Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A hunter/gatherer society never intended to sit still for very long.

Random thought. Air plane. August 29, 2011. Move from Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, to Wolfville, home of Acadia University. Thought: the hunter gatherer society never intended to sit still for very long.

More thoroughly thought out: I guess this idea comes from my up bringing, my work, my school, more work, and meeting with people, new, and some I've known my entire life, and those of which I am rediscovering. I have most recently worked in the area of poverty reduction in Nunavut. It meant communicating with people in each of Nunavut's twenty-five communities, all asking people what they think poverty is, and how they think it can be reduced. In the workshops I have been apart of, the work was taken on with a positive thought first: drawing on community assets, visioning and then deciding as a team what we feel should be done in the community, together.

My favourite part of the workshops always was the visioning exercise. Often, older Inuit in the room would recite their lives as children, when their dad would create beautiful homes for them every new location they decided to settle at, just for a while. I recall Rhoda Ungaalaq saying "my dad created a new home for me and my family, with his own two hands! He knew where to create our home at every new stop he decided was best for us at the time. The new house was white, round, warm, full, filled with the love of my family. My mother prepared good food for us, and made sure we had a warm bed to sleep in, with her own two hands."

An Inuk man recalled being a small boy and just running into a sod house and pouring a cup of tea for himself, and enjoying some freshly made bannock his mother made. Even as he told us about his "ideal community" filled with welcoming people and friendly homes, he sat back in his chair to be more comfortable and closed his eyes to tell the story as he remembered it. Everyone else in the room was in awe at his story, smiling because they too remember days like this. Great thing about it is, it still happens in our small towns today. The open door policy is fantastic in small friendly communities.

The idea of poverty reduction often took some people by surprise. What does it mean to be poor in Nunavut?What do we have to do to make the community a better place? My thought: Inspire youth, and be inspired.

Encourage the youth to go out and explore the world that surrounds us. Go out on the land with some experienced hunters, and learn to navigate on the land the way our Inuit ancestors did for thousands of years before. Learn to have the patience to make the right choices in any given situation. Record what you see, and what you've learned so that it does not escape your memory. (I read once that writing allows you to taste life twice! Thought it was brilliant!)

As for young Inuit girls, learn to sew and make clothing that you like, for yourself and people that you love. Create something with your own two hands. Take pictures and take care of any items you receive from family and friends. Take care of yourself, and take care of the children that are around you. Children look up to everyone that surrounds them, and if they are surrounded by love and positive environments, they will feel safe enough to explore and develop their own talents.

I speak from experience when I say that children are the exact epitome's of their parents personalities. We are each made up of our parents, and the people in our lives as children. I am definitely my father's daughter, and I am aslo my mother's daughter. Truth is, I am simply a daughter, their daughter, and I love them for it. I am also my niece and nephews Atsak. My aunts niece, my cousins cousin. And my grandparents grandaughter.

Currently, I am inspired by a book titled Our story. It is composed of fiction stories written by nine Aborginial writers from across Canada. Each has written a story about a point in time, about Canada's history. An Inuk author is in this book, Rhoda Qitsualik from Igloolik. She is a fantastic writer. I fell in love with reading all over again after reading her story about when Explorers first landed on Baffin Island "bfore it was ever named."

I am fascinated by these stories and am so happy to find something I can understand and relate to. Reading is like listening to somebody talk. If you like what you are listening to/reading, then you stick around to hear them speak until the end.Sometimes you'll feel urged to respond to what you are reading, like in a conversation and you want to speak back. That's when you tell other people about what you are reading, or, you write about it. (I am just leanring how to write down my thoughts, as I am often accustopmed to talking, mostly with such emotion and detail to whomever is around to listen to what I have to say...)

Anyway, I guess all of this adds up to my message for now: GO out and explore the world that surrounds you. Go beyond the roads in your own community. We are in a special place and time, on top of the world. Whether we know it or not, the world as their eyes on us - on the land in which we call Nunavut, our land...on the waters that pass through the North to Asia.

So, be inspired, and inspire the youth. Take a moment today to figure out what you want to do tomorrow. Take a longer moment to think about what has happened in your home town over the past 50 years, and then think about where you think things could be in 50 years from now. Imagine it. Imagining things is half the work to making it happen. The other part is planning, and making it work out, with others who think the same. Agree to work together as a team - instead of breaking each other down. Don't be distructive, be constructive.

