Research Projects


IlikKuset-Ilingannet!/Culture-Connect! Formalizing cultural learning for knowledge preservation and promotion

Researchers: Dr. Ashleee Cunsolo Willox, Inez Shiwak
Contact email: ashlee_cunsolowillox@cbu.ca / inezs@rigolet.ca
Links: www.facebook.com/groups/208644151873/

The IlikKuset-Ilingannet!/Culture-Connect! program was a pilot initiative that ran in Rigolet, Makkovik, and Postville, Nunatsiavut, Labrador, from October 2013 to March 2014. It provided the opportunity for youth (15-25) to work with adult role models (35+) to learn cultural skills, such as hunting, trapping, sewing, art, carving, snowshoe making, music, and wild food preparation. There were 5 youth and 5 mentors in each community. Each youth had the opportunity to learn from each mentor, resulting in learning five different culturally-based skills. Each youth spent approximately 30 hours with each mentor, for a total of approximately 150 hours of programming for each youth. Given the success of this program for increasing intergenerational and cultural knowledge sharing and overall participant wellness and confidence, we are continuing to pilot this program in Rigolet in 2016 to determine if programs like this can be an effective strategy for formalizing informal knowledge and as a strategy for preserving and promoting Inuit skills and knowledge. The aim is to expand this program back into Makkovik and Postville in the following years, if desired by the communities.

This project is community-led and community-based, and organized by Inez Shiwak, the Coordinator of the 'My Word': Storytelling & Digital Media Lab. All youth and mentors participating in this program are from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut. If/when the program expands into other communities, local coordinators will be hired in each community to run and oversee the project. We will also partner with the local Inuit Community Governments.

Co-funding has been provided by the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments and the National Science Foundation