Revitalising The Inuktitut Language On Social Media, One Word At A Time

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) has taken to social media to encourage the increased usage of Inuktitut, the Inuit language. Based in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region of Nunavut, Canada’s youngest territory, the organization works to “safeguard, administer and advance the rights and benefits of the Qikiqtani Inuit”.

Their social media efforts are in keeping with their mission to promote the Inuktitut language. In an email interview with QIA, a representative of the organization wrote:

Language preservation is an integral part of building pride among Inuit, particularly young Inuit. Learning, speaking-in and thinking-in Inuktitut helps young Inuit feel more connected to our community and traditional values.

This is especially important because researchers note “a decline in the quality of Inuktitut in Nunavik — including poor grammar, a low level of vocabulary and increased mixing of Inuktitut with English.” According to the researchers’ report, contributing factors may include the influence of non-Inuktitut-language media and an insufficient number of teachers fluent in Inuktitut.

According to information collected from various sources by the Endangered Languages Project, there are between 14,000 and 30,000 native speakers of Inukutit, but the language is considered to “vulnerable” according to UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.

The online campaign being conducted on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook, introduces Inuktitut words written in Canadian Aboriginal syllabics and pairs them with prints produced by the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop in Cape Dorset. The illustrations illuminate many aspects of Inuit culture.

The Word of the Day project is another of several initiatives designed to promote the language. The QIA sponsors an annual Inuktitut song and poem contest, as well as the production of early childhood education materials. In collaboration with Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publishing company based in Nunavut, the QIA produces children’s books authored by Inuit authors from the territory.

To see the full set, visit the @Qikiqtani_Inuit Instagram account.

Revitalizing the Inuktitut language on social media, one word at a time” by Eduardo Avila at Global Voices, is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
It was posted on Global Voices on 9 January 2019 at 2:16 GMT.
The image and its accompanying caption, and the embedded Instagram posts in the original article has been removed. The image on this page, just above the extract from the article, is not from the original article.
 Some Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.