Alaska Inuit Education Alignment Summit

November 8-9, 2016
Anchorage, Alaska

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska initiated a project to improve Alaskan Inuit education in response to the 2010 Nuuk Declaration where ICC delegates decided to hold a Circumpolar Inuit Education Summit to come up with recommendations on developing culturally appropriate curriculum and other education issues. Following Nuuk General Assembly, the ICC Alaska board made this effort the number two priority during its strategic planning process. In preparation for the Circumpolar Summit, ICC Alaska facilitated the development of the Alaska Inuit Education Improvement Strategy. Unfortunately, the Summit was not held during Greenland’s chairmanship due to a funding shortfall. Despite not having a Circumpolar Summit, ICC Alaska continued on and began fundraising to assist in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Strategy. In 2015, we were awarded a 3 year grant to facilitate the implementation of the Strategy from the United States Department of Education through the Alaska Native Education Program. The Alaskan Inuit Education Alignment Summit is a directive in the Strategy. A renewed call for the Circumpolar Summit was mandated in July 2014 Kitigaaryuit Declaration is currently planned to be held in Greenland in 2018. We intend to share the results of our Alaska specific efforts at the Circumpolar Summit as well as further build alignment with Inuit across the Circumpolar north to strengthen our collective efforts to improve Inuit education.

PURPOSE AND GOALS

The aim of the Alaskan Inuit Education Alignment Summit is to strengthen the movement to reclaim out own ways, including how we impart knowledge and advance an education agenda that stems from our collective worldwide. Drawing inspiration from our ancestors, we will reignite those concepts and beliefs that orientate from those who came before and will result in the articulation of ideas for improving education for our people today. We will share with each other and learn together in a way that promotes and will nurture meaningful change and builds momentum for those who are to come.

Alaskan Inuit Education Improvement Strategy

The Alaskan Inuit Education Improvement Strategy has six individual strategies. There are accompanying objectives and suggest action steps for each strategy. They represent a collective call to action-no one agency, organization or group can or should feel responsible to achieve every identified outcome. It is by combining efforts that we will achieve a common desired outcome-improvement of education, in its very broadest sense, for Alaskan Inuit children. The process begins with each person deciding to make a difference, to be accountable for the next generation. Individuals form groups taking action within their community, holding the community accountable, which holds schools, tribal organizations, and governing bodies accountable to take action.

  •  Strategy 1: Promote the indigenization of education frameworks to more clearly align with Inuit ideologies
  • Strategy 2: Suggest, advocate for and influence policies related to Inuit education
  • Strategy 3: Research, advocate for and promote the development, implementation and sharing of culture-based curriculum that focuses on students’ Inuit identity
  • Strategy 4: Promote Inuit language education
  • Strategy 5: Foster educational leadership capacity amount Alaska Inuit
  • Strategy 6: Revitalize and reclaim traditional Inuit parenting skills