North

Nunavik elder and author to be remembered

Funeral services are to be held Thursday in northern Quebec for a respected Nunavik elder, author and teacher who was known for her efforts to preserve and share Inuit language and culture.

Funeral services are tobe heldThursday in northern Quebec for a respected Nunavik elder, author and teacher who was known for her efforts to preserve and share Inuit language and culture.

Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk died at her home in Kangirsujuaq early Monday morning after a long illness. She was 78.

Born in 1931 near Kangirsujuaq, Nappaaluk became a teacher and writer as a young woman after teaching missionaries her language and learning to write in syllabic script.

Nappaaluk is credited with writing Sanaaq, the first published novel in Inuktitut, during the 1950s and '60s. Set in the 1920s, Sanaaq chronicles thestory ofa young woman leading a traditional life with her family on the tundra.

In addition, she translated the Roman Catholic Book of Prayer into Inuktitut, as well as authored 22 books on traditional language and culture for use in local schools. For the latter work, she received an honorary doctorate from McGill University.

She was a member of Nunavik's Inuttitut Language Commission and a longtime consultant with the Kativik School Board.

Mitiarjuk has received numerous awards and honours for her work, including a national Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1999. She was named a member to the Order of Canada in 2004.

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