Sophisticated Cultural Languages of the Inuit in Nunavut
Eva Noah ᕿᕐᓂᖅ
Baker Lake, NU
This reflection on the loss of sophisticated Inuit oral language is written from my personal experiences while becoming a bilingual Inuk and then making a career as a Nunavut educator. I worked as an Inuktitut teacher, teaching Inuktitut language arts from Kindergarten to the college level (Nunavut Teacher Education Program). The orality of Inuit, especially in Inuktitut language arts, remained rich from generation to generation. Traditional stories have been passed by Inuit from grandparents to their grandchildren. The erosion of Inuktitut has been felt from early missionaries to today’s modern working world. Within our transitional society, we are experiencing and living with a transitional language. Changes in families, in schools, in technology, and in culture are leading to the loss of our sophisticated Inuit languages. Language in all areas and fields has a purpose and there were many specific purposes for Inuktitut that no longer exist. Our students in Nunavut need to graduate from high school with pride and a stronger Inuit identity. My goal as an educator and language instructor is to add the more traditional ways of using the oral literature of the Inuit languages into the school system so that we may more effectively teach Inuktitut in Nunavut.
Key Words: Inuktitut, Inuit, language, oral language, loss of language, identity.
ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᑎᖓᑦ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᑐᖃᒥᒍᑦ ᐱᔭᕆᑐᔪᕈᓘᔭᐅᓂᖓ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ
ᐄᕙ ᕿᕐᓂᖅ ᓄᐊ
ᐅᔾᔨᕆᓯᒪᔭᒃᑯᑦ ᖃᓄᖅᑑᕈᑎᓖᑦ ᐱᔭᕆᑐᔪᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᑎᖓᑦ ᐃᓚᖓᒍᑦ ᐊᓐᓇᐃᓯᒪᓂᕗᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᔪᒪᓪᓗᒍ ᐃᖕᒥᓂᒃ ᐊᑐᖅᓯᒪᔭᓐᓂᒃ ᑐᙵᕕᖃᖅᑐᖓ ᒪᕐᕉᓕᖓᔪᒥᒃ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓯᒪᓂᕋ ᐃᓅᓪᓗᖓ ᐊᒻᒪ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔨᙳᖅᓯᒪᑉᓗᖓ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᕆᔅᓲᔭᖅᑐᒍ. ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔨᐅᓯᒪᑉᓗᖓ, ᐃᓕᓴᐃᓪᓗᖓ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᑎᓐᓂᒃ ᐊᑦᑎᓛᒥᑦ ᓱᕈᓯᓛᓂᒃ ᖁᑦᓯᓛᒧᑦ ᓯᓚᑦᑐᖅᓴᕐᕕᖕᒧᑦ (ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔨᑦᓴᐃᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ). ᐅᖃᐅᓯᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᐅᓯᖓ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᐱᓗᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᑐᑭᖓᑕ ᑐᙵᕕᖏᑦ, ᐃᓗᐃᑦᑐᓪᓚᕆᐅᑉᓗᓂ ᐅᖃᕆᐅᖅᓴᔭᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᑰᒻᒪᑦ ᓯᕗᓕᕇᓂᒃ ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ. ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑐᖄᓗᐃᑦ ᐃᓄᖕᓂᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᕆᔭᐅᓲᑐᖃᐅᖕᒪᑕ ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ ᐃᑦᑐᒥᓂᒃ ᓂᖏᐅᕐᒥᓂᓪᓗ ᐃᕐᖑᑕᒥᓐᓄᑦ. ᓴᙲᓕᕙᓪᓕᐊᓯᒪᓂᖓ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐃᒃᐱᒋᔭᐅᓯᒪᓪᓚᕆᖕᒪᑦ ᐊᔪᕆᖅᓱᐃᔩᑦ ᑎᑭᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᓵᒋᐊᖅᑎᑦᓯᕙᓪᓕᐊᔪᑦ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᕕᒋᓪᓗᒍ ᒫᓐᓇᒧᑦ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᕐᓂᕐᒥᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖃᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᑕ. ᐃᓅᖃᑎᒌᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᐸᓪᓕᐊᔪᒥᑦ ᐱᐅᓯᖅᑖᐸᓪᓕᐊᖕᒪᑕ, ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇᑦᑕᐅᖅ ᖃᐅᔨᕙᓪᓕᐊᔭᕗᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕗᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖃᓯᐅᑎᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖓ. ᐅᒃᐱᕆᔭᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᔪᑦ ᐃᓚᔮᕇᓂ, ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂ, ᐊᐅᓚᔪᓐᓇᐅᑏᑦ ᓄᑖᙳᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᖏᓐᓇᖅᑐᑦ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᕗᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᑕᐅᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐱᔭᕆᑐᔪᒻᒪᕆᐊᓗᒃ ᐱᐅᔪᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᑎᑐᖄᓗᐊᑦ ᐊᓐᓇᐃᕙᓪᓕᐊᓯᒪᒐᑉᑎᒍ. ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᓇᒥᑐᐃᓐᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ ᓇᐅᒃᑯᓕᒫᕐᓗ ᐱᔾᔪᑎᖃᕐᒪᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐱᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᖏᑦᑐᑦ ᑐᑮᑦ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑑᖅᑐᑦ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᕙᒍᓐᓃᖅᑐᑎᒃ. ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑎᕗᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕇᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᒋᐊᖃᕋᓗᐊᕐᒪᑕ ᐊᓂᒍᐃᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑑᕈᓐᓇᑦᓯᐊᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐅᐱᒋᓗᒍ ᓇᓗᖅᑯᑎᙱᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓅᓂᕐᒥᓂᒃ. ᑐᕌᒐᖃᕋᒪᓕ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔨᐅᑉᓗᖓ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᒥᒡᓗ ᐊᔪᕆᖅᓱᐃᔾᔨᔨᐅᑉᓗᖓ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᐅᑉ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᖓᓂ ᑕᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᖃᑦᓯᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᐃᓕᓴᐃᔪᓐᓇᖅᓯᓂᐊᕋᑦᑕ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ.
ᐅᖃᐅᓰᑦ ᓇᓂᓯᔾᔪᑏᑦ: ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ, ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᑦ ᓂᐱᒃᑯᑦ, ᐊᓐᓇᐃᓯᒪᓂᖅ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕐᖓᐅᒻᒥᒃ, ᑭᓇᐅᓂᕗᑦ
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