Nunavik Sivunitsavut Course Offerings

  • Fall 2017

    1. 603-101-CL: English - Circumpolar Literature
      • There is a growing body of Inuit literature that has either been written by Inuit in English or translated from Inuktitut into English. In this course, students will investigate common themes and literary devices that appear in various different bodies of literature written by Inuit: legends that have been translated, short stories, novel, poetry, and film. Much of this literature is related to the history of the Arctic and deals with historical themes: contact, colonization, resurgence. Students will be challenged to make these connections and think critically about how the works that they study fit into the historical context.

    2. 345-101-MQ: Humanities – Knowledge and the History of Nunavik: Archaeology, Archives, and Oral Traditions
      • In this course, students will investigate three ways in which archaeologists and historians reconstruct the past: archaeology, archival research, and oral history. The course will take place with the assistance of the Avataq Cultural Institute. The first part of the course will focus on what we can learn about the past through the archaeological record and examining artefacts. Next, students will investigate the archives and work with Avataq’s archivist to uncover what can be known about the past by investigating primary documents. Finally, we plan to have visiting elders who can provide students with oral histories and we can consider how we formulate knowledge from stories handed down over generations. Students will also consider how these records inform, contradict, and complement each other, and ultimately build a critical perspective on how knowledge is constructed.

    3. 614-103-03: Aboriginal Languages: Inuktitut and Identity
      • The Inuktitut Language courses are the most important part of your Nunavik Sivunitsavut college program. It is the latest step undertaken by the Inuit of Nunavik to counter the corrosive effects on Inuktitut and Inuit institutions of a hundred and twenty-five years of colonialism, marked by English-only classrooms and Residential Schools. The goal of the Inuktitut courses in the Nunavik Sivunitsavut Program is to provide Inuit students with the necessary resources to restore to their Mother Tongue its foundational role in the shaping of their individual and collective ambitions and identities in the modern world while continuing to provide a vibrant link to the past. It will allow them to take the lead in the revitalization of Inuktitut. This 60 -hour Inuktitut course is part of your fundamental schooling at this college level program. The role of the Inuktitut courses in the Nunavut Sivunitsavut program is to allow the students a better command of Inuktitut language as well as better comprehension of the socio-economic situation of Nunavik, and their cultural identity; with an objective of instilling pride and stronger communication skills in Inuktitut; to become aware of dialectical differences; to make Inuktitut relevant to the other elements of the Nunavik Sivunitsavut program; and to become contributing members of Inuit society and Quebec.

    4. 109-102-MQ: Physical Education – Inuit Games
      • Inuit traditional games require skills that were absolutely necessary for everyday survival in the Arctic. Some of these games have been practiced for thousands of years, while others have been developed over the course of the past few hundred years. There are regional, national and international competitions in Inuit games, such as the biennial Arctic Winter Games. Taken together, Inuit games provide a workout that tests participants’ strength, agility, and endurance. In this course, the knowledge about how to develop healthy habits will be incredibly important at the beginning of the year as students acclimatize to living in the city and the increased number of lifestyle choices available to them.

    5. 360-CEN-AB: Cultural Exploration for Nunavimmiut
      • In this course, students will be introduced to various Inuit cultural practices, focused primarily on the visual and performance arts. They will visit exhibits, attend shows, visit Avataq’s reserve, and take part in cultural workshops. The course is designed to bolster cultural confidence in the students. In this course, the students will also take part in cultural workshops where they will learn some of the traditional performance and visual arts. These talents will then be put on display through presentations to schools, government, organizations working in Nunavik, and the general public.

