(February 5, 2008 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) Following the onset of Language Week in Nunavut yesterday, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) President Paul Kaludjak encouraged Inuit across the territory to speak Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut to the best of their ability on a regular basis. Recent data released by Statistics Canada shows there has been a decrease in the amount of Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun spoken in the home over the past several years.
Kaludjak said a strong desire to have Inuit language continue as one of Canada’s most vibrant Aboriginal languages plays a critical role in NTI’s tireless work to lobby the Government of Nunavut to improve the proposed Official Languages Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act. Both pieces of legislation received second reading, and it is anticipated the bills could become law during the next session of the Legislature, scheduled to open Feb. 19 in Iqaluit.
NTI believes the proposed legislation before the Nunavut Legislative Assembly still needs improvement, said Kaludjak. NTI will not rest until we are guaranteed that Inuit language rights are fully met. In our submissions to the Ajauqtiit Standing Committee, we were adamant that government provide the necessary resources to allow Nunavut to begin to function in the Inuit language now – not 20 years from now when our linguistic abilities have further eroded, said Kaludjak.
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