Pre-Departure Training / Orientation

(note: these links are provided as a cross-section of resources and information and are not necessarily endorsed by Engage North or the University of Alberta)

University of Alberta

UAlberta North
Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI)

Partner Organizations and Related Information

Hamlet of Pangnirtung - Partner for our pilot internships
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami - National Inuit organization in Canada
Nunatsiaq News - News from Nunavut and Nunavik
"Inuit Country" - Feature story in Canadian Dimension
Dene Tha' First Nation - Official Dene Tha' First Nation website
Beaver First Nation - Official Beaver First Nation website
Yellowknives Dene First Nation - Official Yellowknives First Nation website

Training Links:

Interns are required to complete several online training modules before departing to their host communities. Time will be provided to work through the course content and hands-on components will be scheduled during training, if applicable.

Bear Awareness and Safety e-module


  • Bears and other wildlife are common in the communities interns will be living in for the summer. This e-module covers bear identification; staying safe in "Bear Country"; how to avoid and manage bear encounters and how to use bear spray safely.
  • There is a hands-on component associated with this course.
  • A CCID and password are necessary to access the Training site.

Fire Extinguisher e-module


  • Interns are asked to become familiar with fire extinguishers in order to keep themselves and their communities safe in the case of a fire emergency. This e-module covers topics like the elements of fire; classes of fire; fire prevention; types of fire extinguishers and using a fire extinguisher.
  • There is a hands-on component associated with this course.
  • A CCID and password are necessary to access the Training site.

Indigenous Canada MOOC


Module 1 - Indigenous Worldview

Module 3 - Treat or Trickery

  • Indigenous Canada is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by the Faculty of Native Studies on Coursera. This course explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.These topics include key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective, highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. The entire course covers twelve modules, but we will utilize modules one and three for the purposes of our training.

Other resources utilized during our training are linked below:

We Were Children -- Documentary by Tim Wolochatiuk (2012)


  • This documentary explores the impact of the Canadian government's policy to remove children from their homes and place them in church-run boarding schools, or residential schools. The film takes place through the eyes of two children that attended these schools, with commentary from the now-adult survivors as they look back on their experiences.

Dene Laws


  • While this set of laws were created by the Yellowknives Dene people and are especially important for them, these principles are a valuable resource for interns in all communities.

Print Resources

Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and the Shaping of the World. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2000.

Kulchyski, Peter. Like the Sound of a Drum: Aboriginal Cultural Politics in Denendeh and Nunavut. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2005.

Stories from Pangnirtung. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1976.

Hankins, Gerald W. Sunrise Over Pagnirtung: The Story of Otto Schaefer, M.D. Calgary: The Arctic Institute of North America, 2000.

Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.

Ridington, Robin and Ridington, Jillian. When you Sing It Now, Just Like New: First Nations Poetics, Voices, and Representations, University of the Dene. Edmonton: NeWest Publishers Limited, 1997.

of Nebraska Press, 2006.

Blondin, George. Yamoria The Lawmaker: Stories