NunatuKavut Community Council shocked by Nunatsiavut Government’s attack on Inuttitut language training
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, November 27, 2022 – The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) issued the following statement in response to Nunatsiavut Government’s media release claiming NCC is committing cultural appropriation in the offering of Inuttitut sessions:
“The latest media release by the Nunatsiavut Government (NG) is very disappointing. The fact that they would issue a release that makes such ludicrous and careless statements about NCC and our people, the Inuit of NunatuKavut, reflects poorly on their government. We are saddened that Minister Barbour, who is responsible for the promotion of Inuttitut, would disparage the sincere and genuine efforts of language reclamation in other Inuit communities. Re-learning Inuttitut is a priority identified by our people across our territory and it is a critical part of our path to self-determination.
Our history and stories of home continue to affirm and strengthen our resolve to re-learn our ancestral language. This is despite generations of pervasive colonialism whereby European colonizers actively sought to bring English as the dominant and superior language to our people. Colonizers did this in many ways, including denigrating the use of Inuttitut when it was spoken by our ancestors, imposing Euro-western forms of education. Sadly, NG continues to rely on unethical, patriarchal, sexist, Eurocentric, and racist opinions to make false assertions about us and our land claim. These efforts were furthered with the commissioning and support of Dr. Darryl Leroux’s report. All of these false assertions are counter to the facts of history and our very existence.
Our history and present-day realities make very clear that Inuttitut is our ancestral language. Our traditional territory has Inuit place names. Our land claim document presents clear evidence that a unique dialect of Inuttitut existed throughout south and central Labrador. While the last Inuttitut speakers in our territory passed away in the early part of the 1900s, our people continue to use Inuttitut words as part of everyday life.
We want to commend our elders, youth and all community members who continue to dedicate themselves to passing on our rich culture and traditions. Our traditional knowledge continues to sustain us on our lands, waters, and ice. Our collective efforts to ensure that future generations will always know who they are and where they come from is our strength. Re-learning the language of those who came before us is both a right and responsibility that we all share.”
To read previous statements on this matter, please check out the News & Media section of our website at https://nunatukavut.ca/news-media/latest-news/
To learn more about NCC and NunatuKavut Inuit, please visit our website at www.nunatukavut.ca and we invite you to check out the Our Story tab on the top left. Please also join in the conversation at facebook.com/nunatukavut and Twitter @nunatukavut. What about story map
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