Tag Archives: Inuit

Module 4 Post 4 (Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny)

This documentary/mockumentry examines how white culture has tried to document the ‘other’ through lack of understanding and cross-cultural exchange. It does this by reversing the traditional roles of subject and documenter – an Inuit community tries to understand white culture by using the same methods that western documenters used on them to falsely represent their cultures.

To me, by re-appropriating the methods of settler culture, this film strongly comments on how traditional usages of media have served to subjugate and misrepresent Indigenous people and communities.

NFB Description


  1. Nothing about us without us

    This last week, to my surprise, I saw this article on the website homepage of Mount Royal University, where I work.The following description is in the article:

    “A field school in the mountains last spring is being lauded as the best model to date of delivering Indigenous-centred curriculum in partnership with Indigenous stakeholders”

    Students are taken to the lyarhe (Stoney) Nakoda first nation in Morley, Alberta for a week-long immersive learning experience that brings together Indigenous people and settler Canadians to explore reconciliation and Indigenous land relationships.

    Community member Thomas Snow stated that:

    “You can’t teach environmental reconciliation without being out on the land, and you can’t teach Indigenous students without learning from Indigenous peoples”

    It’s definitely nice to see this sort of progress happening in my own community.

  2. Developing a Culturally Relevant eMentoring Program for Aboriginal Youth

    This is a great article for better understanding how eMentoring can assist Indigenous students in succeeding in post-secondary, as well as some of the precautions that should be taken such as understanding cultural values, protocols, respect for land and elders, etc. in pursuing the development of eMentoring programs. The article further discusses how enhancing Indigenous education could also improve Indigenous health and wellness. eMentoring allows students to have better support on their traditional land, which is critical for place-based learning and community identity.

  3. Going Places: Preparing Inuit high school students for their future in a changing, wider world

    After the last weblog, where I focused in on mobile education, particularly in Inuit communities, I wanted to explore this topic further as a potential avenue for narrowing my research topic. In my exploration I found this YouTube video which discusses Inuit learning and community investment into Inuit youth education. In watching this video, I have further recognized the importance of having community involvement in education. While this video in particular doesn’t discuss e-Learning or m-Learning, I think that it helps to further solidify the importance of community involvement in educational program, system, and tool development.

  4. Work-based Mobile Learning: Concepts and Cases (Google Book)

    Although the section in this book on Indigenous learners is small, it was helpful to me in bringing to light how mobile devices could help assist Indigenous instructors and learners in developing their own narratives in their day-to-day lives. It is discussed that mobile devices can assist Indigenous workers in documenting their work and then being able to share their work with others. As well, mobile devices are a good medium, as many learners are already experts in using them, eliminating a difficult learning curve.

  5. Tablet PCs preserve Indigenous knowledge

    While this article doesn’t discuss Canada’s Indigenous people, it does discuss, similar to the #4 article above, that mobile tablets can help with preserving knowledge. This article explains a specific application that uses 3D visualization of a village as well as drawing capabilities imitate the way elders share their knowledge which is similar to being physically present in the village. The article stresses the importance of having elders involved in the development of the app. Finally, the article discusses how tablets, using touch screens, are more intuitive than using computers and will eliminate some frustration and costs in implementing them.

Overcoming Barriers Starts with Funding and Education (Mod 2 Post 4)

Coming off my last post and in my search for financial support for Indigenous girls in post-secondary education, I came across an Indigenous-led registered charity called Indspire.  In addition to it dispersing financial aid, it also provides an online resource for teachers with a variety of lesson plans, online webinars, in-class seminars and links to upcoming events.

In my research so far about the barriers facing Indigenous women in STEAM and tech-related fields, two trends are emerging- funding and teacher education.  Funding is one way to support Indigenous students becoming successful in education, but another large indicator for success is the education of teachers and their knowledge and understanding of how to deliver curriculum and better help support Indigenous students.  There are two upcoming conferences that will have Indigenous students and Indigenous educators sharing their experiences and practices of what works and providing teachers with some of this knowledge and understanding about Indigenous needs in education.

