Inuktitut Language

The goal of the Inuktitut Language Programme is to preserve and protect the language of the Inuit and promote its use within the territory of Nunavik.

In an autonomous government, an Inuktitut Language Commission would supervise the protection and development of Inuktitut. Language protection (language in the workplace and of signs) must be a priority of Nunavingmi Aquvvinga.

Avataq’s language programme develops terminology for contemporary domains such as legal, medical and communications terminology. The Institute also organizes workshops that seek to meet the needs of translators and interpreters and ensure the quality of translation services.

Avataq’s ongoing work includes the development of the following tools: a language dictionary, a recovery database (for words at risk of disappearing) a grammar, and materials for teaching Inuktitut as a second language. In addition, the programme includes the development of a reference library and the development of approaches for learning the language via concrete experience – observation and action, as it was learned traditionally.

At the local level, Avataq encourages language workshops and inter-generational interactions within all the 14 communities of Nunavik.

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The Elders Conference

Since its founding, the Institute has recognized the invaluable role of elders in Inuit society. The Avataq Cultural Institute therefore spearheaded the first Nunavik Elders Conference, held in Kangirsuk in 1981.

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Terminology workshops

These workshops are primarily intended to develop new terminology and revive old words through discussions among resource people (elders from the three coasts) and a group of translators and interpreters. The most recent terminology workshop was held in Kangirsualujjuaq in April 2006.

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