Hall Beach waiting for cabinet approval to change name to Sanirajak

MLA says community voted last year to officially adopt its traditional name

Joelie Kaernerk, MLA for Amittuq, asked Lorne Kusugak, Nunavut’s community and government services minister, on Feb. 20 about cabinet approval to change Hall Beach’s official name back to Sanirajak. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Hall Beach’s MLA says his constituents are still waiting to hear back on when the community can officially change its name back to its traditional name, Sanirajak.

The community held a plebiscite last year to change its name back to its traditional name, Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk explained in the legislative assembly on Thursday, Feb. 20, adding that over two-thirds of the community voted in favour of the change.

Kaernerk said the hamlet council recently wrote to Lorne Kusugak, Nunavut’s community and government services minister, to request that the name change be approved by the territorial government.

“Can the minister confirm when the official name change will be made?” Kaernerk asked.

“After the plebiscite, the hamlet’s SAO wrote to me, asking me to proceed with this matter and I replied saying that I approve of the decision that the municipality made to change the name,” Kusugak said.

But Nunavut’s cabinet still need to approve the change.

“It has to go through cabinet. We have received the letter from the mayor of Hall Beach for that purpose,” Kusugak said.

Kaernerk asked if the minister and his department could help pay for the name change.

Kusugak said they could look into it.

“I don’t know how the name change can cost more money. If the hamlet doesn’t have the funds within their budget, then we can look into that,” Kusugak said.

Citing Cape Dorset’s recent official name change to Kinngait, Kaernerk also asked Kusugak if he could update the assembly on how many community name changes are in the process of being approved.

Kusugak said he didn’t know how many community names have been changed, but that Kinngait and Hall Beach went through the process at around the same time.

“Once we have them all listed, we will be able to tell you how many there are, but I don’t know how many communities have had their names changed back into the Inuktitut name,” Kusugak said.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    So will Sanirajangmiut also expect non-Inuktitut speakers to be able to pronounce it properly?
    When Frobisher Bay changed its name to Iqaluit the pronunciation became ee-kaa-loo-et for non Inuit.
    How will you feel if the name change resulted in the name being pronounced saa-nee-yaa-rack?
    It seems to reduce the once proud name of Sanirajak to something that doesn’t reflect that pride?

    • Posted by Piitaqaqtuq on

      Yes, let’s all cater to those who can’t speak Inuktitut. While we’re at it, let’s all stop speaking Inuktitut so that they can understand what we’re saying. Yeah right.

      • Posted by West Nunavut Youth on

        I am a non Inuktitut speaker, because of the pathetic style
        of teaching our language. I am still an Eskimo person.
        Call it what you like ! !

    • Posted by Eric on

      Will if they want to learn how to pronounce properly they can ask inuit to teach them. Is inuit need more inuktituk language has to be strong if they dont want to learn it that’s there problem

  2. Posted by Karen Scott on

    We lived in Hall Beach for 6 years. We loved our time there. When we were there th inhabitants called iit by their original name. I feel it is about time that the world calls it Sanirijak. Good luck.

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