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INUIT PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND FORMAL EDUCATION IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC

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Title: INUIT PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND FORMAL EDUCATION IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC
Author: Lalonde, Geneviève
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Pearce, TristanBradshaw, Benjamin
Abstract: There is a longstanding desire among some Inuit and northern educators to better integrate Inuit culture and modes of learning in education. At present, efforts to include Inuit culture in education can be described as ad hoc or add-ons to a Euro-North American schooling system, which puts many Inuit in internal conflict trying to live according to two value systems that in some ways are contradictory. This thesis reports on research conducted with Inuit in the western Canadian Arctic to examine what aspects of culture and modes of learning Inuit desire to have included in education, beyond those identified a priori by non-Inuit educators. A conceptual framework for the cultural negotiation of Indigenous education is empirically applied in a case study of Ulukhaktok, NWT to identify what Inuit think Inuit youth should learn, how they should learn it, where they should learn it and from whom, and why it is important for them to learn it. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews (n=31), free-lists and participant observation. Findings show that Inuit desire to have native languages, subsistence knowledge, skills and values, and understanding of the local environment included in education, which not only builds competence in subsistence but also provides students with capacity to cope with challenges in the modern world. This involves on-the-land hands-on learning with a skilled person and practical everyday use of native languages in learning. Inuit perceive school as a place for “learning” and the research identifies opportunities to negotiate this space to better integrate Inuit culture and modes of learning.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10330
Date: 2017-04
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada