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Inuit language week: kisses and fish spears

February 12, 2012

Last week, the Dept of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth brought Inuit and allies from across Nunavut and from southern Canada together for Inuit Language Week.

I got to hear the final panel, Inuit blogger Tommy Akulukjuk, Greenlander Navarana Beveridge on the benefits of having a common written language for Greenland Inuit, and Kevin Kublutsiak of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, also advocating for Inuit in Canada to choose a single common writing system and sharing history around Inuit language syllabics and Roman orthography.

Tommy Akulukjuk said he was writing for his nephews, so they would know that writing is something they can do, too. Writing is not so familiar for oral cultures, and complicated by the state of flux between Inuit languages and English or French. Tommy is not so concerned about which language Inuit are expressing themselves in, but wants more Inuit writing to be happening.

You can find Tommy’s blog at http://kuniksandkakivaks.blogspot.com/  Read down to the 30 Aug 2011 entry and check out the Anais Nin quote in relation to Tommy’s writing. Tension! Complexity! What does it make you think? Discussion, anyone?

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