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ABORIGINAL PEOPLES: Collaborating to Bring Cultural Understanding to Community Supports


The Nunatsiavut region in northern Labrador — a self-governing Inuit territory — has social and cultural needs quite distinct from the rest of the province. That’s why the Nunatsiavut Government has worked with Memorial University to create two pilot projects, as part of an effort to bring better community-based Aboriginal support to the province.

In 2009, the Nunatsiavut Government engaged Memorial University as well as community stakeholders, to offer a bachelor of social work (BSW) program to Inuit beneficiaries in Labrador. Students enrolled in the Nunatsiavut Government-sponsored four-year program received instruction in the same accredited social work program of study as students at Memorial’s St. John’s campus, except with a focus on traditional Inuit knowledge and cultural norms interwoven into the courses and teaching methods.

A total of 19 students graduated from the program, which has provided many of the region’s coastal communities with much needed trained social workers.

“This collaboration with Nunatsiavut Government, Labrador Institute, College of the North Atlantic, other Memorial departments and community partners has provided an opportunity for many people to learn from each other,” said Dr. Donna Hardy Cox, dean of the School of Social Work. “It has helped develop new ways to contribute to the social work body of knowledge and to increase cultural understanding, and has resulted in a collaborative model of undergraduate social work education. We hope the people of our province, in Labrador, will reap the benefits of the knowledge of these graduates.”

“I know the people, I know the issues, I know what to expect,” said Danielle Baikie, one of the graduates, who accepted the first-ever social work position at Nunatsiavut Government’s Department of Health and Social Development in her hometown of Nain immediately after graduation. Building on the Social Work pilot programs, the Faculty of Education’s four-year bachelor’s program for Nunatsiavut will be started in September 2015.

“When they come back to our schools, they’ll have been taught to teach keeping the Inuit-specific curriculum, culture and language in mind,” says Jodie Lane, education manager with the Nunatsiavut Government. “They’ll have been taught how to infuse Inuit knowledge and Inuit world view into everything that they do, whether it’s a math class or social studies or art. That’s the real gem of this program.”

 

For more information on Aboriginal Peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador, see the infographics above.

 

This story is part of VitalSigns, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador and Memorial University’s Harris Centre. The Telegram is the project’s media sponsor. To read thie project, click here.

 

 

 

 

In 2009, the Nunatsiavut Government engaged Memorial University as well as community stakeholders, to offer a bachelor of social work (BSW) program to Inuit beneficiaries in Labrador. Students enrolled in the Nunatsiavut Government-sponsored four-year program received instruction in the same accredited social work program of study as students at Memorial’s St. John’s campus, except with a focus on traditional Inuit knowledge and cultural norms interwoven into the courses and teaching methods.

A total of 19 students graduated from the program, which has provided many of the region’s coastal communities with much needed trained social workers.

“This collaboration with Nunatsiavut Government, Labrador Institute, College of the North Atlantic, other Memorial departments and community partners has provided an opportunity for many people to learn from each other,” said Dr. Donna Hardy Cox, dean of the School of Social Work. “It has helped develop new ways to contribute to the social work body of knowledge and to increase cultural understanding, and has resulted in a collaborative model of undergraduate social work education. We hope the people of our province, in Labrador, will reap the benefits of the knowledge of these graduates.”

“I know the people, I know the issues, I know what to expect,” said Danielle Baikie, one of the graduates, who accepted the first-ever social work position at Nunatsiavut Government’s Department of Health and Social Development in her hometown of Nain immediately after graduation. Building on the Social Work pilot programs, the Faculty of Education’s four-year bachelor’s program for Nunatsiavut will be started in September 2015.

“When they come back to our schools, they’ll have been taught to teach keeping the Inuit-specific curriculum, culture and language in mind,” says Jodie Lane, education manager with the Nunatsiavut Government. “They’ll have been taught how to infuse Inuit knowledge and Inuit world view into everything that they do, whether it’s a math class or social studies or art. That’s the real gem of this program.”

 

For more information on Aboriginal Peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador, see the infographics above.

 

This story is part of VitalSigns, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador and Memorial University’s Harris Centre. The Telegram is the project’s media sponsor. To read thie project, click here.

 

 

 

 

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