Maggie MacDonnell, an education consultant with the School Board of Nunavik and winner of the prominent Global Teacher Prize, will give the keynote address at the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Associations biennial general meeting in St. John’s this week.
MacDonnell’s address on Wednesday is expected to provide an in-depth look into the classroom through engaging visuals and stories about an Arctic school in the village of Salluit, northern Quebec. Students there face staggeringly high dropout rates, a youth suicide crisis and disturbing social injustices.
A news releases states the address will note Inuit students carry the burden of colonization and inter-generational trauma on their shoulders, and McDonnell will explain how she grounds her teaching practice in feminist, post-colonial and community development theory to allow her students to become masters of their own destiny.
Attendees of the keynote address will be shown examples of how her students have developed resiliency through innovative educational programs that have led to suicide prevention, school perseverance and the graduation of Inuit girls who were previously dropouts.
MacDonnell is an educator and sport for development practitioner with over 10 years of global field experience. Her work has brought her to many corners of the globe and ranged from working with Congolese refugees, to Tanzanian HIV/AIDS activists, to Inuit youth in northern Canada.
For the last 7 ½ years, MacDonnell has been teaching in the fly-in Inuit community of Salluit.
She won the US$1-million Global Teacher Prize, beating more than 20,000 nominees from 179 countries.