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Nunavut begins 2-week celebration of traditional language

Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, which translates to "celebration of our language," begins this week in Nunavut. It marks two weeks dedicated to honouring and discussing the importance of the Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut languages.
Nunavut's Language Commissioner is calling on people in the territory to make a special effort to speak, teach or learn the region's traditional languages over the next two weeks. (CBC)

The Nunavut Language Commissioner is calling on people in the territory to make a special effort to speak, teach or learn Inuktut —  which is a single term used to refer to both the Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut languages together.

This week marks the start of a celebration of language called Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq. Every year, the Nunavut government marks two weeks dedicated to celebrating and discussing the importance of Inuktut.

"Making an effort to speak it consistently, not mixing it up with English, and not switching it up to English if at all possible," says Nunavut Languages Commissioner Sandra Inutiq. "Just to bring an awareness that language use can shift very rapidly."

The language celebrations include a three-day conference in Iqaluit next week where participants will talk about connections between language, identity and culture.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story identified Paul Okalik as Nunavut's minister of Languages and contained quotes and information about the 2014 language celebration.
    Feb 19, 2015 1:45 PM CT

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