The first event is coming up this Oct 19th at Simon Fraser University where a panel of 3 Laureates (Dakota Brant- First Nations, Maatalii Okalik- Inuit, and Gabrielle Fayant- Metis), will “discuss issues such as being the first person in the family to go to university or being the only Indigenous student in the class, and how schools can better support Indigenous students.”  Registration is still open. 

Another upcoming conference is the 23rd Annual Aboriginal Education Conference “Renewing our Relationship” put on by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and happening in Vancouver Nov 30- Dec 1-2 at the Westin Bayshore.  As stated on their website this conference will be:

“Showcasing innovative curriculum, inspiring people and excellent networking opportunities, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) Annual Aboriginal Education Conference draws over 800 educators each year. Our conference theme, Renewing Our Relationship, will explore the role of education in reconciliation as part of the ongoing conversations about Canada’s 150th celebrations and planning for the future of First Nations education in British Columbia. This will include examining how we can work together to transform our relationships in order to advance quality First Nations education.

There are a variety of workshops to choose from and several keynote speakers,  including one of the authors from our course readings- Dr. Jan Hare who is the Associate Dean for Indigenous Education (UBC).


Justin’s Module 2 resources: #1 & #2

  1. In the Eyes of Mala

On the Government of Canada website, under the teaching resources, you will find a pdf document called, “In the Eyes of Mala.” This document demonstrates a series of lesson plans built around a 12-year-old Inuk boy who lives in Salluit, Nunavik, for students aged 9-12 years old. The unit will provide some insight into the lives of Inuit, where students will learn about the history, culture and traditions of Inuit. When completed the booklet, students will be able to: express an appreciation for strong traditions and unique culture of the Inuit people, describe the various developments that affected Canada’s Artic from its early history to the present, locate the community of Salluit and its neighbouring Inuit municipalities on a map of Canada, and relate the similarities and differences between life in Salluit and life in their own community.

Here is the pdf: CLICK ME

In addition to this, I wanted to include a webpage that will help introduce the topic of the Inuit.

Here is the webpage: CLICK ME

  1. Stained Glass Window in Parliament: Commemorating the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. They were originally established in 1880 and the last one closed in 1996. Personally, I have a hard time teaching about this topic because it is something I’m not proud of, and something that I do not want my kids to think was okay. I’ve used this video to introduce residential schools to my students, which can be found on “The Canadian Encyclopedia” webpage.

After introducing the video, I had an elderly man from the community come in to talk about their experience with residential schools and how it affected his family. After each story, Jackie (the elderly man) would attach some sort of art activity. Since we were learning about colours and shades in Art class, Jackie suggested that he would teach a lesson on stained glass, as there is a glass window in parliament commemorating the legacy of residential schools. Here is the 4 page brochure issued by the Government of Canada: CLICK ME

Hopefully this resource can provide you an introductory lesson to teach in your classrooms. I felt better using government issued resources at first, because it has been written and developed with Indigenous perspective in mind.

Inuit Knowledge – Schools and Projects

In this final weblog, I curate examples of Inuit knowledge. I am moving beyond the focus on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, as each region has different ways to speak of Inuit Knowledge.  These site are sources of inspiration, and I have tried to represent examples from the four Inuit regions in Canada:

  • Nunatsiavut (Labrador)
  • Nunavik (Quebec)
  • Nunavut.
  • The Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories

16. Paatsaalit School, Sanikiluaq, Nunavut

Paatsaalit High School demonstrates how the school and broader community are involved in the well being of students and community members. Explore the achieve to view images of life in a northern school.

17. Jaanimmarik School, Kuujuaq, Quebec

Jaanimmarik regularly blogs about the events and activities at the school. The living culture is present in the photos within themes that are present in many schools across Canada (i.e. prom, picnics).

18. Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute, Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

This site is a hub of local Inuit knowledge, the project has videos and information on a variety about Elders, clothes, language, and a bank of images on variety of topics. The History Museum of Canada also has an online exhibit on the Gwich’in.

19. Climate Telling, Nain, Labrador

This research project seeks to understand Inuit knowledge and climate change. There website is rich with information on northern food security and generational knowledge sharing. This site also links to ISUMA TV and videos recorded for the project.

20. Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project, Nunavut

Nanisiniq project brings together elders and youth to preserve Inuit Knowledge. Youth capture elder stories through video and technology.


Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) – Traditional Knowledge in Digital Media

Sanikiluaq, NU Country Food - Berries (image from http://www.najuqsivik.com/gateway/countryfood/, licence for educational purposes)

Country Food – Berries (image from Najuqsivik DayCare Gateway Project, licence use for educational purposes)

This weblog continues from Module 1’s overview websites that included IQ in the curriculum, and Module 2 Traditional Knowledge in Cyberspace. In this Module 3 Weblog, I have curated Inuit digital media projects.

11. Najuqsivik Daycare

Najuqsivik Daycare in Sanikiluaq, NU, runs more than just a daycare, but also the community access program and community TV channel. In 2006, Najuqsivik received Canadian Heritage funding to showcase Sanikiluaq and Inuit Culture. The topic pages include: soapstone carving, country food, camping, traditional medicine, with beautiful images. There is also 27 short Quicktime movies of ranging in topic from seal skinning, doll making to housing.

12. Inuit Cultural Online Resource

Inuit Culture Online Resource, funded by Canadian Heritage, was designed to introduce Canadian school age children to Inuit culture. There is a written narrative that covers a broad range of topics including: Inuit history, modern vs traditional life. There are 11 short videos on topics including: throat singing, drumming, games and making bannock. Teachers will be interested in the teaching resources, which include colouring sheets.

13. Nipiit Magazine

Nipiit tags itself as Canada’s Inuit Youth Magazine.  There are 10 issues that are written in both Inuktitut and English. The articles are written and photos are by Inuit youth around the country; they report on community news, school projects, health and lifestyle.

14. Avataq

Avataq is a cultural website for the Nunavik region of Canada. Avataq represents Inuit living culture and can be viewed in English, French or Inuktitut. The website is organized around different themes and projects on Inuit life and culture, both in the past and present. They also have a photo achieve.

15. Katiqsugat, Inuit Early Learning Resources 

Katiqsugat provides materials for early childhood education. There are a variety of learning materials and resources for teachers.


Research 5 links Exploring Arts, Culture, Indigeneity and Technology

The more I research into art, technology and indigeneity, the more intrigued I am with the topic. There are many layers to the topic and it is constantly evolving as culture is not static and there is not one set definition of what culture is. In addition, technology continues to evolve so more layers become added including commodification and differing world views on this.


In the journal article, “Aboriginal theater: does ’sold out’ mean ’selling out’? “ The author discusses the disparity between Western Civilizations’ view of theater and the aboriginal point of view which encompasses a reflecting of spiritual truth as they see it. He highlights the complexities of ancient, traditional Aboriginal art forms and finds that the performing arts have been portrayed as primitive ritual lacking in the sophistication and complexity of contemporary western civilization. He speaks to the ethnocentric and naïve view that western thought purports and proposes that these art forms may be  difficult to interpret using western mode of thought.



In the journal article “From Colonialism to Multiculturalism? Totem Poles, Tourism and National identity in Vancouver’s Stanley Park”, the author reflects about the symbol of the totem pole and questions whose culture is represented, displayed and consumed. She questions whether or not they adequately capture the complicated and diverse histories and experiences of first nations people in the province of BC. She also discusses the use of totem poles as a statement of Canadian heritage and questions the Canadian Government’s use of them for their economic and cultural value. She writes further that the displays run the risk of minimizing the histories and legacies of aboriginal people within our nation.


In the article, “Authentic Inuit Art: Creation and Exclusion in the Canadian North”, the author discusses how Modern Inuit commercial arts grew out of the desires of multiple non-Inuit agencies and persons. He also discusses how these outside influences worked to create new art forms which were means of carrying out the will of these competing persons in a complex competition to control social and cultural relationships. These were appropriated by the Inuit and this new art gave them new strength to establish new economic, social and political institutions.  In all, the article examines the historical support and shaping of Canadian Inuit art in the 20th century,  and the consequences of outside influences.


In In the article, “Indigenous culture: both malleable and valuable”,  the author speaks to Ideological  tensions that arise with the effort to balance the preservation of cultural integrity with the selling of marketable wares.  She proposes further interdisciplinary research to develop an understanding that supports the long‐term sustainability of indigenous communities. She finds that existing discourse is currently dominated by non‐indigenous voices and Western tourism motivations, which need amelioration to better support the community‐based approach.


