Research, Education and Culture

*NOTICE*

NCC update to research governance in response to COVID-19 pandemic

We have updated our travel policy around research governance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Research, Education and Culture (REC) department is requesting that travel related to research conducted in NunatuKavut communities be limited to persons within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Please contact Bryn Wood at bwood@nunatukavut.ca about research that involves travel from other areas and this work will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

This update is in support of public health measures related to self-isolation and NCC’s cohesive and collaborative approach to identifying, coordinating and facilitating initiatives related to NCC’s action around COVID-19 and other initiatives in our territory.

 NCC will continue to monitor the situation and provide notice when restrictions change.

RESEARCH

Research Governance

The REC department continues to be involved in strategic research initiatives that seek to enhance the overall goals and objectives of NCC, while responding to the interests, priorities and needs of NunatuKavut communities.

NCC has a research review process for researchers who would like to undertake research with NCC or in NunatuKavut. This process will ensure that research is conducted in a manner that is appropriate to the spiritual, cultural, social and environmental context of Nunatukavut Inuit and keeps with the needs, expectations and values of NunatuKavut Inuit.

  • Guide for Researchers in NunatuKavut (temporarily unavailable. Please contact REC A/Director Bryn Wood at bwood@nunatukavut.ca for further information)
  • Application for Research with NunatuKavut (July 2014) (temporarily unavailable. Please contact REC A/Director Bryn Wood at bwood@nunatukavut.ca for further information)

Naalak Network

The Naalak Network is an outcome and extension of the Naalak Gathering: A Regional Dialogue on Indigenous Research Governance hosted by the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on March 20 and 21, 2019. The Naalak Gathering was the first meeting of its kind to specifically target Research Ethics Boards (REB) and research governing bodies. It was co-developed by NCC and our Research Advisory Committee (RAC), with representatives from eight institutional REBs in Atlantic Canada.

Naalak is an Inuttitut word meaning ‘to listen and to pay close attention’. The Naalak Gathering was a knowledge-sharing, knowledge-mobilizing, and knowledge-in-action event, hosted on traditional Innu and Inuit territory. The purpose was to convene a conversation between REBs and Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada to address the principle-to-policy-to-practice gap that has been identified by researchers, Indigenous communities, and REBs themselves.

An emergent message from the Naalak Gathering was the urgent need to re-conceptualize the existing system of research oversight and ethical review to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and communities including the existing decision-making apparatuses that exist regarding research that is permitted (or not) on Indigenous lands and within communities.

It was unanimous from the 50 people who participated in the Naalak Gathering that there is immediate need for ongoing and continuing education and networking with REBs, researchers, and Indigenous communities. Our attempt to carry on the spirit and intent of the gathering has brought us to the development of this network. The Naalak Network is a virtual linkage of researchers, REBs and Indigenous communities who share a common desire to enhance the ethical conduct of research/review with Indigenous Peoples.

If you would like to join the network, please email us at naalak@nunatukavut.ca

For a list of resources available online, please click here.

Sustainability Research

How reclaiming Inuit knowledge can create opportunities for a self-determined future amongst Inuit: Privileging Inuit governance and planning for sustainability in NunatuKavut

This research is led by Amy Hudson as part of doctoral research. It is important and timely for NCC as a history of research and stories “about” and “on” Inuit has had detrimental implications that can still be seen today in diverse areas that impact the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of Inuit in NunatuKavut. This project is driven by the needs, interests and priorities of Inuit communities in NunatuKavut and NCC.  This research is an example of community led, strength-based research that seeks to (re)connect people with all that is good about our communities, while privileging traditional and local Inuit knowledge in order to think about and create a sustainable and healthy future reflective who we are and where we come from. As communities identify a sustainable path forward, on their own terms and envisioned by them, we can share in building a bright future for generations to come. 

The goals/objectives are as follows:

  1. Inform Inuit community governance practices, grounded in Inuit knowledge and strength- based philosophy;
  2. Create opportunities for Inuit self-determination and revitalization in NunatuKavut;
  3. Reclaim Inuit knowledge in NunatuKavut;
  4. Contribute to an Inuit political theory, a knowledge base that is currently lacking

In the spring of 2017, residents in three of the pilot communities that were part of this research (Black Tickle, Norman Bay and St. Lewis) were asked to submit to NCC what they loved about their community. Here are booklets with all of the submissions from each community:

A manual was developed that was informed by the work of the sustainability coordinators in the pilot communities. They each worked to develop contents for this manual based on their work with communities and their ideas moving forward. NCC compiled their work into the following document:

4RIGHT Community Energy Planning in NunatuKavut, Labrador

This research project sought to extend NunatuKavut’s sustainability initiative to consider and address energy-related challenges in the pilot communities.

The primary goal of the research program is to develop community-driven sustainable energy actions plans for each pilot community. The action-plans will outline the impacts of existing energy systems; community member concerns; preferences for renewable energy and energy efficiency options; as well priorities for the future. A report was released the end of October 2018 to share the preliminary findings of the research. It can be downloaded at the following link:

The Executive Summary can be downloaded here:

Partner Community Expansion: ‘4RIGHT’ Energy Planning in NunatuKavut, Labrador
(Phase 2)

The goal of this current research is to expand beyond the initial three partner communities (Black Tickle, St. Lewis [Fox Harbour], and Norman Bay) to include six new communities in energy planning research: Port Hope Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Charlottetown, Pinsent’s Arm, and Cartwright. The research seeks to determine:

  1. How do existing energy systems (based off diesel-fired electricity and home heat) affect
    the economic, environmental, and societal sustainability of communities?
  2. How can a participatory and community-based assessment of sustainable energy
    technologies facilitate the improvement of energy sustainability in NunatuKavut Inuit
    communities?

