Filming for our future
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Filming for our future






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  • -explain that “Are you Rich?” was already presented at IPY, but the final slides are online at -explain that you’re here presenting on behalf of a team
  • -Outline three topics we’re going to cover, implications for public health & health research: Mental health & wellness among youth, intergenerational connectedness, history, knowledge translation. -Asset-based approach
  • -audience participation: who here can tell me where Arviat is?
  • -Mental health is an important, yet currently minimally addressed issue in the Canadian North. Suicide rates in Nunavut are eight times the rate of those in southern Canada (Tester & McNicoll, 2004). The Baffin region of Nunavut has the highest male suicide rate at 133.9/100,000 and the highest female suicide rate at 47.1/100,000 (Tester & McNicoll, 2004). In the Baffin region as well as other regions of Nunavut, the prevalence of Inuit male (ages 15-29) suicide is among the highest in the world (Tester & McNicoll, 2004).
  • -Trained Inuit youth as historical researchers- examined archival document, pictures & film footage from the eastern Arctic, 1935-1970 -Many Inuit now living in Arviat underwent dramatic relocation from Ennadai Lake to Eskimo Point, now Arviat- starvations, TB, relocations -more of a change from one physical location to another, but attempts for psycho-social assimilation -History for healing
  • -History as a foundation for understanding -resistance
  • -I hear a lot of discussions of health at this conference that is defined as a lack of disease, but would argue that mental health & wellness is central to health for Inuit -Good relations are central to wellbeing and health in Inuit communities -if you have good relations, everything else is bearable & good -Working together
  • -knowledge translation- Zach Kunuk, said that the Video Camera is the best tool for research with Inuit communities -skills-based training, supports youth with employable skills- all youth involved went on to receive work in filmming, education, youth work -Participatory Filmmaking (resistance against dominant culture & TV/Internet) -creates space of resistance in research-relationships -implications participatory policy making
  • -educating researchers, communication & relationship building -Social media -Mention “My Word” storytelling project
  • -implications for Nunavut Arctic College & high school systems
  • -Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • -Add blog site

Filming for our future Filming for our future Presentation Transcript

  • Ashoka: Innovators for the PublicFilming for Our futureSocio-Historical, Cross-Generational and Multi-media Approaches to InuitYouth Mental Health and Well-being School of Social Work, University of British Columbia School (UBC), Vancouver, Canada Nanisiniq Arviat History Project Research Team: Martha Okotak, Silas Illungiayok, Tamar Mukyunik, Jordan Konek, Curtis Kuunuaq, Amy Owingayak, Dr. Paule McNicoll, Mr. Peter Irniq, Dr. Frank Tester & April Dutheil
  • Nanisiniq Arviat History Project• Inuit Elders & youth from Arviat, Nunavut• Two year multi-media history project• Participatory action research• Sivulinuut Elders Society & University of British Columbia School of Social Work
  • Arviat, Nunavut • 1,200 kilometers north of Winnipeg • Third largest town in Nunavut • Population approx. 3,000
  • Inuit History• Most dramatic assimilation period in history• Relocation• Starvation• Residential school• An attempt to assimilate Inuit into western culture Tester & McNicoll (2004)
  • Mental Health and Well-being• Arviat: 74% of population under 25 years old compared to 35% for general Canada• Arviat: Highest national birth rate – 35/1,000• Nunavut suicide eight times the rate of suicide in southern Canada – 119.7/100,000 vs. 14/100,000• Socio-historical trauma & fractured identity/belonging Hicks (2004); Tester & McNicoll (2004); White (2010)
  • Generational Gap• Decreased interaction between Elders and youth• Impacts grasp of culturally, socially and geographically -relevant Inuit knowledge
  • Forgotten History• Limited understanding of Inuit history among youth• Inuit history not taught in Nunavut (or southern Canada)• Painful to talk about
  • History & Identity• Knowing one’s history to make sense of personal & community experiences• Rediscovering, celebrating & re- enforcing identity
  • History & Resistance“First of all Id like to say that Inuit were treated back then asif they were stupid. They knew how to hunt well and how tosurvive on the land but then, what did they get? Whitepeople writing them a book of wisdom which Inuit alreadyhad! From reading the documents we have been looking at,Inuit stayed quiet and tried to listen to the Whitepeople...What the whitepeople did not know then wasInuit were already smart enoughto live their lives...” -Amy Owingayak, August 22 2010
  • Elders• Cross-generational dialogue & understanding• Culturally & socially reaffirming for Elders & youth• Healing generational trauma
  • Elders & Strength“Im amazed by these Elders Im watching who were allmistreated by the Canadian Government - Yet they still standstrong. Im even more amazed how they know theenvironment around them. Were losing it.” -Jordan Konek, August 2 2012
  • Filmmaking
  • Digital Media:
  • What does this project mean to me?
  • Acknowledgements• Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada• Sivulinuut Elders Society• Nunavut Research Institute• Nunavut Arctic College
  • References• Hicks, J. (2004, January 24). Nunavut Kiglisiniaqtiit: Evaluation and Statistics. Presentation to the Founding Conference of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Council, Iqaluit, NU.• Korhonen, M. (2006). Suicide prevention: Inuit traditional practices that encouraged resilience and coping. Retrieved from the Ajunnginiq Centre, National Aboriginal Health Organization website: evention-FinalEnglish_000.pdf• Tester, F. J., & McNicoll, P. (2004). Isumagijaksaq: Mindful of the state: Social constructions of inuit suicide. Social Science & Medicine, 58(12):2625-2636.• White, Patrick (2010, June 5). Inuit mothers fight for their children’s health. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from
  • Questions• Blog:• Twitter: @NanisiniqArviat• Email: