In keeping with our Inuit ways, Ilitaqsiniq continually experiments, prototypes and evolves the way we deliver our programs. Over time, our ideas have gradually crystalized into what we now refer to as Ilitaqsiniq Inu-vation. By its very nature, Inu-vation represents an integrated method of program design that is constantly being refined and improved upon. The key elements of Inu-vation are described below, yet in practice these elements are always realized holistically.
Inspired by Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Traditional Knowledge), Inu-vation infuses vitality into all Ilitaqsiniq’s programming.
Honouring the Past while Embracing the Future
Ilitaqsiniq programs acknowledge, recognize and learn from the wisdom of Elders while finding new ways to support younger generations to actively embrace our culture and language. A driving force behind Ilitaqsiniq programs is to interrupt the intergenerational and ongoing effects of colonialism and to lead forward towards reclaiming and revitalising our traditions.
Inuit cultural practices are deeply connected to the land and the seasons as determined by Inuit historically. This is reflected in how and when we plan our programs.
Advancing Our Fundamental Belief in Inuit Culture to Grow, Thrive and Adapt
We believe in the strength, resourcefulness and innovation of our people. Ilitaqsiniq programs are heart-centred and built to inspire hope every step of the way. Inuit are resilient by nature, and we give opportunities for participants to experience this for themselves. Fostering connections between participants, community and the land sets the stage for healing, learning and self-realization as well as the confidence to move onward.
Creating Safe and Healing Spaces
Through our programs, we strive to offer environments that feel safe for participants. Every individual and their personal experience are unique. We accept participants where they are at and offer our support and compassion. We acknowledge our shared history and trauma while focusing on the joy of learning and being together. Places of discovery and exploration, our non-formal learning programs provide the space and opportunity for participants to determine their own success. Maintaining harmony and balance are central to Inuit ways of living a good life – and to our programs.
Learning and Living in Inuktut
We believe in our right to live and learn in Inuktut. It is the foundation for Inuit culture, and it holds the stories, knowledge, family histories and connections that our people have learned over millennia. Language is integral to our way of knowing. In Ilitaqsiniq programs, Inuktut is incorporated as much as possible.
Embedding Literacy, Language & Essential Skills
Literacy, language and essential skills (LLES) are integrated and embedded in various ways throughout Ilitaqsiniq programs. ‘Embedded LLES’ refers to the deliberate integration of literacy, language and essential skills development into program activities reflective of life in the Arctic.
It is the way we reinforce the learning of culture- and subject-specific content, boost participants’ skill proficiency, and bolster their confidence to apply these skills in and beyond the program.
Building a Whole Community
Ilitaqsiniq embraces community whenever it envisions a new program. Celebration of new accomplishments and learning may be shared with immediate family members and at times the broader community. A hunting program may honour the first catch when participants share the harvest with the community. A sewing program may rejoice in the creations at a fashion show open to the whole community. In this way, the individual learning and growth spreads across the community. Similarly, each program builds on the strengths and resources that already exists in the community, thus strengthening community bonds.