In the article, “The Artifice of Culture, Contemporary Indigenous Art and the Work of Peter Robinson”, the author discusses the huge effect   computing, Internet, and televisual technologies have had on the conditions of the production, reproduction, circulation, and consumption of cultural imagery. These technologies are fueling an economy and the commodification of art as culture.  Indigenous and non‐Indigenous perspectives on commodification are likely to provide different views. The article examines  the representation of contemporary,  ‘non‐traditional’ Indigenous art and the definition of cultural property and identity.



Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) – Traditional knowledge in the curriculum


Image credit: Snow-Mountains-Clouds-Arctic by Freyer, CCO (Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/snow-mountains-clouds-arctic-965524/)

I am interested in reflecting on Inuit education through my lens of living and going to school in Canada’s arctic as a child, then returning as a teacher. The resources curated here focus on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit traditional values and their integration into the curriculum in Nunavut.

  • Pijitsirarniq: Serving the community.
  • Aajiiqatigiingniq: Consensus-Decision Making.
  • Pilimmaksarniq: Skills and Knowledge Acquisition.
  • Qanuqtuurungnarniq: Being Resourceful to Solve Problems.
  • Piliriqatigiingniq: Concept of Collaborative Relationship or Working Together for a Common Purpose.
  • Avatimik Kamattiarniq: Environmental Stewardship.

1. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Education Framework

The government of Nunavut published this IQ Education Framework in order to define and frame how educators can integrate Inuit traditional principles throughout the curriculum. This document was developed with Elders, and understands the goal of Inuit education to develop wisdom (as differentiated from Western philosophy of self-actualization).

2. Nunavut Department of Education, Learning Resources

This site curates the curriculum guides from K-12. The curriculum, strands and programs of study are similar to other southern curriculums; however, within each grade there is a section that specifically points to learning resources created in Nunavut and incorporating traditional knowledge.

3. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Adventure Website

This site explores Inuit traditions through the six guiding principles and values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit through Elder voices, recorded in Inuktitut (English text translations); includes an educators guide.

4. Teacher as Researcher – leap into the void with me [blog]

This is a blog, that I want to revisit. The author, Morgan Bentham, is also a Master’s student who is interested in indigenous ways of knowing.  She has tagged several thoughful posts on IQ, which also lead to further resources.

5. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

This site focuses on the public health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. While not specifically focused on IQ, the site does provide a useful article that helps define the importance of IQ for the health and wellbeing of northern youth.

5 Links to Articles – Exploring Indigeneity the Arts and Technology


This article explores art education and place-based education as a means of developing ecological literacy. It explores the integration of the real-world, community-centred learning of place-based education with art. It provides information about a model art and environmental educators to create experiences for students regarding self and community.


This article explores aboriginal expression in the arts and media. It explores tv, film, theater, radio and music networks and the internet. It explores opposing viewpoints including the erosional of cultural foundations  and the empowerment in reappropriating various forms of artistic representation.


This is the website of Muskrat magazine and the article “Pass the faether to Me” Aboriginal Arts Collective” promotes a classroom art exchange program between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth, teachers and artists. It promotes using visual culture to transcend logistic and financial barriers and is attempting to create co-operative and respectful interrelations for future generations. MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that exhibits original works and critical commentary. It’s mandate is to use media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.


This article from the Canadian Journal of Communication Explores the idea of  “Travelling Through Layers” and how  Inuit artists are beginning to appropriate new technologies. It discusses how the Inuit are mapping traditional concepts, values, and metaphors to make sense of contemporary realities and technologies.


This article discusses the Woodlands School of Art and the impact Norval Morrisseau had on the changing the conversation in the universe about what it means to be native. Norval’s belief that the process of learning is essential to culture and so is the process of teaching culture was expressed through art. It discusses Ojibwa Culture and Art and how art can be used to bridge gaps within and between cultures.


Indigenous Education and Epistemic Violence



Education Canada was founded in 1891 and includes a network of educators that contribute their ideas for greater student and teacher engagement in public education in Canada. The link above is an article written by Michael Chandler and he’s very brutally honest in his piece. He outlines Canada’s continuing failure to properly address the training and educational needs of its First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.