Thematic Network on Verdde Indigenous Education

UArctic Thematic Network on Verdde Indigenous education was established in 2004 initially known as Verdde Program.

Sámi allaskuvla and Nunavut Arctic College took the lead and ran a pilot program 2004–2005 that turned out to be a permanent activity within UArctic. It began with investment on exchange and group visits, which have been enriching and share the similar experiences in recognizing the role of the Indigenous languages and cultures in education. Verdde is a North-Sámi word meaning “a mutually beneficial exchange” which, in this context, is the name of the collaboration within the Verdde Indigenous education TN. Verdde makes it possible for Indigenous students, teachers and researchers to share knowledge and learn about each other’s Indigenous cultures, knowledge, education and research.

The exchanges and group visits in the Indigenous teacher-training programs have shown the similar challenges, strategies, and successes throughout Indigenous teacher training and education in the Circumpolar North. For the future, Verdde will strive to expand the network and activities to other aspects of Indigenous education as well as teacher-training. These areas include arts and crafts, Indigenous languages, and resource management.

Research in the Verdde network is a recent initiative. Verdde research examines Indigenous-led and Indigenous developed education, including Indigenous language education and the use of Indigenous pedagogy, in the Circumpolar North regions. Beginning in 2022, the research project Professional Learning for Educators: Nurturing Indigenous Pedagogies and Place-based Knowledges in the Circumpolar North, was a self-study that explored the ways in which Indigenous educators engage in professional learning to deepen Indigenous knowledge and values in education. The network is currently developing a second research project to explore the use of Duodji and Ilusivut (arts and crafts) as a pedagogical strategy. 




The goal of Verdde is strengthening cooperation within UArctic in the fields of Indigenous education, languages and knowledge through strengthening Indigenous teacher education.

Verdde connects Indigenous Circumpolar North post secondary students, educators, and faculty members, and strengthens collaboration in Education amongst Indigenous groups. 

The mutually beneficial exchange of the Verdde TN  network builds resilience, strengthens determination, and inspires strategies to embed Indigenous knowledges, languages, and cultures in Circumpolar North education.

Verdde TN is also

  • promoting cross-cultural professional development of educators
  • encouraging post secondary students, teachers, administrators, and faculty to pursue land-based and Indigenous teaching and learning practices through mutually recognized pedagogies
  • promoting increased historical and contemporary understanding between and
    amongst Indigenous people throughout the Circumpolar North.


Mutually beneficial activities of Verdde TN

  • offering high quality cross-institutional instructional programs that include exchange opportunities at each of the partner sites aimed at increased cross-cultural understanding;
  • facilitating national and international exchange of students, faculty, and researchers to foster mutually beneficial study and research;
  • exploring shared research interests among faculty and students from each of the institutions and international partners;
  • assisting each other in the development of exemplary curriculum and assessment
  • encouraging ongoing sharing of cultural resources and communication about
    educational issues using the internet and other electronic systems and technology;
  • engaging in professional learning through collaboratively developed workshops and sharing knowledge through conferences and seminars
  • promote, strengthen, and advocate for Indigenous languages

Other Information

Video interview: Marikaisa Laiti (Lead) and Sylvia Moore (Vice-Lead) of the UArctic Thematic Network on Verdde Indigenous Education