Each child in Nunavut in kindergarten to Grade 3 is about to receive a copy of children’s book Ittuq Pannituurmiuq (The Old Man of Pangnirtung), thanks to Britain’s Prince Charles.
The book was introduced to children at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit March 13 at a small event hosted by Nunavut Commissioner Nellie Kusugak.
The project was first unveiled for Prince Charles during his visit to Iqaluit in late June of last year, when he took part in a discussion with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s language task group about developing a unified writing system for Inuit languages.
Prince’s Charities Canada, which supports the Canadian charitable work of Prince Charles, originally sought to translate a children’s tale he wrote for his young brothers 40 years ago called The Old Man of Lochnagar.
“Indigenous language revitalization is very important to the prince,” said Charities’ Astrid-Maria Ciarallo.
But, instead of a simple translation, Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst worked with Leena Evic of the Pirurvik Centre in Iqaluit to create a culturally relevant tale, where instead of meeting the King of the Sea the old man meets Sedna.
Parkhill read the English version, while Nakasuk’s Rosemary Akulujuk read the Inuktitut version.