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Slide #41:Community Development

Development is the process whereby people make life easier for each other by collaborating in the formulation of a vision and collective action for resolution of perceived needs. Lowering the dropout rate, thereby raising the educational attainment of the members of the community will create a better community. When the community works together to development in this area they will make life easier for one another in a collective action (Fussell, 1996).

Slide #42 We can do together what we cannot do alone.

The underlying principal of community development is: We can do together what we cannot do alone. The community development worker is one who strives to pull people together by encouraging community members to get involved. Thus community development workers must consider all aspects of the community: social, cultural, spiritual, economical, and political. Native communities especially tend to value cultural and spiritual aspects community development gives the opportunity to generate alternative ideas which, when generated by those in the community, may provide a wider opportunity for educational success than what is currently in place.
According to Ross (1992) it is a mistake to assume that “Indians were probably just ‘ primitive versions’ of us, a people who needed only to ‘ catch up’ to escape the poverty and despair which afflicts far too many of their communities” (p. xxii). Unlike some other programs which simply push the Euro-Canadian view of education, Native communities need to find alternatives to the current educational process in order to reduce the number of students who give up on learning.

Slide #43 Generating Alternatives

Developing such a program will not be easy. A program must not be limiting those students who are currently succeeding in the system and wish to go into the greater global job market. The holistic program required must be one that values: 1) global educational programs (current educational diplomas like those recognised by Canadian universities and colleges outside of Nunavut); 2) Inuit culture and language programs (like Inuktitut immersion and land-based programs); and, 3) life skills programs to help Inuit deal with modern day life and the integration of Native and non-Native attitudes (Ross, 1997).

Slide #44 - What should be done? Recommendations (Handout)

The following is a list of twenty-two recommendations which can work to reduce dropout: six main areas of development:

  • Leaders and Teachers;
  • Career and Program Plans;
  • Restructuring of Schools;
  • Community Development;
  • Generate Alternate Programs;
  • Curriculum.

Most important is to: Promote more study of dropout phenomena amongst Canadian Inuit. More research needs to be done in order to fully understand the situation for Inuit youth. Little has been written about the topic with respect to the Inuit population of the Canadian north. This portfolio investigation is just one step to narrowing the gap of understanding the phenomena of Inuit dropout. Quantitative and qualitative research is required so that it can be used to initiate a plan to reduce the rate of dropout in Inuit communities.

Slide #45 Leaders and Teachers

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