February marks the annual event celebrating the diversity, history and importance of Inuktut in Nunavut, Uqauusirmut Quviasuutiqqarniq.
“It is a pleasure to celebrate Inuktut during Uqauusirmut Quviasuutiqqarniq with the communities in our territory. This month is a wonderful opportunity to show our pride in our language,” said Joanna Quassa, Nunavut Minister of Culture and Heritage.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Qaggiq’, a large iglu where the Inuit have gathered to celebrate better days. People and communities gathered to share food, play traditional games, sing traditional songs and drum dance.
“We should all do our part not only to preserve but also to strengthen Inuktut. I encourage all Nunavummiut to use Inuktut at home and at work, and especially to share the love of our language with our children,” added Quassa.
Highlights 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. which establishes a link with the Inuit culture.
The Government of Nunavut also highlighted its partnership with Microsoft, bringing Inuktitut to Microsoft Translator. This year, it now offers Roman spelling and Inuinnaqtun translation.
“It is an honor to continue to support the Government of Nunavut in this important work,” said Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada.
“Updates to the Inuktitut language model – in direct response from the community – and the addition of Inuinnaqtun to the Microsoft Translator will ensure that Inuktut continues to thrive for generations to come,” he adds.