Foundation Statements:

Relationships

"The school and community are connected. The active involvement and roles of all partners – students, family, community, school staff, educators, Aboriginal Governments, business, etc. -- are highly valued in the learning that occurs inside and outside school walls. Learning involves relationships with ideas, people, life experiences, languages, spirituality, and culture. All are rooted in the place where we live and learn, thus making it essential to connect to the land and people of that place. Through meaningful and respectful relationships, people can talk openly, develop a shared vision, and make decisions together on the directions of students’ learning. Students contribute to their community and to their own life-long learning when their relationship with learning is one of true inquiry and discovery" (ERI Framework: Directions for Change, pdf 32, p. 26).

The following documents will help overview key elements that we refer to when we speak of relationships in the NWT: the land, people, self, and the spiritual:

  • Dene Kede: Introduction; General Learner Expectations; Thematic Units

  • Inuuqatigiit

  • Education Renewal and Innovation Framework: Directions for Change

  • Our Students, Our Future: An Educational Framework


These four documents lay out the contexts in which learning is vital in the NWT. Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit are curricula that were written in 1993 and 1996 respectively to describe what the indigenous peoples of the NWT determine Dene and Inuit children should understand. Our Students, Our Future and Directions for Change were documents written in 1991 and 2013 respectively to provide frameworks to guide educational decisions and policies.

NWT Foundational documents & Frameworks on the topic of relationships

The Relationship Quadrants

The four relationship quadrants are laid out in the following four sections. It is organized in tables with rows displaying how each of the four foundational documents and frameworks above, speak to directly, allude to, or are silence on various topics within the quadrant.

The

People

A comparison of the topics under "People" from Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit show some similar topics as well as a few unique to each curriculum's organization; sometimes these topics have direct counterparts in the ERI: Directions for Change and Our Students, Our Future documents:

The

Land

A comparison of the topics under "The Land" from Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit show some similar topics as well as a few unique to each curriculum's organization; sometimes these topics have direct counterparts in the ERI: Directions for Change and Our Students, Our Future documents:

The Spriritual World

A comparison of the topics under "The Spiritual World" from Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit show some similar topics as well as a few unique to each curriculum's organization; sometimes these topics have direct counterparts in the ERI: Directions for Change and Our Students, Our Future documents.

Note how this sensitive area is handled in Dene Kede, (Grade 7-9), Relationship with the Spiritual:
"There is an attempt in this curriculum to make the students aware of Dene beliefs and traditions in the hopes that they can understand the urgency the Elders feel toward this special time [puberty]. The curriculum is cautious about encouraging the teaching of Dene spirituality, however. In the past, spiritual guidance was a private affair and it is expected that this will remain so today. Spirituality is encouraged only with publicly used Dene practices and with reflective questions. These questions attempt to bring the students closer to their spiritual sides so they can become aware of what they are meant to become by the Creator." (Dene Kede, Gr. 7)

The Self

A comparison of the topics under "People" from Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit show some similar topics as well as a few unique to each curriculum's organization; sometimes these topics have direct counterparts in the ERI: Directions for Change and Our Students, Our Future documents:

N2NEC