Cool? That's all for now. This is when my plane was landing, and I had to end my note there. Music shall occupy my time now. Just because it's worth listening to. All the love! Always. Kerri

PS. Nobody ever liked being told what to do, and with everything else going on in NU...it's time for us to decide where we want to go from here. All with the best intentions for our children. Because we are so so so lucky!! Whether we know it or not. We are awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's a HUGE DEAL! Education in Nunavut...

It is another one of those nights.
I'm up in the middle of the night, I cannot sleep because my mind just won't stop!
It's so annoying sometimes.
Right now, I'm thinking about the importance of movement, the act of doing something!
And just the act in itself motivates thought, and how locomotion relates to intellect, and how amazing it all is. Ahh, do I ever love learning!

Today we started another course in NTEP, the study of movement, and the importance of physical activity, with elementary students, and ultimately everyone else, as they grow up.
It is so interesting, so far I find myself looking forward to seeing how this 12 day course goes!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A change of scenery

I'm up late again, pondering my latest move. I've just arrived into Rankin for reading week, a week off of classes at my first year at NTEP. I am really loving it so far and really can't wait to be a teacher! But I am so happy to be home right now. I have absolutely everything I need here, seems this is exactly what I needed right now. I need to ground myself, and touch base with my home, my dad, my house, my history, my story.

My niece is here, sleeping beside me. She is my joy. She makes me laugh! She found 3D glasses with bold black frames in my room, looked at me and said, "look atchak I'm like you!" lol. Later on, I asked her to put something away, and she told me she'd put it down on the dusty table, since I am in the process of cleaning out my bedroom in my parents house. :) put a smile on my face.

As I look around the community, my mom's house...
I wonder, deep in thought, why change is so hard to bring about? Why?
I can't live without change, I don't think...
I find it hard to sit still, and live a routine life.

And then there are those that don't want to change. They're stuck in old traditional ways, without moving forward.

Then there are those that want to change things for other people! Without their regard! Like the PEDA movement! They want to band the killing of seals! Even going as far as going naked, protesting that they'd rather go naked, instead of wearing fur! I'd like them to come up north for the winter, and ask what they'd have to say then!

And then, a piece I wrote, called "realizing a dream and researching a next step."
I wrote that we have no time right now to venture through tradition, in the busy modern lives of today...
and yet I hear so many people say they are bored with their own life.
Maybe their history is harsh, and they don't want to venture through that again, but I think it is really important that we all look back at where we've been, realize where we are now, and then decide what to do next.
I, personally am amazed at some of the work I've done as a young individual, only because I was supported 100% of the way.
I'm being asked to write a piece right now about my perspective on the sealing issue and while I think many others have a stronger opinion, I will be inspired by how I once wrote before, and write my very own perspective, on how I wish that prople would just take the time to understand, and realize and accept that there are differences, but differences aren't bad! And that change is inevitable!

Anyway, I'm sleepy now, and should wake up early to get started on my school work. Have to send an email to Leigh, my current English professor at NTEP. Gotta submit late assignments again! Ugh. See, its that difficulty of bringing about change. I have to get out of the habit of procrastinating, and start planning ahead! I have to be prepared all the time if I want to be a good teacher! Sheesh...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dreams - the kind you have while you're asleep!

Ever have a dream, while you're asleep, and wonder what it means?

I find it extremely interesting...
There's a blogger that tries to interpret dreams, and I link her blog below...

But in my own personal experiences - I try to figure it out myself, first.
Every time I'm looking after my niece and nephews, or any children, I always them whether or not they had a dream. Usually while we eat breakfast, or just as I wake them.
Children's dreams are especially interesting.

One time, my niece said she dreampt that she was chasing a siksik (ground squirrel) and trying to hit it with a rock. The day before, we had gone berry picking and she was trying to follow her brothers while they went "siksik-siuq" - looking for siksiks. I told her to stay close by because she was so young and litto, and I was afraid that she would be left behind by her older brothers, or fall and hurt herself. We went for a walk and picked up cool flowers instead.
But it was interesting when she told me her dream, because I guess she really wanted to go with her brothers. Her oldest brother asked "did you catch a siksik?" and she said "YEA!" with a huge smile and expression on her face.
I loved it!

Good dreams are awesome, and can be so funny. Others are wierd...but nightmares are the worst!
I always get nightmares after watching a freaky movie...wondering what I saw in the movies can really come true! haha...hense, the title of this blog.
Even after watching "Twilight" I had a dream several weeks later, about vampires in Rankin! ew, I really don't like watching freaky movies. I can't...lol.

I've also had dreams a couple of nights before leaving on an International trip.
Like, a couple days before I was supposed to leave for my 2nd phase experience with NYAP...I dreamt that I missed the plane and didn't get to go. I dreampt that I got stuck in Africa, and wasn't being taken care of well. I was so worried about this new experience, these dreams discouraged me to want to go.
I asked my mom the night before I left, if I can just stay at home for the summer, instead of travelling half way around the world! I was so scared...
My mom told me to go on the flight. I disagreed and told her that I wasn't packing...but she packed with me and told me that it was going to be a life changing experience...and it certainly was!
Sometimes I look back at pictures and say to myself "did I really go there? Did that really happen? or was it all just a dream?"

Anyway, dreams are quite interesting.
I found a blogger through the "Google Blog Search" who interprets dreams.
Feel free to check it out!
Analyse Dreams

Taimaqai...for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Gifted Hands" - Its gotta come from somewhere...perhaps our parents!

I said in my last blog, that I find it hard to write when I have nothing really on my mind.
Well, this week is a completely different story.
I don't know what I was going through last week, feeling a bit overwhelmed perhaps, with new assignments and new classmates...just starting out the new year, and adjusting to it all.

Anyway, as I said, this week is the total opposite of last. It is a new week! And I am bubbling up inside, full of excitement and the joy of learning! Life is a journey, and we are all in for the only ride of our lives!
We should take in what we want, and ditch everything else we don't need!
Let the best things in life change us, for the better! Self empowerment is incredible! Once you allow yourself to experience it.

Last week, on one of my down times, I watched a movie called "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story".
Cuba Golding Jr. is in it.
He acts out this role beautifully - a role about a black boy "who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds: A broken home, poverty, limited opportunity, and scholastic and behavioral problems."
You can find more information on the movie by clicking the "Gifted Hands" above, or by doing a google search, I simply typed in "Gifted Hands - movie with Cuba Golding Jr." and found that description from the first link provided. Here is another link with Ben Carson's Bio.

Anyway, this movie is totally inspirational; it's phenomenal!
What I got most out of this movie, was the fact that this little boy went from being one person, failing and having no self-esteem, to becoming a world renown pediatric neurosurgeon!
His defining moment in his career was doing the first separation of Siamese twins, joined at the head in 1987. That is what this movie focuses on. How this boy went from being on the disadvantaged end of the stick, to becoming on top!

This man, Ben Carson, went from being one person to another. And it was becauseof his mother's support and encouragement!
She made this possible.
At the time, just after the civil rights movement in the United States, Ben himself did not believe he could amount to anything worthy.
His mother, however, thought otherwise.
With just a Grade 3 education level herself, his mother continuously encouraged him to do better and reach higher for his dreams. In the movie, it shows that his mom would make him read books, and write a report on them each week! She would make her two boys read, instead of watch TV (which was very new and "in" back then too).

In the movie, the mother quotes
"You have the world inside your head. You just have to open it up, and find it!"
That quote honestly made me cry, because that is exactly it!!
If, when I become a teacher, can share that quote with my students, and invite them to share their thoughts...then the world of opportunity has opened up to the students!
We each have very powerful minds! It amazes me!
My question was then, "How do we spark the minds of curiosity?"
Everything that is known now, is because someone researched it. It all starts off with a question. A simple, "How?" or "Why?" or "What?"
We need to get things going here...and it all starts off with a question.
But HOW do we get the minds of Nunavut Students to open up, and actively think about the future?

Well, I think it's quite simple, in a sense.
Personally, I believe that each person have something to offer.
I believe people are just people!
No matter what title they have, no matter how much education they have, not matter where they come from. We are all the same, in the sense that we all breath air to live, and we all need to eat food and drink water. We are different, in the sense of how our minds work...and how we comprehend things.

Education, to my understanding, has to potential to enhance our skills to communicate our knowledge to the rest of the world. We all have our own minds, but education pushes us to perfect the skills we already have. Education teaches new ideas, and concepts, and perspective. Education also forces us to make connections with each other, as we collaborate and learn together, in an environment we all feel safe, and welcomed into.


Anyway, I wanted to make the connection with that movie especially because it made me think.
Ben Carson became who he is, because of his mother's faith and support.

I, too, have a great mother.
She is amazing!
Almost every day I call her and tell her about my day, and what I am thinking.
No matter what she is doing, she will listen to what I have to say, and tell me what she thinks about it.
I love my mom so much. She is the reason I am who I am.
I get my passion for life, and learning, and wonder, from her!

She always told me, as Inuit...
"We need to move past survival, and into success"
Survival is success, but we need to do more than simply survive.
We need to prosper, and succeed!
Most times, success is shared, and survival can mean looking after yourself.
Ultimately, success is a shared event.
It could be an accomplishment!
It could be simply living your life, on your own two feet.
It could mean different things to different people.
What does Success mean to you?

