Northern Men’s Research Project

What is this project about?

‘Why are so many young Inuit men not in school, working or learning traditional skills’? This question, asked by Elder Quluaq Pilakapsi, initiated the development of the Northern Men’s Research Project.

The purpose of this community-based research project was to create space for dialogue about northern indigenous men’s experiences with learning and work. We wanted to better understand the barriers that northern First Nations, Inuit and Métis men face and, most important, what will help them succeed. We hope the research will lead to more effective programming and policies to support northern Indigenous men in learning, work and well-being.

What organizations participated in this research?

Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council led the research, in partnership with the NWT Literacy Council, Yukon Literacy Coalition, Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador, local First Nations governments and community-based partners.

Who did the research?

Locally supported researchers drove the research – from initial engagement and dialogue with community groups, through developing and asking research questions to the interpretation and sharing of results. These individuals (mainly Indigenous and mainly men) were identified in their home regions as people who are credible to ask questions and develop deeper understanding about men’s experiences with learning and work. They were: Noel Kaludjak, Bob Patles, Mike Nitsiza, Steven Kormendy, Allie Winton, Helen Kitekudlak, and Byron Hamel. Dr. Shelley Tulloch (University of Prince Edward Island) was the research guide.

Who were the research participants?

Research participants self-identified as Inuit, First Nations, or Métis. They also identified a community in Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories or Yukon as home. A few non-Indigenous people and women who work closely with men also shared some perspectives. We collected data from a total of 199 participants.

What did we ask research participants about?

The community-based researchers collected stories from men related to these questions:

  • What is success for northern Indigenous men today?
  • What helps northern Indigenous men achieve what they aspire to?
  • What blocks northern Indigenous men on their paths?
  • Which types of programming and policy best address men’s needs?

When did the research take place?

This project started in the fall of 2011 and was completed in the spring of 2015.

For more information including research findings and recommendations please refer to the documents in the Related Resources side bar on this page.