Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut June 26, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Federal goverment looking for feedback ahead of Indigenous language legislation

Public consultations to start in Iqaluit, Kuujjuaq next month

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Inuit representatives take part in language consultations led by the Department of Canadian Heritage in Ottawa June 15. The federal government plans to introduce new Indigenous languages legislation this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ITK)
Inuit representatives take part in language consultations led by the Department of Canadian Heritage in Ottawa June 15. The federal government plans to introduce new Indigenous languages legislation this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ITK)

The Department of Canadian Heritage has launched a new round of public consultations to help draft the federal government’s Indigenous Languages Act.

The department has been in discussions with Indigenous groups and language experts since June 2017 to gather feedback on how to best preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages.

The Trudeau government pledged to table such legislation within its current mandate. The department now says that legislation should be introduced by the fall.

As part of that process, government officials are hosting a number of consultations in the coming weeks in Inuit communities, north and south.

Heritage Canada hosted a session in Ottawa earlier this month with representatives of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

In the coming weeks, the department will be hosting sessions in the following cities or communities:

• Montreal on July 16

• Iqaluit on July 18

• Kuujjuaq on July 24

• Winnipeg on Aug. 29

The sessions are full-day events which run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and more information is available on the Canadian Heritage website.

Inuit have already told the federal government that they want better protection and promotion for Inuktut.

Roughly 70 per cent of Nunavut Inuit speak Inuktut as their first language, though that rate is declining at about one per cent per year.

At a recent United Nations forum, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Aluki Kotierk called on the federal government to recognize Inuktut as one of the country’s founding languages.

Inuktut is indeed an official language in Nunavut, but does not enjoy that status federally, as Canada’s two official languages, English and French, do.

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(15) Comments:

#1. Posted by Paul Murphy on June 26, 2018

Would love to understand what the benefit is to declaring Inuktut as one of the “founding languages”. I doubt it would have the same impact as declaring it an official language so NTI what does it all mean? What do you expect the declaration to do?

#2. Posted by Paul Murphy on June 26, 2018

Winnipeg??  How about Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay before Winnipeg?

#3. Posted by Pudlo on June 26, 2018

push for distinct society clause language police to come.
more money from fed. only problem is this is not quebec. anyways how is inuktituk a founding language? realistically speaking.

#4. Posted by love? on June 27, 2018

#1 A “founding language”.  The language of Inuit is a historical footprint, when explorers discovered they were not the first people in the Arctic and had to learn to speak the Inuit language to understand and to survive.  You cannot change history, by slighting the recognition of a “founding language”.  Your group have declarations, and Inuit have the dominance on this historical premise.

#5. Posted by David MacDougall on June 27, 2018

Well Paul Murphy, according to this article on APTN, it’s about money.
http://aptnnews.ca/2018/04/25/nti-head-wants-special-recognition-for-inuktut-as-one-of-canadas-founding-languages/

#6. Posted by Side Show on June 27, 2018

#4 That doesn’t make Inuktitut a ‘founding language’ in Canada. Whether it is or not is not necessarily relevant either way, what does matter are the protections and policies that are in place by government to protect it at present.

#7. Posted by unchangeable on June 27, 2018

#6 What do you think a “founding language” is?  The fad words used, like “I want to do a burger with tomatoes and onions”? or “Can I steal your pen for a minute”?.  A “founding language” is historical and is the footprint language for Inuit in Canada.  Cannot change what is unchangeable.  In the present, the English language can be more intelligible by changing the words “do” and “steal” back to make complete sense.

#8. Posted by ???? on June 27, 2018

What is considered Inuktut?

I’ve heard of Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun but never Inuktut

#9. Posted by Side Show on June 27, 2018

#7 A “founding language” of “Canada” is one of the two languages that was used by, and enshrined in the constitution of, the peoples who ‘founded’ the Nation State we refer to as ‘Canada’ today. Regardless of which languages preceded it within that geographical space (as those were not part of the political construction of Canada).

Inuktitut is not a founding language of Canada, though it is at present a language within Canada. 

Understand now?

#10. Posted by Paul Murphy on June 28, 2018

Inuktut is the collective name for two of the official languages of Nunavut;

  Inuinnaqtun, spoken in Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk
  Inuktitut, spoken in the rest of Nunavut

#11. Posted by actions speak louder on June 28, 2018

#9 This “founding language” is the language of the people of the Arctic, when before Canada was politically established, the explorers discovered the language of Inuit.  This language footprint is a start and the politics of policies, procedures, votes, arguments, proof finding facts, and all that is required to jump through the hoops of Canadian politics to claim Inuktitut as the first language in Nunavut is not history…yet.

#12. Posted by Side Show on June 28, 2018

#11 No one is suggesting that Inuktitut is not the language of Nunavut or the language of the peoples who inhabited the Arctic long before Europeans colonized what became known as British North America and, subsequently, Canada.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say Inuktitut was “a start and the politics of policies, procedures, votes, arguments, proof finding facts, and all that is required to jump through the hoops of Canadian politics”

What does this mess of words even mean?

Please, organize your thoughts into a coherent argument. This is all emotion and bluster.

Good luck

#13. Posted by Wishful Thinking (West Nunavut ) on June 28, 2018

Does it really matter what is and what is not a founding language ?
If some thing is not done in this part of Nunavut with its incompetent
teaching methods it will disappear.
Does anybody care ?

#14. Posted by Youth (West Nunavut ) on June 28, 2018

# 13,
What are you thinking ?  Of course they don’t, the young people of
the Kitikmeot are proof of this.
More meetings of smiling faced Inuktitut teaching incompetents will
not accomplish anything.

#15. Posted by SouthernVoiceOnly? on June 29, 2018

What about meetings at Gjoa Haven, Cape Dorset, Resolute and Kugluktuk? More inuit speakers who are concerned about the language then the southern cities and Iqaluit. Because they don’t have the perks of the chosen sites? That is because the other communities do not get the opportunity or the infrastructure.

The airfare is more then any ordinary person can afford to travel for a meeting. You would probably get much more in-depth and personal feedback rather then the organizational line.

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