The database resources of Inuit artwork and elders' interviews can are a substantial resource in for the promotion of the principles and values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in teaching/learning contexts of Nunavut. This educators' guide contains:
- information regarding each of the databases (Appendices A and B)
- guiding principles and values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit
- sample Nunavut curriculum links
- Inuuqatigiit, Grades 7-12 : Elders
- Inuktitut 11 Modules: Legends
- suggested activities that an educator may find helpful in beginning to plan lessons that make use of the database resources.
Elders' Kiviuq Database
Film-maker John Houston began his quest to create a film about Kiviuq by video-interviewing, in November 2004, Elders across Nunavut, resulting in 100 hours of footage. Some Elders shared what they remembered of the legend of Kiviuq for the first time in decades, since missionaries had banned the sharing of the teaching story. The footage of the Elders who informed John's film Kiviuq, released in Winter 2007 is shared in this searchable database.
Learners can search the elder's database using keywords, elders' names, community name or any other relevant term appropriate to their research or learning activities.
The Inuit Carvings and Prints Database
The Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, has a large collection of Inuit carvings. 86 carvings that have been digitally photographed, some using 360 degree photography, are searchable on this database. Also provided in this guide is a complete listing of the individual artists' names, gender, birthdates, community of residence, title of work, year created, and dimensions of the artwork.
The Houston North Gallery also has a large collection of Inuit prints. 96 prints have been digitally photographed and are searchable on this database. A complete listing is provided in this guide of each print and each carving according to the year created and title as well as the artist's community, birth date and gender (see Appendices A & B).
Learners can search the carvings and prints databases using keywords of the title or by using the keyword of 'carving' or 'print' in order to separate the two collections as a starting point.
Guiding Principles and Values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit
Principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit
Pijitsirarniq: Concept of serving
The concept of serving is central to the Inuit style of leadership as is the measure of the maturity and wisdom of an Inuk. Key here is the understanding that each person has a contribution to make and is a valued contributor to his/her community. Students will be expected to demonstrate this kind of leadership and commitment to serving the common good.
Aajiiqatigiingniq: Consensus-Decision Making
The concept of consensus decision-making relies on strong communication skills and a strong belief in shared goals. All students are expected to become contributing members of their community and to participate actively in building the strength of Inuit in Nunavut. Being able to think and act collaboratively, to assist with the development of shared understandings, to resolve conflict in consensus-building ways, and to consult respecting various perspectives and worldviews, are expectations that cross all curriculum areas.
Pilimmaksarniq: Concept of Skills and Knowledge Acquisition
The concept of skills and knowledge acquisition and capacity building is central to the success of Inuit in a harsh environment. Building personal capacity in Inuit ways of knowing and doing are key expectations for students. Demonstrating empowerment to lead a successful and productive life, that is respectful of all, is a powerful end goal of our educational system.
Qanuqtuurungnarniq: Concept of Being Resourceful to Solve Problems
The concept of being resourceful to solve problems, through innovative and creative use of resources and demonstrating adaptability and flexibility in response to a rapidly changing world, are strengths all our students should develop. Resourcefulness should be demonstrated in all learning and also thinking that seeks to improve the context in which Inuit live.
Piliriqatigiingniq: Concept of Collaborative Relationship or Working Together for a Common Purpose
The concept of developing collaborative relationships and working together for a common purpose. The essential Inuit belief that stresses the importance of the group over the individual should pervade all our teaching. Expectations for students will reflect working for the common good, collaboration, shared leadership and volunteerism. Piliriqatigiingniq also sets expectations for supportive behaviour development, strong relationship-building and consensus-building.
Avatimik Kamattiarniq: Concept of Environmental Stewardship
The concept of environmental stewardship stresses the key relationship Inuit have with the world in which they live. Students will be expected to articulate respect for this mutually interdependent relationship and to demonstrate responsible behaviors that seek to improve and protect the relationship in ways that meet global challenges to environmental wellness.
- moving forward
- take the long view
Additional Resources for Learning Outcomes:
Suggested Learning Activities:
- Learners can create a personal art collection from the print/carving database around a curricular theme or as a response to literature. Follow up would be the preparation of an oral presentation in Inuktitut or English that further explores the choices made.
- Learners can generate their own legends using the artists sculpture or prints as a prompt. Particular pieces of art may be chosen to illustrate parts of the story.
- Learners can research a particular artist through a close study and consideration of his/her collection of artwork contained in the database as well as interviews with community members.
- Learners can research a particular topic relating to Inuit culture and tradition through searching the elder database using keywords; e.g. parenting, survival, and shamanism. The teachings of the elders on these topics can be interpreted through the retelling of the stories of Kiviuq.
- Using the elder database, learners can make comparisons, by community, of the various retellings of the legends of Kiviuq. Discussions around the similarities and differences of the stories can enhance understandings of particular community contexts and histories.
- Listening to a variety of elder interviews from a variety of communities allows a learner to study and appreciate the dialectical differences contained with the Inuit language of Inuktitut.
- Learners can choose a particular retelling of a Kiviuq legend, found in the elders' database and generate a play script from the elder's interview. The play script could be performed as a readers' theatre.
- Using a selected elder's interview as a starting point, learners can be encouraged to continue the conversation by interviewing a local community elder about some of the same topics and themes.
- Learners can consider the relationship between artists' pieces and the time in which it was created by examining collections of prints and carvings by community and time period.
- Starting with the print and carving database of artwork, learners can research particular artists work through an internet search of sites such as:
Learners can put together a 'timeline' of an artist's work and explore the changes in style or message.