North

New Inuktitut show for preschoolers to premiere on APTN

Starting next Saturday, early mornings on APTN will be for learning Inuktitut. At 7:45 a.m. ET a new show is launching geared for ages two to five.

Anaana’s Tent will feature songs and games and teach new words in Inuktitut

Anaana's Tent premieres on APTN May 12. 'I'm excited for little kids all over Nunavut to watch it,' says host Rita Claire Mike-Murphy. (Submitted by Rita Claire Mike-Murphy)

Starting next Saturday, early mornings on APTN will be for learning Inuktitut. At 7:45 a.m. ET a new show is launching geared for ages two to five.

Anaana's Tent is hosted by Rita Claire Mike-Murphy, who sings under the name Riit. It was filmed in Iqaluit in both Inuktitut and English.

"For myself, growing up there wasn't anything on TV that was all in Inuktitut so I'm very stoked," Mike-Murphy said.

"I'm excited for little kids all over Nunavut to watch it."

The show mixes animation, puppets and live action, pulling inspiration from educational series like Mr. Dressup and Sesame StreetAnaana's Tent will feature songs and games and teach new words in Inuktitut.

Anaana's Tent was filmed in Iqaluit in both Inuktitut and English. (Submitted by Rita Claire Mike-Murphy)

The show's time slot follows the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation's long-running Takuginai, which is also an Inuktitut show featuring puppets and cultural teachings for kids. It has been running since 1986, according to the network. 

"It's so important for children to watch TV in our language and be ready for school already knowing a basic level of Inuktitut," said the series' writer and director Roselynn Akulukjuk. 

Mike-Murphy auditioned for the host role in Anaana's Tent two years ago with Taqqut Productions and filming wrapped up last year.

The season starts with her setting up camp at her mother's tent, with the help of her puppet husky, Qimmiq.

The show features guest appearances by northern musicians, including Celina Kalluk, Beatrice Deer, Looee Arreak and The Jerry Cans, and well-known elder Meeka Arnakaq.

​The Inuktitut version premieres May 12 and the English version will air in the fall on the same network.

With files from Toby Otak