Constructing Measures of Northern Children’s Identity through Dialogue


The many relationships and experiences in a child’s early years exert an influence that may last a lifetime. A picture of child development is more complete with a perspective on the child’s sense of identity. Child development can be described, measured, or put in context. It can be looked at in a quantitative fashion, through tests and numbers, and it can be narrated through a story. Ongoing dialogue within the Northwest Territories led to the construction and refinement of relevant and measurable indicators of young children’s sense of identity as reflected in their northern and Aboriginal cultures and contexts. A sense of belonging, with relational connections to self, family, culture, community, and place contribute to the construction of northern children’s identities. This article describes the emergence of those constructs and the relationship-based processes that gradually led to the construction of the Sense of Identity (SI) questionnaire.

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