PHOTO Inside the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, Elder Mary Kudlak celebrates the final day of our Kiihimajuq Kammak (traditional sealskin boot) workshop with participants.

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Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society! 

Welcome to the very first issue of our e-newsletter.

You'll receive this newsletter four times a year and can expect to hear from us about the programs and projects we are working on, exciting news, educational information and resources, and upcoming events and workshops.

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Inuinnaqtun—the foundation of Inuinnait culture—has less than 600 fluent speakers remaining. By most estimates, it is a language that will be extinct in less than two generations. Facing this urgent timeline, we have made Inuinnaqtun Language Survival our number one priority.

Mentor-Apprentice Programs have proved successful around the world in creating language carriers and revitalizing endangered languages. A fluent speaker (mentor) is paired with a learner (apprentice) for 300 hours of immersion over the course of one year. 

We launched a pilot Inuinnaqtun Mentor-Apprentice Program in early February. Three teams are spending 12-15 hours a week immersed in Inuinnaqtun.

A long-term Inuinnaqtun Mentor-Apprentice Program will begin in May 2020.
Are you looking for a way to support language revitalization? Empower Inuinnait to reclaim Inuinnaqtun through one-on-one immersion in our Mentor-Apprentice Program and strengthen their connection to Elders, traditional knowledge, and an Inuinnait worldview.
Learn more about what we're doing to ensure Inuinnaqtun Language Survival
The skills and knowledge necessary to make the traditional kiihimajuq kammak (traditional sealskin boot) had been lost in Cambridge Bay that is, up until December. The knowledge was still being carried by Ulukhaktok's Mary Kudlak, so we brought Mary to Cambridge Bay and hosted her to teach a workshop and revive the art among Cambridge Bay artisans. Our Elders and apprentice artisans learned this disappearing art so that they can transfer the knowledge to other members of the community.

In February, the apprentices who learned from Mary Kudlak held another workshop at the May Hakongak Community Library & Cultural Centre and taught more apprentices in Cambridge Bay how to make the kiihimajuq kammak, strengthening the revival of this knowledge in our community.
We had the process filmed and Mary Kudlak sat down for an interview. Take a look:
Learn more about Knowledge Renewal & Transfer and our cultural programs
PHOTOS (above) Youth participants Sinclair (left) and Paige (right) learning how to use cameras and filmmaking equipment. (top right) Seal hunting with George Angohiatok. (bottom right) Interviewing Elders (left to right) Bessie, Mary, Mabel and Annie.
Reel Youth is a media empowerment project that delivers community development programs to youth and adults across Canada and internationally, which are designed to create positive change in young people's lives.

In November, we brought Reel Youth to Cambridge Bay to facilitate an intergenerational filmmaking workshop. The workshop connected youth with Elders and land users to learn about the Arctic environment and adapting to the effects of a changing climate. They recorded Inuinnait knowledge and learned the ins and outs of digital storytelling and filmmaking.  15 youth spent time behind the camera, interviewing Elders about their experiences on the land and absorbing knowledge about adapting to a rapidly-changing and unpredictable Arctic environment. Filming even included time with polar scientists at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station who took the youth and Elders into labs to look at climate change science under a microscope.

STAY TUNED! We will host a film festival screening of the five short films created in Spring 2020. We can't wait to share them with you.
One of the youth participants, Sinclair, filmed his thoughts on the workshop:
Learn more about our Digital Strategies
FIGURE ABOVE Terrain at risk for an area near Anniaqhiurvik (‘where fish jump from the water’). Cream colour indicates very low risk areas, mostly bedrock outcrops or gravels. Pale reds are areas of medium risk, likely some seasonal ice or slow slope processes. Dark reds are high risk, either strong slope and erosional processes or areas containing high quantities of ground ice and thus highly vulnerable to thaw.
Arctic archaeological sites are not only important for Inuit cultural heritage, but they also provide evidence of Inuit land occupation, which is valuable in land claim and treaty negotiations. Unfortunately, because Arctic archaeological sites are in permafrost terrain, many sites are at risk of disturbance and loss as the climate warms and permafrost thaws. Coastlines and riverbanks are particularly vulnerable. Understanding the stability of the terrain helps us to prioritize which archaeological sites should be salvaged. 

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been helping us map the terrain stability in areas of archaeological interest around Bathurst Inlet, using radar data from the Canadian satellite RADARSAT-2 and a method called radar interferometry. Interferometry measures the distance from the satellite to the ground very precisely (mm to cm) and over time the differences in these measurements form a detailed picture of where and how much the ground is moving. 
NRCan developed a new approach to combine radar measurements and create terrain at risk maps for us. These satellite derived maps are easy for archaeologists and community members to interpret and quickly identify which sites are most at risk and where to prioritize excavation or salvage efforts. Future work will try to model impacts from storm surges and high water events as well, so these risks can be included in the overall assessment.
Learn more about Inuinnait Archaeology and this year's field season at Qingauq

At the start of 2019, we officially launched our social enterprise, Kaapittiaq , an Inuit-owned brand of coffee—the culmination of several years of dedicated time and energy. We work with Cafe Vasquez to trade directly with Indigenous farmers in northern Peru. The coffee beans are brought to Canada where they are roasted and packaged at Beaver Rock Roastery . Kaapittiaq’s launch was an incredibly significant milestone for us! Each year, 75% of Kaapittiaq’s annual profits will be re-invested into programs that revitalize language and culture.

We'll send you an update once the shop is live. You'll be able to purchase Kaapittiaq from anywhere in Canada, supporting Indigenous businesses and cultural revitalization.
Learn more about how we're Building for a Sustainable Future
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.