Friday, April 08, 2005

Battle Over Inuit Word In Nunavut

Nunavut's language commissioner is unhappy with Qimmik Manufacturing. The company plans to trademark the Inuktitut word qimmik [dog] for its line of dog food. Company spokesperson Ann Yourt said the the company has nothing but respect for Inuit culture. "And this is one of the reason that we chose the qimmik word because it pays tribute to the plight of the beautiful and majestic Canadian Eskimo dogs," she says. But Johnny Kusugak, Nunavut's Languages Commissioner, doesn't see it as an honour, nor is he surprised. He says other companies have used Inuit cultural symbols to sell everything from banking services to rubber boots. However, Kusugak says this company's move is more disturbing. By trademarking the word, no one--not even Inuit -- can use it to name their business or organization. "There are words out there that identify who we are. Just like the inukshuk identifies the Inuit, qimmik fits in with that," he says.

Source : CBC News

See Inuit art from Nunavut.

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