Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 50

Arctic Yearbook 2014 50 71.30%   80%   60%   56%   32.40%   40%   20%   0%   Nunavut   NWT   Canada  Overall   Figure 2: High School Completion Rates for Nunavut and the NWT Compared to Canada Overall (Sources: Aboriginal Student Achievement Education Plan, 2011; NTI 2010-2011 Annual Report: The status of Inuit children and youth in Nunavut, 2011) In Nunavut, the new module on residential schools and assimilation policies is one component of rewriting Grade 10 Social Studies, rooted in Inuit culture and knowledge. This new curriculum, being implemented over several years, replaces the Alberta curriculum previously used. Grade 10 Social Studies contains the residential schools module as one of five (Beardsall 2012). At the centre of the curriculum are the concepts of student identity and Inuit Qaujimajaqtuqangit, Inuit knowledge and insights. Students are learning who they are as well as expectations of them from society. Nunavut’s curriculum writers are developing social studies resources in a bi-lingual manner, writing the document collaboratively in both languages, as opposed to completing literal translation. The name of the Nunavut Social Studies course is Inuuqatigiittiarniq - Seeking Harmony. Nunavut curriculum writer Liz Fowler explains, “Inuuqatigiittiarniq [means] striving to live in harmony; being good to one another; or to put it simply: citizenship” (Personal communication, October 18, 2012). According to Fowler, reconciliation is linked to Inuit cultural resilience: Reconciling today has to begin from people’s own worldviews and strengths. When Inuit feel heard, balanced, celebrated and respected, amongst each other and the world, they have so much to give. What was never oppressed will be so highly profiled, shared, and celebrated that it will clearly show the strengths of Inuit and their cultural and linguistic uniqueness. Reconciling in part is feeling balanced and whole (Personal communication, November 10, 2012). Similar to Nunavut, the NWT has undertaken a process to re-imagine parts of its high school curriculum. In the spring of 2011, a guiding committee of northern leaders, and a Northern Studies Teachers Advisory Committee were formed in the NWT to define the overall goals and objectives that should be reflected in a new Northern Studies curriculum for high school students (Personal Communication, John Stewart, March 13, 2012). The new Northern Studies course, composed of five modules, is one aspect of the Education Renewal and Innovation Plan (2013). Nunavut’s Social Studies curriculum, and the NWT’s Northern Studies curriculum, including the module on residential schools, can be considered a step towards internal reconciliation in education. Nunavut and the NWT are able to define citizenship, goals, and how education will develop students to fulfill these goals, as enthusiastic, well prepared participants in global conversations Daitch