The Iglu and the Tent: Centring the Northern Voice in Mathematics Teaching

Fok-Shuen Leung


This work was inspired by conversations with a community of practice based at Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit, including Andrea Burry, Maryse Cohen, Goota Jaw, Kaviq Kaluraq, and Gloria Uluqsi. The author gratefully acknowledges their contributions, as well as the
indispensable contribution of the land itself.

We outline the broad epistemic tendencies of Inuit and Qallunaaq[i] teaching, in the context of a faculty member in the Mathematics department of a large, research-oriented Qallunaaq university. We argue that, against the recommendations of academic literature, historical support and personal experience, the South maintains a position of strong cultural assertiveness. Finally, we propose two shifts in position, aimed at protecting the North and learning from it, that centre the Inuit voice.

[i] While Qallunaaq simply means “non-Inuit” (the noun is Qallunaat), the implied meaning here, as in common usage, is “settler Canadian” or “settler North American”.


indigenous, inuit, education, math

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