Nunavut government announces new appointments to territory’s language authority

Louis Tapardjuk and Rosemarie Meyok join the Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit


Every year, Nunavut's language authority is supposed to submit an annual report to the legislative assembly.

Every year, Nunavut’s language authority is supposed to submit an annual report to the legislative assembly.

The Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit, Nunavut’s arm’s-length language authority, has two new members: Louis Tapardjuk of Igloolik, a former MLA and cabinet minister, and Inuinnaqtun translator Rosemarie Meyok of Kugluktuk.

Their appointments became effective Sept. 4.

Tapardjuk, as Nunavut’s minister of languages, oversaw the approval of the Inuit Language Protection Act and the Official Languages Act. He also addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2009, where he linked the efforts to preserve and promote Inuktut to fundamental human rights.

Meyok said in an online biography on the language authority’s website that she wants to ensure that Inuinnaqtun is included throughout the territorial government and survives as an official language of Nunavut, on par with Inuktitut, English and French.

“My wish and dream for Inuinnaqtun is for it to be spoken by all, elders, parents, youth and children alike,” she said. “That communication and dialogues between them are all in Inuinnaqtun as it was in my childhood. That one-day, we may have an Inuinnaqtun language and culture school within our region. In order for this to happen we all need to commit to using it daily in all aspects of life.”

Mary Thompson and Miriam Aglukkaq previously served in these positions for the past three years.

They will continue to be members of the language authority for the remainder of their three-year terms.

“I would like to thank Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Aglukkaq for their contributions in leading the Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit thus far. Following consultations with the members, I am also very pleased in appointing Mr. Tapardjuk as the new chairperson and Ms. Meyok as vice-chairperson. These appointments bring continued stability to the IUT’s leadership and complement the skills and knowledge of the existing members,” David Joanasie, Nunavut’s education minister, said in an Oct. 10 news release on the appointments.

Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit currently has five members serving on three-year term appointments. Its members must be fluent in Inuktut, possess academic or traditional language expertise, have a rich knowledge of dialects and the capacity to help the language authority function and make decisions.

The language authority’s mandate includes documenting and sharing expertise on Inuktut and making decisions about the language on behalf of all Nunavummiut.

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