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CURA Workshop, Inuit Women and Leadership: UPEI Presentation April 2013


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CIERA Annual Workshop Inuit Women and Leadership
At: Laval University April 18, 2013.
Presentation Titled: Inuit Women Educational Leaders: ‘Expanding Vision’ and ‘Creating Futures’
By: Naullaq Arnaquq, Fiona Walton,
Darlene O’Leary

Published in: Education
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CURA Workshop, Inuit Women and Leadership: UPEI Presentation April 2013

  1. 1. CIERA Annual Workshop Inuit Women and Leadership Laval University April 18, 2013 Inuit Women Educational Leaders: ‘Expanding Vision’ and ‘Creating Futures’ NaullaqArnaquq, Fiona Walton, Darlene O’Leary
  2. 2. UPEI CURA Research Themes and findings from this research emerge from:  Inuit Educational Leadership Workshop held in Iqaluit in February 2012, and  Interviews with Inuit women educational leaders who are graduates and current students in the UPEI Master of Education Nunavut program
  3. 3. Inuit Educational Leadership Workshop Iqaluit, February 2012
  4. 4. Inuit Educational Workshop and Interviews Inuit women educators who shared their perspectives at the workshop and in interviews are strongly motivated: to give back to their communities, to empower others to achieve their goals, and to continue to strengthen Inuit language and culture.
  5. 5. Inuit Educational Workshop and Interviews There are still barriers that Inuit women educators face, including:  lack of access to university graduate education,  overcoming intergenerational trauma resulting from colonialism,  maintaining Inuit identity in a changing society, and  finding their own voice, identity and confidence.
  6. 6. Inuit women’s leadership foundations “We relied on our Elders to tell us the story, to pass on the knowledge. That’s how we were taught, by talking to us orally, and using tales from the past... We have to have a grounding, a place where we start from and understanding who we are ….that’s where all my starting points come from, especially from what I have heard from other Inuit and that’s where I form my direction and that’s how I have been able to perform as a leader.” Mary Simon, former President, Inuit TapariitKanatami (February 2012)
  7. 7. Inuit leadership and community “My style of a leader is to work for the common good, to build healthy communities. …You can be a leader and not give a damn about your resume, because you are just striving for something for something good, for something better.” Millie Kuliktana, MEd graduate Kugluktuk, NU (February 2012)
  8. 8. Inuit leadership improving communities
  9. 9. Inuit leadership and community “I think, in smaller communities, you see all your colleagues or peers and your Elders, and you don't want to be seen as a leader, it's very intimidating to be seen as a leader. You grow, you're pushed. When you're pushed by the Elders, the leaders in the community, to become a leader, [its] only then can you start sounding your voice ….So in order to be a very vocal leader, you almost…need a group of your community to back you up…the community has a big role in creating a leader…” JukeepaHainnu, MEd graduate and Principal, Quluaq High School Clyde River, NU (July 2012)
  10. 10. Colonial consciousness and need for recovery “There is a lot of consciousness that we don’t have about why we keep on measuring ourselves towards other people’s standards and not measuring our own culture as something valuable. Even in Greenland where we struggle and struggle a lot to put more culture in the school, still a lot of people (are not) aware of how … the colonial history has shaped us inside.” AviajaLynge, Institute of Arctic Education University of Greenland (February 2012)
  11. 11. Colonial consciousness and need for recovery “I just want to make myself available for people who have gone through what I did, and more … the residential school experience. So I got (healing) training and I’m available anytime people need somebody to talk to. … At the apology … all the things that happened in the past … just started to come back … and I had gone through the healing process … so I told my 7-year-old self, that’s the age when I went to school, I told the 7-year-old child in me, this is for you” Monica Ittusardjuat, MEd graduate Iqaluit, NU (February 2012)
  12. 12. Importance of higher education “I want more Inuit educators to deal with what’s holding them back. Even though we are being told you can’t do this or that [we] still need to speak.…The more Inuit [are] educated with higher degrees, the more people will want to see themselves as equal. If more students go through the Masters program, it will become the norm.” PeeseePitsiulak Stephens (February 2012)
  13. 13. Importance of higher education
  14. 14. Concluding points  Inuit culture, language, and values provide a strong foundation for fostering identity, confidence, and leadership.  Inuit leadership is traditionally non- authoritarian and communally-oriented.  Developing critical consciousness and recovering from colonization enables Inuit women educators to take on leadership;  Participation in decolonizing education contributes to empowerment and builds leadership capacity.