Much research in the area of minority language education has focused on the affective and pedagogical benefits of mother tongue language education. While the focus on student outcomes is important, this represents only part of the picture of minority language education. Absent from much of this research is a clear understanding of the specificity of the historical, social, economic and political context in which minority schooling is situated. This paper will examine education in Nouveau Québec from a critical historical and sociolinguistic perspective. Specifically, it will consider education in terms of its historical development from contact with missionaries to the formation of the Inuit controlled Kativik School Board. It will also address the issue of minority language maintenance in term of language use (Inuktitut, French and English) and language policy in the schools, and its relation to language use and attitudes in the community. Data will be drawn from historical documents, work experience and recent fieldwork in Arctic Québec.