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Blending world views

Bachelor of social work, Nunavut cohort, degree program announced

Teaching and Learning

By Laura Woodford

As part of the broader partnership between Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) and Memorial University, the School of Social Work is announcing its own partnership with the college.

The Cambridge Bay Campus of Nunavut Arctic College is pictured, a long, one-storey building with a center peak and yellow-brown siding. It is surrounded by snow.
The Cambridge Bay Campus of Nunavut Arctic College.
Photo: Submitted

The school is offering graduates of the college’s social service worker diploma program the opportunity to complete a Memorial University bachelor of social work (BSW) degree.

Following a three-year commitment from the Government of Nunavut of $1.8 million for the delivery of an accredited BSW program in the territory, the bachelor of social work, Nunavut cohort, degree program will be offered in fall 2021 to the first cohort of students in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Including Elder perspectives

“This agreement ensures Nunavut Arctic College’s two-year social services worker diploma will lead into an accredited four-year bachelor of social work degree from Memorial University and is consistent with the government’s priority of providing education and training opportunities for youth and adults to make positive contributions to society and gain meaningful employment through Sivummuaqpalliajjutivut/our tools for pursuing our goals,” said David Joanasie, minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College.

“The inclusion of Elder perspectives and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit/traditional knowledge in this two-year program set to be delivered in Cambridge Bay also means future Inuit social work graduates will be well prepared to incorporate Inuit societal values in their future social work practice.”

‘Consistent with an Inuit world view’

President Vianne Timmons says Memorial University is delighted with the agreement to deliver a bachelor of social work degree in partnership with Nunavut Arctic College’s Health and Wellness Division.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a practice of social work that is consistent with Inuit traditional knowledge and Inuit culture and that will equip students to address the territory’s challenges in a manner consistent with an Inuit world view,” Dr. Timmons said.

“After the success of our partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government to offer an Inuit bachelor of social work degree program to Inuit beneficiaries in Labrador, we are honoured to be part of this initiative with Nunavut Arctic College.”

There exists a possibility of offering the program in additional Nunavut communities in the future with an overarching goal of co-developing an accredited bachelor of social work degree for NAC to offer independently.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous world views

“This program is an incredible opportunity to share knowledge and to learn from each other,” said Dr. Paul Banahene Adjei, Nunavut Arctic College-Memorial School of Social Work BSW Steering Committee member.

“This partnership carries the spirit of Memorial University’s Strategic Framework for Indigenization. The curricula and pedagogical structure of the program is strongly connected to Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit/traditional knowledge and will blend Indigenous and non-Indigenous world views and ways of knowing and being. The program will also increase the presence of Inuit BSW-qualified social workers in Nunavut.”

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