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Iqaluit hosts Early Childhood Education Elder Consultation

The Nunavut Early Childhood Education Program of the Education programs division of Nunavut Arctic College is facilitating a consultation with Inuit Elders, experts in Early Childhood development, in order to review the College’s ECE Program outcomes and create strategies for integrating Inuit culture, knowledge and language in all course content. The week-long discussions will provide invaluable curriculum enhancement and Inuit-specific content.

During the consultation, the Elders will be professionally filmed and mini-lectures on early child development produced in order to create permanent Inuit-specific resources for the ECE Program and Nunavut.

ELDERS AND INUIT KNOWLEDGE EXPERTS:

  • Nellie Kusugak: Facilitator (Rankin Inlet)
  • Myna Ishulutak and Aaju Peter: ECE Program Coordinators
  • Miriam Aglukark : Elder, Gjoa Haven
  • Atoat Akittirq: Elder, Igloolik
  • Meeka Arnakaq: Elder, Pangnirtung
  • Qaunak Mikkigak: Elder, Cape Dorset
  • Chris Mikeeuneak: Early Childhood Educator, Arviat
  • Oleepa Nauyuk : Elder, Pangnirtung
  • Elisapee Ootoova: Elder, Pond Inlet
  • Kootoo Toonoo: Early Childhood Educator, Cape Dorset

CONSULTATION PROCESS:

The consultations will be held in Inuktitut and the discussions recorded and transcribed later for translation.

The facilitator will lead the elders and experts in a discussion that will provide recommendations for meeting the outcomes of the ECE Program by integrating Inuit cultural knowledge and language.

The coordinators will organize the logistics and ensure that key points during the meetings are noted for integration into the curriculum.

A video of the consultation and mini-lectures by elders will be recorded and edited for a permanent resource on Inuit child development. ECE Diploma students will be given the opportunity to participate as ‘learners’ in the knowledge sharing and teaching.

Elders discuss and make recommendations for integrating Inuit culture, knowledge and language into the ECE Program in order for graduates to demonstrate skills, knowledge and attitudes required to work with Nunavut children in a group setting:

  1. What are the typical patterns of growth and development in infants, toddlers and preschoolers? How can ECE’s support this development in a childcare environment?
  2. What are some of the key skills and attitudes of an Early Childhood Educator in Nunavut?
  3. What are the principles of ‘inclusion’ in a childcare program? How can all children be included?
  4. What are ways ECE’s can provide safe learning environments for young children?
  5. What are some of the appropriate toys, equipment and materials that promote healthy development in a Nunavut childcare environment?
  6. What activities should be delivered/facilitated in the childcare curriculum
  7. What types of snacks and meals should be served in a childcare centre environment? What are the nutritional needs of young children?
  8. How can the ECE’s create strong connections between the childcare centre and the family?
  9. How can ECE’s create a respectful and positive childcare environment through effective communications with children, families, colleagues and the community?
  10. How should children’s behaviour be guided in a respectful and responsive way?

Left to right, are: Nellie Kusugak: Facilitator (Rankin Inlet); Meeka Arnakaq: Elder, Pangnirtung; Miriam Aglukark : Elder, Gjoa Haven; Elisapee Ootoova: Elder, Pond Inlet; Atoat Akittirq: Elder, Igloolik; Chris Mikeeuneak: Early Childhood Educator, Arviat.

Hon. Paul Quassa, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Nunavut Arctic College addresses the Elder Consultation Meeting.

Left to right, are: Myna Ishulutak (ECE Instructor); Ellen Hamilton (ECE Manager); and Aaju Peter  (ECE Elder Consultation Coordinator)

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