'Trying to keep our culture alive': Inuit story shared at Winnipeg workshop

A little slice of Inuit culture was shared at a storytelling workshop in Winnipeg Sunday.

Non-Inuit folks learn story about fish, how to make storybook

Artists Qumaq Iyaituk and her husband Mattiusi were in Winnipeg Sunday teaching students a little bit about Inuit culture at a storytelling workshop. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A little slice of Inuit culture was shared at a storytelling workshop in Winnipeg Sunday.

Mattiusi Iyaituk, an abstract artist from the northern Quebec village of Ivujivik, along with his wife, Qumaq and Montreal artist Kathryn Delaney, showed non-Inuit folks at the Winnipeg Art Gallery how to make a storybook.

The story Sunday was about the traditional role women played fishing.

Sharing their culture is something close to both Mattiusi and Qumaq's hearts. "We're trying to keep our culture alive," said Mattiusi Iyaituk, 66.

"We're slowing losing our language."

Preserving Inuit culture is something close to Qumaq's heart. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Qumaq said she worries her culture will vanish and already sees warning signs. "Sometimes it's fading away. We have to keep telling them you say this word instead of that word," she said referring to Inuktitut being spoken incorrectly.

She said when she hears words they say the wrong word and that makes her feel sad.
Mattiusi Iyaituk said the workshop is part of an effort to keep Inuit culture alive. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Melanie Ferris came out to the workshop so she could learn and then pass on the book she made to her son.

Educating him about culture is important to her as a First Nations woman whose family was traditionally denied access to their culture.

"I just want him to know that they have an equally rich culture."

Sunday's workshop was free thanks in part to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts {Re}conciliation Initiative.