The Inuinnaqtun language—the foundation of Inuinnait culture—has less than 600 fluent speakers remaining. By most estimates, it is a language that will be extinct in less than two generations. The disappearance of Inuinnaqtun precipitates the loss of culturally unique knowledge, relationships and engagements with the world.

As we face an advanced state of language shift across Inuinnait communities in the Central Canadian Arctic, Indigenous languages across the globe are disappearing at an alarming rate. The United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace and reconciliation. This monumental announcement has shone a light on the urgent need for language revitalization and the enormous task ahead of us.

 

We urgently need to re-establish the connection.

 

Inuinnaqtun is our link to our Elders and the knowledge, worldview and cultural continuity that is our inheritance.  Language revitalization is our path to restoring these things, and with them the wellness of our youth and our communities.

 
 

 

Why is speaking Inuinnaqtun important to you?

Once you revitalize a language, you revive a whole culture and I think that’s really important for our identity as Inuit.
— Topsy Banksland
I look forward to my journey, reclaiming my language and my identity through Inuinnaqtun.
— Pamela Hakongak Gross
Inuinnaqtun is important to me because it ties us to our culture and it gives you a sense of belonging to the Inuit culture.
— Izaya Westwood
 

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Uqarluta / Let’s Speak Inuinnaqtun! is a project of the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society, an Inuit heritage organization based on Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

We have made an unwavering commitment to support the renewal of Inuinnait culture and the revitalization of Inuinnaqtun.

Our mission is to preserve and renew Inuinnait knowledge, language and culture for the benefit of all Inuit. Our vision is to concentrate and connect the resources, expertise and technology critical to Inuinnait cultural and linguistic survival.