    6. Inuit-Government relations and satuigiarniq*
      • The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement is often cited as the first modern land claim in Canada. But what is it? How does it relate to other treaties and land claims in Canada? In this course, students will be introduced to the concept of treaties and land claims, and how the first peoples of Canada have negotiated with the Federal and Provincial governments. They will study the principle provisions of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This course will then examine the different paths that aboriginal groups in Canada have taken in attempting to reclaim control over their lives since the mid- 1970s. Students will research the provisions and do a comparative analysis of the four major Inuit land claims and the Cree provisions of the JBNQA.
  • Winter 2018

    1. 603-102-MQ: English – Current Circumpolar Issues
      • In this course, students will be introduced to several different genres of non-fiction literature in English that explore Inuit culture, history and geography, political life and current issues. The genres will include memoir, documentary, news articles, and speeches. The content of the course will focus on issues that are important in contemporary Nunavik and the circumpolar world (ie. the environment, education, sustainable development, decolonization, cultural resilience). Students will learn to analyze and produce non-fiction texts and understand the features of these different genres. This course invites students to explore issues relevant to Nunavik, and to look closely at the subject matter, form and language that writers use, as well as their audience and the context for their writing. How current non-fiction on topical issues is contributing to changing awareness in Nunavik will be discussed throughout the course. In the oral project each student (individually or in a group) will examine one contemporary issue in Nunavik through non-fiction texts.

    2. 345-102-MQ: World Views – Transcending the Traditional/Modern Dichotomy
      • The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) governs modern Nunavik. It was signed in 1975 between the Inuit and Cree of Northern Quebec, the provincial government and the federal government. In addition, there were Inuit in Northern Quebec, who were opposed to the signing and implementation of the agreement. The interaction of all of these different world views in the 1970s and 1980s made for the most dynamic period in Nunavik’s recent history. In this course, students will investigate each of these world views that informed the signing of the JBNQA and its implementation.

    3. 614-203-03: Aboriginal Languages – Inuktitut and Modernity
      • This course will use project-based learning as its basic philosophy. Students will identify several subject areas that have been covered in one or more of their classes that they would like to learn more about, including Inuit history, politics, art, language, and culture. They will do research on these topics, speak to experts in the fields they have chosen, write journals, and do presentations in class presenting their projects to the other students.
        In this course, the teacher will act as the facilitator of research, vocabulary, comprehension, and context. The teacher will act as guide for the students projects, finding them resources and people to speak to, and checking in on them to make sure they are advancing in their projects.
        Discussion is the heartbeat of a language course. Throughout the semester, the teacher will facilitate class discussions to encourage the students to use their mother tongue, and have them write journals on a regular basis.

    4. 109-101-MQ: Physical Education – Traditional Skills
      • This course will be conducted much like a John Abbott College Outdoor Education course (Phys. Ed.) that incorporates pre-camp planning and preparation, and promotes the use of traditional tools and techniques such as, the construction of modern and traditional shelters. The expedition will take place over a one-week intensive period on the land near one of the communities in Nunavik. This course will help students gain cultural confidence by demonstrating traditional roles not often recognized by formal education, and provide them with access to traditional survival knowledge that is not always available to them.

    5. 360-CPN-AB: Complementary – Cultural Performance for Nunavimmiut
      • The students will take part in workshops animated by Inuit cultural performers and artists, and create works and performances of their own. Since it is an experiential course, a large part of the course will consist of rehearsing traditional dances, music, games, and practices that can be presented to the general public. Ultimately, the goal of this course will be to celebrate the vibrancy of the culture of Nunavik Inuit, and provide the students opportunities to build cultural confidence and personal development.

    6. Contemporary Inuit-Government Relations*
      • How does Nunavik work? What mandate do each of the major organizations have? Who is in charge of what? Is this the best way to govern the region? What are some of the other Inuit and Northern organizations in Canada and the Circumpolar world? These are the types of questions that the students will tackle in this course, where they unpack the complex administrative and governance structures in Nunavik.
        Students will map out the responsibilities and operations of some of the major organizations in the region and in Canada’s North, and how they fit into the larger provincial, national and international contexts. They will examine the benefits and drawbacks of the current matrix of administration and governance. They will look back at the different initiatives that have been attempted in relation to the possible self-governance of the region, and will be challenged to chart out a path for an improved system of governance for the future of Nunavik.

* These courses will not count for college credit in the first school year (2017-8). However, we plan to turn them into an AEC in political leadership for the following year.