UKâlalautta Program Promoting Language and Culture

UKâlalautta is a new program that has been started by the Traditions and Transitions program through the Nunatsiavut Government.

The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism is continuing to promote and support projects to preserve the Inuttitut language.

Johannes Lampe, president of the Nunatsiavut government has said that “We have a unique language and culture, and it is imperative for us to honour our identity in our communities as well as on the national stage.

We are committed to preventing the erosion of our language, our culture and our identity.”

In 2006, Statistics Canada reported that only seven per cent of Labrador Inuit spoke Inuktitut as the main language at home.

Tom Gordon is a professor at Memorial University School of Music.

Gordon says that it launched a website in English and Inuktitut which aims to combine and present work of researchers from Memorial and other universities exploring the Labrador Inuit’s rich heritage.

The project is also helping people learn Inuktitut.

One active project on Inuktitut revitalization, in collaboration with Nunatsiavut and the OKâlaKatiget Society, is called: Ukâlalautta Inutittut / Let’s Speak Inutittut.

You can access it through Facebook, with a new lesson posted each day.

The project has a large following and is cloud-cast via the OKâlaKatiget Society. As the content expands, it is also being introduced into the school curriculum.

An Inuktitut phrase book is also under development, and they are working to establish a master/apprentice conversation program to empower speakers.