Nfld. & Labrador

An Inuit history lesson — to 100 classrooms

Angus Andersen talked about his culture and traditions to hundreds of students across the country.

'This is my way of helping to reach out to them'

Angus Andersen says he is only too happy to talk to students about Inuit culture. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

It's a classroom lesson Angus Andersen doesn't teach every day — and certainly not to 100 classrooms across Canada at the same time. 

But that's exactly what he's doing as part of a bigger education project offered to K-8 students. 

Andersen, an Inuk from Labrador, is teaching Labrador Inuit history via a free one-hour webcast. 

"I find it important because even though there is some curriculum that talk about Inuit and First Nations, something like this needs to be done more often and more frequent to reach out to children who probably would never experience going to Nunavut, Northern Labrador," Andersen told CBC News on Tuesday ahead of his webcast.

"This is my way of helping to reach out to them."

Andersen talks about Inuit culture to hundreds of students on Tuesday, through a computer. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

The session is part of the Kids' Guide to Canada project, which aims "to help create the first multilingual, multicultural and interactive guide to Canada made by kids and for kids," according to the organization's website.

Different people from across the country participate in sessions similar to the one Andersen led. 

"We do still hunt and fish off the land.… we follow the caribou inland," he said as the virtual lesson got underway Tuesday.

'People want to learn more'

He describes himself as "Inuk, protester, story teller, soapstone carver, radio host, ex-journalist, teacher, painter" on his Twiiter account. 

Andersen is already educating people on Inuit culture — he regularly posts an Inuk word of the day on via his Twitter account. He explains what it means in English and uses it in a sentence. 

He also offers online one-on-one classes in Inuttut, the Labrador dialect of Inuktitut, on Facebook via webcam. 

"It is overwhelming because all of a sudden there seems to be a desire — a need — people want to learn more, not just about the culture, but also the language," Andersen said, adding it's a positive sign.

With files from Bruce Tilley

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