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Finding a balance on Baffin Island

The Story


These high school students are the first generation of Inuit to grow up in the city. Their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were raised on the land and hunted for survival. For educators of Inuit youth, balancing traditional skills against the demands of the modern world has become the challenge. At the Gordon Robertson Educational Centre on Baffin Island students learn a combination of technological skills, traditional skills, and Inuktitut.

Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Nov. 24, 1987
Guests: Sheila Lonsdale, Dennis Patterson
Reporter: Allen Abel
Duration: 13:34

Did You know?


• The school runs a special program for students in danger of dropping out. To keep teenagers connected, the program has Inuit elders come in and talk about old ways and tell traditional stories. So far, the program has been successful.

• After a century of curriculum that nullified all things Inuit, educators hoped more Inuit content in schools would help students feel less marginalized by education.

• On Jan. 7, 1998, the federal government offered a Statement of Reconciliation, acknowledging its role in the development and administration of residential schools. In an associated initiative titled Gathering Strength, the government committed to a community-based strategy to address the healing needs of individuals, families and communities arising from the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at residential schools.


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An Inuit Education: Honouring a Past, Creating a Future more