Cover Art Jessie Oonark, Baker Lake, Nunavut, The People", 1985
Reproduced with the permission of William Noah

 

Abstract

In 1999, the government of Canada and the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic established a new Territory called Nunavut.

The consensus style of decision making, sustainable resource management, use of the Inuktitut language, and a holistic world view are principles intrinsic to Inuit culture.

Barring a major shift in population from South to North, Inuit are expected to comprise 82% of the population in their homeland in 2005, when the transition to a Nunavut Territory is complete. Currently, the management community in the Arctic is largely staffed by transient white professionals from Southern Canada. The transfer from a Qallunaat (Whites) to an Inuit management work force will take place gradually as Inuit gain positions of power at representative levels. As awareness grows that hundreds of skilled Qallunaat will be moving to the Territory to create Nunavut, just as they have in the past thirty years, educators are under increasing pressure to maximize skill transfer from the fly-in "experts" to their apprentices.

Many of the Inuit who will be recruited for positions of power are currently gaining their skills within the Inuit management community that has been taking shape in the workplace during the past twenty years -- largely outside of the current GNWT. These Inuit management apprentices work for the co-ops, municipalities, schools, broadcasters, regional and National Inuit organizations and businesses.

 

 

Communities where subjects of the study worked. Nunavut: Taloyoak, Igloolik, Pond Inlet, and Baker Lake. Nunavik, Quebec: Kuujjuarapik, Salluit, Kuujjuak. Labrador: Nain, Makkovik and Northwest River.

In 1993, two interactive televised courses were held for Inuit across the Arctic. The second course was delivered in separate English and Inuktitut language versions. Both were successful events as measured by completion rates, self-reports and two external evaluations; however, apprentices' interaction with their instructors was rated no more effective for learning than the interaction with co-participants in the decentralized learning groups. Once back at the job, the co-workers and supervisors were found to be equally effective for developing management skills. However there were differences in opinion on the effectiveness of this interaction among apprentices depending on cultural and situational differences. This thesis describes, from a situated perspective, the importance of interaction among the workshop co-participants, supervisors and co-workers. An analysis of what expertise was available to the 32 management apprentices is followed by a discussion of how interaction and situational factors may have lead to, and/or inhibited, their development of knowledgeable skill, identities and membership in the Arctic management community.

 

This thesis report will be of interested to educators working in distance education, the virtual classroom, and Aboriginal management development.

 

To order a copy of this thesis please contact the author or copies may be purchased through Amazon.com .

Tom Axtell
Garthby, Quebec
G0Y 1B0
418-458-2617
e-mail:
axtell@megantic.net

 

 

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