Relationships with Peers / Students
"I drew inspiration from people hunting together on the ice. People would go out together to keep each other safe. The harpoon is being used to test the strength of the ice." -Visual Story by Alexander Angnaluak
- Bullying (in-person and social media) without skills for bystander intervention
- Peer pressure and belonging linked to substance abuse (alcohol, drugs)
- Limited freedom of expression and conflict avoidance
- Supportive and caring friendships
- Exchanges that offer mutual support
- Ability to establish healthy boundaries
- Having safe spaces to allow for genuine conversations and the ability for students to express themselves in ways that lead to peer-support
Examples of Connected North Sessions
- Sessions that support skills related to bullying, healthy relationships, communication and conflict resolution
- Sessions that talk about different forms of leadership, being part of a community, contributing your gifts
What does the research tell us?
Peer mentors can help students develop social and friendship skills. Peer mentors can serve as role models, sources of information, readers, scribes and study buddies. Because they speak the same "language" and often have similar experiences, peer mentors can help create a more relaxed learning situation.
Be aware that the best students are often not the best tutors; they may not be able to relate to the learning challenges and struggles that other students face. (Our Words, Our Ways: Teaching First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learners, Alberta Services, Learning and Teaching Resources Branch, 2005, PDF)
What can we do?
Deliver interactive programming that engages students and encourages group work, discussion and continued interaction between students following the session.
Develop programming that explores healthy relationships around love, friendship, professionalism, etc.
Deliver programming that explores issues of gender, identity, bullying, self-care, etc.
The conceptual framework, insights and content reflected here has been developed collaboratively by members of the Connected North team at TakingITGlobal inspired by the communities we partner with.
Special thanks to Alexander Angnaluak, Doronn Fox, Nyle Johnston, Nigit'stil Norbert, Dallas Pelly, Waukomaun Pawis, Magdalena Kelly, Chris McLeod, Jason Jones, Mitch Holmes, Shelton Nipisar, Kim Dymond, Andrea Breen, Michael Furdyk, Edgar Gonzalez, Peyton Straker, and Jennifer Corriero.
We gratefully acknowledge youth, educators, elders and leaders from Connected North partner communities who have graciously shared their experiences, hopes, challenges and feedback with our team. In particular, we appreciate active inputs towards this framework from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
We would also like to thank Vani Jain and the team at the McConnell Family Foundation for their support as thought partners.
© 2022 TakingITGlobal and Alexander Angnaluak. All rights reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.