Uqarluta Inuinnaqtun combines the resources, expertise and passion of the four Inuinnaqtun speaking communities of Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Gjoa Haven and Ulukhaktok, with the latest theory and best practices in language revitalization, to initiate an unprecedented and transformational effort to reverse the advanced state of language shift in the communities. A number of initiatives are in the planning and development stage to integrate Inuinnaqtun into the everyday lives of our communities:
Immersion Program for Young Parents
Our first initiative will be the creation of a full-time (4 day/week) immersion program to be delivered by the Language Leader and Elder resource people to young parents who are committed to becoming language carriers for the next generation. The program will follow Inuinnait pedagogy emphasizing oral practice in the context of meaningful, hands-on, activities. Entrance to the program will be based on demonstrated commitment, and continuation will be based on the evaluation of acquired language skills.
Language Nests in the Home
A language nest is a space that is Inuinnaqtun only. The project will promote language nests and recruit families who are willing to commit to creating language nests in their homes. Participants will be provided with training and support.
A mentor/apprentice program teams a fluent speaker with a learner. The team will identify apprentice candidates with some language competence and match them with mentors while providing them with training and support.
With the help of our academic team members the project will start a program of comprehensive documentation of Inuinnaqtun with the parallel goals of preserving the maximum amount of information on the language and generating content for learning applications. The project will work with the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University to develop an Inuinnaqtun Documentation Application based on the open source Nunaliit Framework. This will be a tool for the collaborative documentation of the language by Inuinnaqtun specialists located in the three communities along with academic linguists located in the South.
As we work towards each initiative, the Uqarluta Inuinnaqtun project is committed to:
Emphasizing oral and written language use;
Promoting an emotionally safe learning environment;
Empowering young Inuinnait to take the language and use it to fit their present and future realities;
Using Inuinnait ways of teaching and learning that rely on hands-on activities and the oral tradition.