Contemporary Inuit Issues I

Program: Inuit studies 0902X
Term: Fall
Course code: SSC0090

Events of the past century have brought dramatic changes to Inuit culture and society, resulting in, among other things, a loss of independence and autonomy for Inuit. Over the past forty years, Inuit have created a variety of organizations, from the local to the international level, with the goal of regaining and maintaining control over their lives.

Students examine the history and present functioning of regional and national Inuit organizations, as well as many of the issues these organizations are currently dealing with. This heightened awareness enables students to distinguish between the wide range of Inuit and government organizations so that they can become politically literate members of Inuit society and perhaps make an informed choice as to potential employment opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically examine the effects of Canadian policy and legislation on traditional Inuit leadership styles and social organization.
  • Link the desire for self-determination to the cultural survival and social well-being of the Inuit people.
  • Review, critically evaluate and report current issues concerning Inuit rights and self-determination related to such topics as education, land claims, social cultural concerns, Inuit women's rights and youth.
  • Describe the history and current functions of regional and national Inuit organizations that have been established to deal with Inuit concerns.
Learning Activities
  •  lectures by instructors
  • guest presentations by officials from Inuit organizations
  • visits to Ottawa-based organizations
  • group discussions
  • videos
  • individual reading and research (annual reports, internet, research reports etc)
  • group collaborative projects

Samples of learning activities include:

  • note-taking
  • brainstorming and categorizing questions
  • research, using a variety of information sources
  • arranging, and preparing for, teleconference calls with officials in the territorial/federal government, and national aboriginal and non-profit organizations
  • written formal essay assignments
  • individual and group presentations
  • submission of articles to a magazine
  • class debate on Government of Nunavut budget