Wow, this is a long post.
Thank-you for reading, and I hope you have a great day!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Nunavut Cultural School

It has been a while since I last wrote...
I almost find it hard to pull something together for an assignment, and a deadline.
Usually I write at the spur of a moment, a moment of pure thought. When I have an epiphany, or realize why things are as they seem. This usually happens in the middle of the night, when I am completely alone with my thoughts, without distraction from the daily activities of life.
My mind never seems to stop...with thoughts about all kind of things in the middle of the night.
Most times I wonder how things work, and why they do!
Anyway, this post has to be related to something we found using our new subscriptions using Real Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds through Google Reader.
In my Google Reader account, I clicked “Add Subscription” and typed in “Nunavut Education”.
I found something very cool...it brought back memories from when I was in school in Ottawa, three years ago now. The fall of 2006/07.

I took the Nunavut Sivuniksavut first year program, and our 9-4 classes every day were cut up into 7 major classes including: Inuit History, Land Claims, English, Inuit Governmental Relations (IGR), English, Computers, and Inuktitut.

In our IGR class, we were given an assignment to write an essay on the creation of ITK, Inuit Tapirisat Kanataami.

The ITK essay was due on a Monday morning.
Of course, I procrastinated and started drafting the essay on the Sunday afternoon, and I kept working at it for the rest of the evening. I was being picky with words, and just couldn’t get started.

Earlier that week, our class learned about the direct history of ITK, we went down town to the office to take a tour, and we met the president, Mary Simon. After learning all this, and thinking about that week, I became overwhelmed with pride, and wonder “how did they do it?”

I remember tears rolling down my face, and getting frustrated with this essay I had to write that Sunday night. I knew that I had to hand something in the next morning, if I wanted to get the full marks. I have always been a keener, and pushed myself to get good marks in school…school nerd! But it’s because my parents have always pushed me to succeed, and become a better person. Right from when I was born, and especially when I started school, and had assignments to pass in.

Anyway, that Sunday night, I wrote a piece called “The Problem with Passion” and handed it in to my instructor on the Monday morning, instead of the ITK essay. He read it, and told me to do the assignment and write the ITK essay…and then suggested I share the piece of writing. I agreed, and thought others should read it too. In that paper, I wrote this paragraph:

It just amazes me, how much work had to be put into all this – into Nunavut.
It bugs me though, that a lot of young people don’t realize it. People don’t know,
because they really aren’t taught in schools or elsewhere. It’s because our education
system still follows the Alberta Curriculum, and besides having a few courses like
Northern Studies and Aulajaaqtut, we don’t really have the time to learn about our
own history. Some day that will change though.
Now there are Inuit studying to become teachers. The government is
working towards creating an Education Act. There is a Cultural
School being built in Clyde River to keep our traditional ways alive.
There are efforts to promote and secure our identity as Inuit.

The other day, the RSS feed brought an interesting piece to me. The title read:
Traditional skills to be taught at Nunavut's new cultural school

It brought a smile to my face instantly! and I went on to read the article.

I am incredibly happy things are being done.
The cultural school is being built in Clyde River, starting next year.
You can read the whole article by clicking the following web link.

I hope you are as excited as I am to learn about the future of our homeland.
Things are changing, and changing very quickly.
Thank-goodness, now we have the opportunity to play an important role in decision-making.
All we need to do is make ourselves aware of what is going on around us, and figure out where we can pitch in.
Everyone is capable, and ajunngi in their own right.
We just need to work together, and look for the betterment in things.
Life is as we make it, and we all will become certified teachers, and play a big role in the children’s lives.
The future of Nunavut is in these children that we can, and already influence.
They could be the ones going to “Piqqusilirivvik” learning our traditional ways.
Ahh, the possibilities of tomorrow are endless!

Anyway, please enjoy that article, and stay tuned!
I may have more assignments to write on this blogger, or have a realization I might share. Thank-you for reading, and please feel free to leave me a comment. I am always happy to get feedback, and hear another perspective.


Kerri Tattuinee

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Support, Support from all around!

My gootness, I continue to be overwhelmed with emotion when it comes to encouraging my peers and other youth to pursue their dreams! Our teachers support us, our parents support us, and our National Organization supports us! Mary Simon, President of ITK is a huge support for Inuit Education, and promotes our positive stories on her blog:

An especially interesting blog is one called We Are a Resilient People.
I enjoyed it, and hope maybe you can find something of interest other postings by Mary Simon.

Yay for bloggers! And sharing our thoughts!