Sunday, 17 January 2010

Report on the 2000 Meeting of the Inuktitut and Yup’ik Family of Languages

Meeting of the Inuktitut and Yup'ik Family of Languages
May 12, 2000
Guy Delorme (facilitator), Jacques Raymond (author of the report)

RT @Northern_Clips: Found on Dr Jon Allan Reyhner's site report - #Inuktitut & #Yup'ik Family of Languages Dwnld PDF #Inuit


The Kativik School Board and Guy Delorme, Pedagogical Counsellor, provided the initiative for the meeting. Mr. Delorme saw the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Conference as a wonderful opportunity for all the native speakers of Inuktitut present to meet and have a roundtable discussion. There was no official presentation as such; the delegates spoke about the language situation in their region: the state of the Inuktitut language, language programs, language initiatives, the number of monolingual speakers, and so forth. The first one to speak was Sarah Bennett, Co-ordinator of Teaching Services at the Kativik School Board. The Kativik School Board was constituted under the James Bay and Northern QubecAgreement, and it has been given jurisdiction over and is responsible for the elementary, secondary, and adult education in Nunavik. Delegates from the Kativik School Board opened the meeting with a reiteration of the Boards mission statement, goals, and objectives. There was also an introduction by Sarah Bennett and a welcome statement. The setting was informal (i.e., everybody sat in a circle).

There was a delegate from the Athabascan Nations who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska and who speaks Iupiaq. In Alaska, they are concerned about language preservation. They are including the environment in their curriculum. They teach in a classroom, and then they go out on the land. The delegate described how there are villages in Alaska with only 400 people. In these small villages, saving the language is an urgent problem for future generations. A language becomes endangered when there are no more monolingual speakers. If the youngest good speakers are largely past middle age, the language is seriously endangered. Young children are losing their language because it is not spoken at home. Young adults need to be taught in their Native language. News bulletins and magazines can be used to help revive the language.

Inuvik (Northwest Territories)
The Inuvik delegates talked about the teaching materials they have in the public school system. They have published childrens stories. They also have a database of over 300 recordings and translations, community language programs, curricula that include culture and language, a language curriculum, and a teachers training program.

All the Labrador participants introduced themselves and discussed their teaching initiatives regarding language and culture. Everybody mentioned what he or she was doing to keep the Inuktitut language alive.

Participants from Labrador schools in Goose Bay and Hopedale talked about childcare initiatives at the 2 to 6 year old level on the north coast and language initiatives and obstacles to language development created by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. They also talked about community radio and television.


There was a delegate from a private philanthropic organization. His organization funds Native language research in the United States. He is of Yup'ik origin.


According to the Nunavik delegates, their school board set up a committee four years ago to review its mission, its language issues, and its bilingual education system. They want to readdress these issues.


The Nunavut delegates talked about the learning centre in Iqaluit, the language arts program, and their long experience as language consultants and co-ordinators. They have published up to now 239 books for children and young adults. They have developed teaching materials, a dictionary in one sub-dialect, a parenting program, and an Aboriginal Head Start Program.
There was a delegate with 11 years of experience in education and with the Teaching Learning Centre (TLC) who has developed a language arts program in Iqaluit for grades seven to nine.


No comments:

Post a Comment