Since their 2003, local cultural committees have been created and are operating independently in all of the Nunavik’s communities.
Each Nunavik community has its own specific traditions and cultural needs and so each community has its own group of leaders who are directly involved in preserving Inuit language and culture.
Likewise, every cultural committee has an individualized mandate based on the needs of the local community, but with the ultimate goal of keeping Inuit culture and language alive and visible to everyone.
Nancy Palliser is Avataq Cultural Institute’s coordinator of the Local Cultural Committees. She is based in Inukjuak, where she supports cultural activities and acts as a link between Avataq and the local cultural committee, as well as between Elders and their respective community.
Activities that have been carried out by Local Cultural Committees include: construction of qarmaq (sod houses), seal-skin tents, traditional umiaq (sealskin boat) and qajaq (kayaks), local language workshops,bannock making, kamik making, puurtaq making, avataq making and much, much more.
Local Cultural Committees also organize traditional Inuit games during events such as Aboriginal Day, Christmas and Easter, where they dress in traditional Inuit clothing and welcome everybody to do the same. At the games, they often try to revive a hunting tool or other traditional item that has fallen into disuse and give prizes forthe best creation.
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The exhibition shed a new light on Nunavik and its environment.
“Toponyms known and used by Inuit within living memory must be recognized by the government and used on official maps in order to reaffirm their permanent cultural value.” Resolution of the Inuit Elders Conference, 1983.