Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Sharon Rich


Educationaladministrationisadisciplinethatinvitesamultiplicityofperspectives. This study explores the careers of Inuit women who have been educational leaders in Nunavut schools for a number of years. It examines what it is like for them to be school administrators in the Canadian Arctic. The questions investigated include: How do Inuit women principals understand their role? What forces have shaped the way Inuit women see themselves as leaders in educational settings? Are the perceptions of the participants consistent with the paradigm of administration in Nunavut schools expressed by the Nunavut Department of Education and the Educational Leadership Program that is required for principal certification? What changes are needed to make the principal’s role more reflective of Inuit beliefs and ways of leading? What supports are needed to encourage more Inuit women to become school administrators? The dissertation employs a narrative inquiry methodology to explore the training programs, supports, satisfactions and challenges of Nunavut women principals. The results challenge the partiality of perspectives on school leadership in the dominant discourse and point to the need for greater cultural sensitivity when helping to establish school systems in unique cultural contexts. They show that community members need to become actively involved in schools on a regular basis to support a vision of education based on Inuit values. Inuit administrators need the time and opportunity to work collaboratively with elders, their co-principals, mentors and each other, in order to support and guide their staff, students and community with a more relevant model of school leadership.



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