Language and Culture (13-17): Current Problems

Fed. Govt.

March 20, 2019

Inuktuk Language Issues

Funding for Inuktuk vs English and French

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Aluki Kotierk. With this budget, the Government of Canada has strengthened funding for minority language service for English and French, yet, failed to invest equitably in Indigenous languages. NTI seeks recognition that Inuktut is the majority language in Nunavut and must be the language of public services, including education, justice and health services.

June 7, 2017

Inuktuk Language Issues

Funding for Inuktuk vs French

CBC – Inuktut language services in Nunavut Tunngavik receive similar funding to French services despite nearly 50 times more speakers The federal government funds $14.25M over 4 years to support 435 french-speaking people (2011 census) vs. $15.8M to support 21,515 people who speak Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun as their mother tongues. On a per capita basis $8,190 for French vs $184 for Inuktuk languages annually. Inuktut is a term that refers to all Inuit languages, including Nunavut’s Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun dialects.

French = $8,190 per capita vs Inuktuk = $184 per capita

English and French are not the only official languages of Canada, especially in the north where both languages are in the minority and do not reflect the linguistic reality.

February 5, 2019

Objections to Bill C-92

Inuit recommendations for “Indigenous Language Act ignored

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami – Failure to incorporate Inuit specific recommendations into the Indigenous Language Act. “Inuktut speakers make up the majority of the population in Inuit Nunangat yet the federal government allocates a larger share of public sector resources for the English and French speaking minority populations,” the position paper prepared by ITK states.

ITK also wants the new legislation to require federal services to be delivered in Inuktut within Inuit Nunangat. “Access to federal services in Inuktut is vital for Inuit, especially in Nunavut and Nunavik where Inuktut is the majority mother tongue,” the report states. Inuktut is the common language spoken by 84 per cent of Inuit living in 51 communities. Inuit priorities communicated to the federal government during the discussion phase:

  • status of Inuktut in Inuit Nunangat with respect to federal laws and activities;
  • use of Inuktut in the delivery of federal programs and services in Inuit Nunangat and elsewhere where numbers warrant;
  • without restricting the responsibilities of provincial, territorial and municipal governments, measures to support the provision of Inuktut programs and services in relation to education, health and the administration of justice;
  • use of Inuktut in the federal public service;
  • principles to govern federal financial support for Inuktut;
  • the role of Inuit representative organizations in the negotiation of intergovernmental agreements in relation to Inuktut; and,
  • timelines and schedules for implementation measures, supported by appropriate regulatory and other tools.

June 26, 2019

Objections to Bill C-92

ITK and NTI objections to Bill C-92

Nunatsiak News – Inuit Tapariit Kanatami and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc raised the following objections:

  1. Bill does not recognize Inuktut as an official language within the 4 regions of Inuit Nunangat and requires
  2. Inuit to use English or French to access federal services
  3. Federal departments and agencies do not have to offer services in Inuit language
  4. Inequitable federal funding policies that favor English and French vs Inuit
  5. Inuit in provinces must use English or French to access language services

June 20, 2019

Objections to Bill C-92

ITK disappointed in Bill C-92

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami (ITK) regrets that Bill C-91, “An Act respecting Indigenous languages“, passed into law without inclusion of any Inuit-specific priorities. In its current format, this law does not affirm Inuit language rights or close the legal and policy gaps that contribute to the erosion of Inuktut as the first, only or preferred language spoken by Inuit in Inuit Nunangat, and does not create any new legal obligations for the Government of Canada.

July 9, 2019

Inuktuk Language Issues

Nunavut Self-Government and Inuktuk

The aspiration of Nunavut is a step closer as Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) seeks guidance for self-government from Inuit Elders and commits to becoming an Inuktut language workplace announced President Aluki Kotierk from Kugluktuk today. Inuktut language assessments have been completed with NTI staff. All staff will receive on the job training and support based on their needs. New terminology in technical fields, finance and law will be developed. More than 200 hours in Inuktitut training have been delivered with Inuit staff of NTI in the past two years. “As identified in the study on the education system, ‘Nunavut has a history of cultural genocide, linguicide, econocide and historicide, and this continues,’” said Kotierk. “We can no longer wait for governments to deliver on their promises. We must take action.”

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