The Métis, Inuit and First Nations peoples of Canada have long histories and speak an array of languages that deserve protection.
Aboriginal Awareness Week (May 24 – May 27) provides the perfect opportunity to applaud the creativity and innovation that went into the language-based educational game Inuktituuqta.
Inuktituuqta or “Let’s do Inuktitut”
The fruit of a partnership between Ottawa’s Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Inuuqatigiit Publishing and Heritage Canada, the game — a Scrabble spin-off — promotes the spoken languages of the Kitikmeot region.
Almost 100 pilot copies are currently in circulation and Janet McGrath, the creator, already has plans to make the game include even more Inuktitut dialects, like the Nattlik Inuktitut.
CBC’s Igalaaq lends its voice to Inuktituuqta
CBC North’s Liz Doyle, acting producer for the TV show Igalaaq, thought up a contest that would engage the audience with the Inuktituuqta game and help rally support for it. Viewers were asked to send in photos of themselves holding up a word and the object the word signifies. Given the pride that the Inuit have in their language, it is not surprising that the audience response was amazing.
Here’s a sampling of audience submissions:
We hear a lot about aboriginal peoples’ appreciation and connection with the environment and the influence of Mother Nature on their belief system. Of course, in a time when the environment is under threat, the efforts of aboriginals to encourage preservation are more important than ever. But, I think it’s also important that we recognize the ways language helps our native cultures not only to survive, but to flourish, despite our constantly changing world.
- Julia Morris-von Luczenbacher, Writer, Corporate Communications, CBC/Radio-Canada