Understanding Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ)



This lesson plan is designed to be used with students ages 12 and up.


Students will discuss the meaning of IQ and how it relates to Inuit life. In small groups, students will be assigned one of the six guiding principles of IQ. Students will create a short skit showing how the principle selected could be applied to their everyday life and will perform it for the class.

Estimated Time Needed

2 class periods.


Six founding principles of IQ (included in PDF) and their definitions (each on a separate strip of paper) and written on chart paper or overhead projector.

  1. Break students into small groups. Ask them to reflect on their lives and those of their family. What are some of the core values by which they try to live? As students share values, list them on the board.
  2. Ask students to think of ways the values listed translate into their everyday life. Have them share examples.
  3. Write Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit on the board. (Pronunce: Khao-yee-muh-yah-tut-khang-geet) Explain that IQ refers to the Inuit way of doing things, the Inuit way of life. “IQ embraces all aspects of traditional Inuit culture including values, worldview, language, social organization, knowledge, life skills, perceptions and expectations” (Nunavut Social Development Council, 1999). IQ is the wisdom passed on from generation to generation, gained from experience and values of Inuit society.
  4. Explain there are six guiding principles that support IQ. Have six principles already written on chart paper and share with students.
  5. Ask students why they think it is important to stress the value of IQ and its guiding principles in Inuit life. What is the significance of living by a set of core values? (increase self-esteem, decrease social problems such as substance abuse and suicide, restore Inuit pride).
  6. Break students into six groups. Explain that each group is going to choose one of the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ). Students are to discuss the principle they choose and brainstorm situations in their everyday lives to which the principle could be applied. Students will choose one situation from their brainstormed list and create a skit showing how their principle could be applied to the life of an average teenager.
  7. Allow students time to develop/practice their skits.

When students are ready, have them share their skits with each other. First, students should write the principle of IQ to which they were assigned on the board.

Following each skit, discuss situation shared. What other ways could the principle be applied to students’ everyday lives?

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