Inuit voices take to the airwaves in Montreal
Inuktitut radio show launches Oct. 6 at CKUT FM
Starting this week, Inuit in Montreal — and anywhere they have access to internet — can tune in and listen to a new Inuktitut-language radio show.
Nipivut, which means “our voices,” launches Oct. 6 at CKUT, a community radio station based at McGill University.
The hour-long show will be hosted by Annie Pisuktie, an Inuk case worker for correctional services who is originally from Iqaluit.
“It’s a place where Inuit can have a voice, to talk about issues that are important to their community,” said Mark Watson, a Concordia University professor and member of Nunaliijuaq, a research group that works with Montreal-based Inuit organizations.
As part of Nunalijjuaq’s efforts to connect Inuit to services in the city, and to each other, the group is taking over a 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. time slot once dedicated to a CKUT show called Native Solidarity News.
Nipivut will be one of only a few minority language shows broadcast on the predominantly English and French-language station.
“To our knowledge, this is the first-ever Inuktitut-language program broadcast from and to Montreal,” Watson said.
The show is also produced in collaboration with the Cabot Square revitalization project, focused around an urban park that is a gathering place for many Inuit and other Indigenous people.
The first broadcast is expected to feature interviews with people from organizations such as Nunavik’s Northern Quebec Module, which oversees Nunavimmiut patient accommodations in Montreal, and Tungasuvvingat Inuit, an Ottawa-based social service and cultural agency which is currently assessing services for Inuit in urban centres.
The first episode should also feature an interview with Rev. Annie Ittoshat, the Inuk minister at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Montreal.
“It’s also a chance to highlight Inuit music, art, design and storytelling,” Watson said of the show. “It’s really a great opportunity to show the diversity of what’s going on.”
The show’s producers are hoping to use Ingutaapiga as its theme music, an old song by Nunavik songwriter Tumasi Quissa, remixed by Inuk electronic artist Geronimo Inutiq.
The language used on the show should be about 60 to 70 per cent Inuktitut, Watson said, allowing for some English or French language programming.
That’s so Nipivut can reach some non-Inuktitut speaking Inuit in the city, as well as Montreal’s non-Inuit population.
Pisuktie, the show’s host, also wants to use the show to help connect Inuit in the North with Inuit in the South, Watson said.
Listeners on the island of Montreal can tune into Nipivut starting Oct. 6 at 6:00 p.m. at 90.3 FM.
Elsewhere, listeners can tune in to episodes posted on CKUT’s website.
“We think it’s a great model that could work in other Canadian cities,” Watson said. “It’s a great opportunity to connect people.”