Friday, March 25, 2005

Nunavut Language Awards Winners Announced

Frequently, Inuit artists signed their finished Inuit carvings and art prints with Inuit syllabics as well as in English. Sometimes, only the Inuit characters are used on finished Inuit art without any English. The schools in the Canadian Arctic have a comprehensive program to teach the Inuit youth their native language Inuktituk as a way to help the community retain their culture.

The Nunavut Language Awards celebrate Nunavummiut who promote the daily use of Inuit language. This year, four recipients were chosen in youth, adult and elder-based categories:

Youth Language Award: Miali-Elise Coley from Iqaluit. Coley is President of the Inuit Circumpolar Youth Conference and promotes Inuktitut through cultural appearances and public speaking events. She is studying to become a teacher.

Adult Language Award: Mark Kalluak of Arviat. Kalluak has translated the Bible's New Testament into Inuktitut, became editor of the Keewatin Echo (Kivalliq region's first newspaper,) and works to preserve oral sayings and improve Inuktitut pronunciation.

Adult Language Award: Gloria Mimialik of Iqaluit. Mimialik, a nursing student, encourages classmates to use Inuktitut medical terms and encourages Iqaluit's youth to speak and write in Inuktitut.

Elder Language Award: Manasa Evic from Pangnirtung. Evic has recorded the community elders' stories for schools, teaches youth how to raise dog teams, and passes on IInuktitut and traditional knowledge to younger generations.

This is the third year for the Nunavut Language Awards -

To see some of the beautiful Inuit art that comes from the Nunavut region, see Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

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