The panel discussed historical and contemporary challenges in Indigenous education, general suggestions for improved education systems, and specific actions for UArctic to improve education outcomes for Indigenous students.
Some of the challenges discussed by panelists included:
- Continued prejudice against Indigenous students by educators
- Lack of opportunity to learn Indigenous languages in school and most courses being taught in the majority language
- Most education is based on Western paradigms instead of place-based and traditional knowledge
- Non-Indigenous peoples educating Indigenous students and topics
- Many Arctic students having to travel south for higher education
The panel suggested specific actions for UArctic including:
- Collect good practices - Monitor Indigenous achievement, identify and evaluate successful programs for Indigenous achievement and determine where Indigenous achievement gaps exist.
- Provide opportunities for Indigenous leadership - UArctic institutions to initiate programs that build Indigenous leadership capacity and
usher Indigenous leaders into high-level administrative, instructional, and teaching-level positions.
- Allow Indigenous students to study from their communities - create hybrid, flexible programs to allow for students to remain in their home communities yet receive higher education through suggestions such as satellite campuses, distance learning, digital technology and micro-credentials.
- Demonstrate the value of Indigenous knowledge - innovative programs that UArctic institutions could adopt to place a higher value on Indigenous knowledge such as allowing Indigenous students to teach and earn faculty salaries while working towards their PhDs.
At the conclusion of the UArctic Congress 2018, UArctic membership proclaimed, “In partnership with Indigenous peoples and communities, we seek to transform our education institutions and systems to be inclusive, relevant and responsive to Indigenous peoples, their perspectives, interests, and knowledge systems”
The full report can be found here.
The Chair of the Council of UArctic, Liisa Holmberg and President of the UArctic, Lars Kullerud, moderated the panel of seven representatives of the Arctic Council Permanent Participants. Panelists included:
- Tiffany Jackson, Aleut International Association (Administrator for the Qagan Tayagungin Tribe)
- Norma Ann Shorty, Arctic Athabaskan Council (Independent Indigenous Researcher; Adjunct Instructor, University of Alaska Southeast and University of Regina)
- Evon Peter, Gwich'in Council International (Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks)
- Dalee Sambo Dorough, Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC International Chair)
- Nina Veisalova, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (1st Vice-President of RAIPON; Advisor to the Rector, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia)
- Ellen Inga Turi, Saami Council (Head of Delegation to the Arctic Council, Head of Academic Administration at the Sami University of Applied Sciences)
- Tukumminnguaq Olsen, Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland