(February 7, 2005 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today encouraged families in Nunavut to speak Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun at home. Mr. Kaludjak made the statement in honour of Nunavut’s Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq (Language Week), Feb. 5 – 12, 2005.
The first language children learn is the language spoken in the home by the parents. Families play a crucial role in ensuring Inuktitut survives by raising their children to speak Inuktitut. We must continue to reinforce this as we strive to protect and promote Inuit culture and languages in Nunavut, said Kaludjak.
As well as encouraging families to speak Inuktitut at home, NTI is actively involved in several public initiatives designed to help build a territory that encourages and supports Inuit languages. These initiatives include:
Drafting the 2003 Uqausiriksarniq language initiatives report that calls for the development of an Inuktitut Protection Act and a new Nunavut Official Languages Act.
Working to make Inuit languages equal in status to English and French through recommendations to CLEY on the Nunavut Official Languages Act.
The development of a Nunavut Education Act that requires the teaching of Inuktitut from Kindergarten to Grade 12 with emphasis on Inuinnaqtun revitalization.
The development of curriculum for Nunavut schools based upon Inuit culture, tradition, language, values and history.
NTI is also committed to promoting the use of Inuktitut in the workplace, a goal reflected in the organization’s recent decision to hire an Inuktitut-speaking Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
NTI believes it is critical to expand the use of Inuktitut among our staff and Board of Directors, and in our dealings with the Beneficiaries we serve. We believe strongly in communicating clearly with Inuit. The best way to do that is to speak the language of our people, said Kaludjak.
To celebrate Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, NTI has organized a series of activities for staff members. Alongside terminology and word games, Inuktitut and non-Inuktitut speaking employees will participate in cultural activities like sewing, traditional games, a comparison of regional differences in palaugaaq making, and a feast.
For further information:
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337