Inuit Elder Policy Guidance for System-wide Educational Change in Nunavut, 2003-2013
AbstractElders have been educators and experts in the Arctic for as long as people have inhabited the region. The involvement of Elders in schools and school systems has a relatively shorter history, but is more significant than has been documented to date. Elder instruction, to teach language and/or to facilitate cultural content or “culture class” began as early as the 1970s in some Nunavut communities. By the year 2000 four Inuit Elder Advisors were working full-time for the Nunavut Department of Education (NDE) developing educational philosophy and other materials for schools, in collaboration with a pan-territorial Elders Advisory Committee (EAC), classroom teachers and curriculum staff. We argue that the active role of Elders at the territorial level of school system oversight was critical to achieving Nunavut’s aspirations for educational policy change in the years between 2000 and 2013. The article describes how this work was conducted in Nunavut, analyzes some of the outcomes and materials developed, and highlights the opportunities and complexities of working with Elders and Elder knowledge within contemporary institutions, such as school systems.
Copyright (c) 2020 Heather Elizabeth McGregor, Catherine A. McGregor
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.