February marks the annual event celebrating the diversity, history and importance of Inuktut in Nunavut, Uqauusirmut Quviasuutiqqarniq.
“It’s a pleasure to celebrate Inuktut during Uqauusirmut Quviasuutiqqarniq with communities across our territory. This month is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our pride in our language,” said Joanna Quassa, Nunavut’s minister of culture and heritage.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Qaggiq’ a large iglu where Inuit gathered together to celebrate brighter days. People and communities would gather together to share food, play traditional games, sing traditional songs and drum dance.
“We should all do our part to not only preserve but also strengthen Inuktut. I encourage all Nunavummiut to use Inuktut at home and at work, and most importantly to share the love of our language with our children,” added Quassa.
Highlights for this year will include videos of Elders sharing stories about the role of a Qaggiq in their communities, social media posts featuring language advocates and educators in the territory and a traditional word contest that draws a connection to Inuit culture.
The Government of Nunavut also highlighted its partnership with Microsoft, bringing Inuktitut to the Microsoft translator. This year it now offers Roman Othography and Inuinnaqtun translation.
“It is an honour to continue supporting the Government of Nunavut in this important work,” said Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada.
“The updates to the Inuktitut language model – in direct response from the community – and the addition of Inuinnaqtun to Microsoft translator will ensure Inuktut continues to thrive for generations to come,” he adds.