Inuit storytellers from five Nunavik communities described deep connections to their identity and to the land, sources of pride and strength in the face of the rapid, devastating changes wrought by colonization.
Nunavik, home to almost 14,000 people, is one of four regions in Inuit Nunangat (homeland). It includes 14 communities on the Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay coasts in northern Quebec.
Inuit experiences with formal education included residential and day schools, contributing to a deep-seated resistance toward education within institutions. For Inuit wanting higher education, they are forced to go south.
All Inuit storytellers shared their ultimate hope of having a college or university in Nunavik with a curriculum centred on Inuit ways of knowing, learning and being.
Lizzie Irniq & Mary Kiatainaq
Louisa Whitelely Tukkiapik
Lukasi Whitelely Tukkiapik
Amy Gordon Saunders
“The idea of learning in a classroom is not Inuit tradition. My parents, grandparents and all the people before us, taught on the land, about the land. The boys watched their fathers while the daughters watched their mothers. They learned mostly by watching. That is our traditional way of learning as Inuit.”
– FPPSE Storyteller