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November 21, 2019

23rd Nunavik Inuit Elders Conference

By Michel Patry

The 23rd Nunavik Inuit Elders Conference was held in Kangiqsualujjuaq from October 22 to 24, 2019. Thirty delegates from the fourteen communities in Nunavik including Chisasibi Inuit attended this bi-annual event.

The Conference is an important event for Elders and the Institute, which draws some of its direction from these meetings. As every two years, the Conference began with the presentation of the Institute’s various departments and projects recent activities. Several presentations attracted the delegates' attention, including archaeological excavations, archives and the Nunatop project. Maps of the Kangiqsualujjuaq area were offered to participants and to Kangirsualujjuamiut.

The theme of this edition focused on the Inuktitut language, delegates were asked to share words that are no longer used today. In addition, Zebedee Nungak updated the delegates on the progress of the mandate that was entrusted to him on the Inuktitut language status in Nunavik.

A demonstration of a traditional caribou hide smoking technique was presented by the Asimautaq local cultural committee of Kangiqsualujjuaq. Once finished, the hide is used for making mittens; these mittens are loved by many Inuit. A berry picking activity was also planned and a feast, that brought the community and delegates together, was also organized to close the meeting.

The next conference will be held in Inukjuak in the fall of 2021.

New board of Directors elected on October 24, 2019:

Josepi Padlayat, Salluit – President

Charlie Arngak, Kangiqsujuaq - Director

Caroline Palliser, Inukjuak – Director

Jeannie Nungak, Kangirsuk – Director

Solomonie Alayco, Akulivik – Director

The Avataq Cultural Institute would like to thank all the sponsors of the conference:

Kativik Regional Government

Makivik Corporation

Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec

The Nunavik Regional Health Board and Social Services

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq

The Landholdings and the Northern Villages of Nunavik


Rhoda Kokiapik, Executive Director

Photo 11

The 23rd Nunavik Inuit Elders Conference delegates in plenary meeting.

©Robert Fréchette / Avataq

Photo 22

Delegates looking at historical photographs from the Avataq archives.

©Robert Fréchette / Avataq

Photo 33

Group photograph of the participants.

@Robert Fréchette / Avataq

Photo 44

Berry picking activity.

©Robert Fréchette / Avataq

Photo 55

Demonstration of a traditional caribou skin smokehouse.

@Robert Fréchette / Avataq

Photo 66

From left to right: Jeannie Nungak (Vice-President), Josepi Padlayat (President) and Solomonie Alayco (Director).

©Robert Fréchette / Avataq