These past few months have made us reflect on the last 24 years of the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society. For the first time in our history, we have had to temporarily suspend the in-person programming that has been at the core of our organization since 1996, and look at alternative ways to connect with you and continue our urgent work to revitalize Inuinnaqtun and Inuinnait culture.

PHOTO: Taken by Kim Crockatt during a visit to the Ekalluk River to work with archaeologist Dr. Max Friesen and his team, circa 2000. (left to right) Frank Analok, Marjorie Taptoona, Jenny Analok, Mabel Angulalik, and Bessie Emingak.
We're taking this quarter's newsletter to share an update on how we're continuing to move forward and maintain our focus on Inuinnait cultural and linguistic survival in spite of COVID-19.
Since March 17, the May Hakongak Community Library & Cultural Centre has been closed because of the ongoing public health threat facing our community and the rest of the world. During this time, the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society (PI/KHS) team has continued to focus on Inuinnait cultural and linguistic survival, as well as the sustainability of our organization. 
From the beginning of our organization in 1996, we have prioritized face-to-face connections, bringing people and communities together to celebrate and share their knowledge, culture and language. In the past two months, we have had to adapt all aspects of our work to better align with the new “normal,” and will maintain this course for as long as necessary to ensure the health of our communities. 
Despite closing our facility temporarily, we are committed to maximizing our impact and carrying out our strategic priorities (see our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan ). We recognize that our time to work with the last generation of Elders to have grown up living on the land is running out. Our priorities are a direct response to the urgent needs of Inuinnait and depend on continued momentum. We are in the process of fast-tracking a transition to online learning and resource access so that we can engage with our communities remotely. We are working with project partners to revise the scope and timelines for key programs and are prioritizing alternative strategies and digital formats. The reality of remote engagement will live long past the current crisis and will allow us to create new opportunities to connect Inuinnait communities towards a common goal: ensuring that our language and culture survive and thrive. 
From home, our team is working to:
Create online language resources.

While we can’t run our Mentor-Apprentice Program right now, we are adapting the MAP orientation program to a virtual format that will be accessible online. The course will be available as a series of modules. 

We’re starting up an Inuinnaqtun podcast! The first few episodes will see guests interviewed by phone or video chat.  
Develop the Inuinnait Knowledge Bank. 

The Knowledge Bank is a digital platform that will compile Inuinnait collections from museums and archives around the world, and make them accessible online. For years, we've been working to digitally repatriate Inuinnait material and are in the process of uploading objects, photographs, texts and audio-visual media. To date, approximately 1,000 collection objects have been reclaimed. We hope to make an early version of the Knowledge Bank public in 2021.
Plan a new exhibit.

Arnaqarvik is an partnership between the PI/KHS and key founders and members of a sewing collective in Taloyoak, designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Taloyoak women’s craft movement. We’re documenting private collections of crafts, clothing, and marketing ephemera to showcase decades of Arnaqarvik’s production. This early phase involves digitizing artwork and records that will become part of an online catalogue.
Adapt our planned projects.

We are making sure that projects are ready to start as soon as we get the go-ahead, whether that’s weeks or months away.

We have also been re-assessing changes to our project timelines, and in some cases replacing face-to-face programs with alternative strategies.
Digitize 1,000 hours of audio and video.

Our collection contains Inuinnait knowledge and spoken Inuinnaqtun captured over the last 24 years of our organization. We’re sharing clips with you through our social channels, but we’re also working to create a new learning platform that will house all of this content in a single, easy-to-use, online location. 
Ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization. 

Every quarter, we're re-assessing our income and expenses in order to work within our core needs so that our re-focused goals can move ahead.

We’re mapping out key stakeholders, building our capacity to engage in philanthropy, and connecting with people who support our mission and priorities and want to invest in Inuinnait. The PI/KHS is actively working to bring in revenue in multiple ways, so that when unforeseen circumstances threaten our stability, our organization is able to weather the storm.
Our social enterprise coffee company, Kaapittiaq, is now available for online order and can ship anywhere in Canada and the United States. Support an Indigenous to Indigenous business network and cultural revitalization in the Central Canadian Arctic with every cup.
While we did not anticipate such a sudden need to shift towards building our digital presence this year, a focus on creating digital solutions is part of our five-year Strategic Plan. As we fast-track this transition, we are also navigating the Northern realities of Internet usage including limited bandwidth, availability, and access.
We're eager to resume face-to-face programming when it is safe to do so, but excited to take on the challenge of exploring innovative digital opportunities that will connect multiple remote Inuinnait communities to overcome geographic barriers to the exchange and revitalization of knowledge, language, and culture. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society! We look forward to sharing our progress with you.
The revitalization of our language and culture depends on continued momentum. Support the sustainability of our organization as we adapt to new circumstances and work to ensure our core needs are met.
Throughout the month of June, every dollar you donate to us via CanadaHelps will give us one chance at a shot to win $20,000 through the #GreatCanadianGivingChallenge!
Visit  www.kitikmeotheritage.ca to learn more about us and the important work that we do.

Have a question? Contact us at [email protected]
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We're a leader for culture and heritage in Nunavut, guided by an Inuinnaq Executive Director and Inuinnait Board. We address projects of critical importance to the revival of Inuit culture, language and history and focus on the critical needs of Inuinnait—a distinct regional group of Inuit living in the Central Canadian Arctic.

MISSION To preserve and renew Inuinnait knowledge, language and culture for the benefit of all Inuit.

VISION To concentrate and connect the resources, expertise and technology critical to Inuinnait cultural and linguistic survival.