A copy of the preliminary report can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:

NATURE Youth Council

NCC hired 10 part-time youth in southern Labrador to form a Youth Council as part of the NunatuKavut Action Team on Understanding Renewable Energy (NATURE)! Its goal is to empower NunatuKavut youth by building skills and capacity in sustainable and clean energy development for the future. This would not be possible without funding from the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador and support from our many partners.

A SHARED Future: Achieving Strength, Health, and Autonomy through Renewable Energy Development for the Future – Towards Energy Security in NunatuKavut 

This project is co-led by Debbie Martin (Associate Professor, Dalhousie University) and Amy Hudson (Research Education and Culture Manager, NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC)), building from NCC’s Community Governance and Sustainability Initiative. This initiative aims to address community sustainability concerns through a strengths-focused approach in three of NunatuKavut’s most remote communities: Black Tickle, Norman Bay and St. Lewis (Fox Harbour). Additional team members include Mr. George Russell, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo, Ms. Emily Beacock, Dr. Chad Walker, Mr. Nick Mercer, Ms. Victoria Sandre and Mr. Connor Cepella.

This multidisciplinary team have been working with these communities and NCC to:

  • Identify the diverse values, perspectives, tensions and opportunities associated with renewable energy planning and development; and to
  • Work with the communities to identify capacity-building needs and interests in relation to renewable energy.

Food Security Research

Growing hope: Youth Gardening in Black Tickle (a photovoice project)

This project aims to empower youth in Black Tickle to take ownership and become leaders in the community, setting the stage for similar projects in other communities in our territory, some of which face similar water and other infrastructure barriers. Active engagement with our youth and knowledge holders will allow the community the opportunity to take ownership and will help promote traditional knowledge and skills, such as food storage, preservation and preparation. We are proud to support and co-lead this innovative project.

EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Through education and culture, NCC seeks to promote and ensure the preservation of Inuit culture in NunatuKavut. As a new and growing department, we aim to achieve this through the implementation of culturally relevant education, and education supports, including Inuttitut language reclamation, and other culturally relevant events and activities important to communities, youth, elders and knowledge holders. We acknowledge the historic role of institutionalized and colonial education in Canada and the impact this has had, and continues to have, on people and communities in NunatuKavut. Therefore, it is imperative that we work towards renewed education pursuits that are reflective of NunatuKavut Inuit history and culture.

NunatuKavut Inuit Education Program

The NunatuKavut Inuit Education Program was launched in 2016 in seven schools throughout NunatuKavut: Cartwright, Black Tickle, Norman Bay, Charlottetown, Port Hope Simpson, Mary’s Harbour and St. Lewis.

NCC works closely with the schools to re-introduce Inuit traditional knowledge and skills into the curriculum. The program continues to be a success with increasingly more schools reaching out to NCC with their own ideas and plans to integrate culturally relevant education into the classroom and student and teacher life. The program has seen youth, community and teachers engage in a wide range of activities including komatik building, snow shoe making, traditional cooking and food preservation, traditional sewing, and many others.  It is taught by NunatuKavut knowledge holders in the community.

Provincial Indigenous Education Advisory Committee

This committee has representation from all five Indigenous groups in NL, the provincial dept of education and Memorial’s faculty of education. We convene 2-3 meetings per year in an effort to advance Indigenous education in NL that is informed by Indigenous communities.

Children’s Books

  • The Making of a Treaty, 1765: Caubvik’s Summer. Illustrated by Cynthia Colosimo. Story by Janet McNaughton. Non-fiction text by NCC. This book tells the story of the gathering that took place around the British-Inuit Treaty of 1765 from perspective of a small Inuit girl. It was first launched during NCC’s 250th Anniversary of the British-Inuit Treaty of 1765 celebrations in Mary’s Harbour in August 2015. 
  • Celebrating the Children of NunatuKavut. Author: Sylvia Moore. Published by the Labrador Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. This book tells about the lives of Inuit children in southern Labrador through the different seasons.

Copies of these books can be requested through our main office by calling 709-896-0592.

Staff

Bryn Wood
A/Director
Tel: (709) 896-2562
bwood@nunatukavut.ca

Aimee Battcock
A/Manager
Tel: (709) 896-2560
abattcock@nunatukavut.ca

Greg Mitchell
Senior Researcher
Tel: (709) 632-1759
gmitchell@nunatukavut.ca

Melita Paul
Community Cultural Resource Worker
Tel: (709) 949-0320
Fax: (709) 949-0546
mpaul@nunatukavut.ca

Siobhan Slade
Clean Energy Coordinator
Tel: (709) 939-2324
sslade@nunatukavut.ca

Krista Oxford
Projects and Implementation Coordinator
Tel: (709) 896-2561
koxford@nunatukavut.ca

Nunatukavut In This Section