to learn from experienced professionals, giving them valuable insights into the aviation industry.

Additionally, students will receive essential flight training benefits, making them well-prepared to embark on their aviation journeys.

Canada’s pilot shortage is a pressing issue with far-reaching consequences. The demand for skilled pilots surpasses the available workforce, and this shortage threatens to sever vital connections between remote communities and the rest of the nation.

Canadian North understands the pivotal role that pilots play in connecting these communities, facilitating economic growth, and enhancing access to essential services.

As Michael Rodyniuk, Canadian North’s CEO, rightly puts it, “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.”

Empowering Inuit Youth

This partnership not only addresses the pilot shortage but also marks a pivotal moment in Canadian North’s commitment to supporting and empowering Inuit communities.

As Jason Kilabuk, Canadian North’s director of Inuit employment & talent strategies, explains, “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.”

The commitment to empowering Inuit youth speaks volumes about Canadian North’s mission to redefine aviation for the better.

A Shared Dedication

Mount Royal University is equally enthusiastic about this collaboration. Dean Kelly Williams-Whitt highlights the importance of providing outstanding educational experiences for students and reducing financial barriers that often prevent many from pursuing a career in aviation.

This partnership is a testament to Mount Royal University’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, aligning with the broader goal of promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
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