Inuktitut Inuit's Language In Modern Inuit Communities In Northern Canada Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Native Americans Type: Term Paper Paper: #41276203 Related Topics: Mother Tongue, Second Language Acquisition, Year Round School, Aboriginal
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Inuktitut in Modern Inuit Communities in Northern Canada

The role of language in identity construction of the Inuit in Nunavik (Quebec, Canada), which nourishes the evolution of their ethno-territorial movement in the eastern Canadian Arctic, had been around since the 1970s. This paper is an analysis of the legal-political context of the Quebec State then enables the detachment of the cornerstones of its policy speech in general, and finally those with respect to the indigenous population, in particular to the Inuit language.

There are eight major Inuit communities: those of the LABRADOR, the UNGAVA, and the BAFFIN, of Iglulik, the CARIBOU, of Netsilik and Copper as well as the Inuit of the Western Arctic (which replaced MACKENZIE INUIT). There are five main dialects Inuit in Canada Inuvialuktun, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut and inuttut grouped under a single language, Inuktitut or Inuktitut. (McGrath 2007) At the last census, 70% of Inuit said they knew the Inuit language and almost two thirds said that Inuktitut as their mother tongue (first language). (Steckley 2008)

It is in Nunavik and Nunavut, Inuktitut is the most used, and nine out of ten Inuit speak in that language. By comparison, 27% of Inuit of Nunatsiavut and 20% of Inuit in the Inuvialuit region speak this language. Although the use of this language is common among the Inuit, the number of people who speak it gradually declined, prompting the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the federal and territorial governments to develop a curriculum Inuktitut in schools.

The Inuit are a people of hunters and gatherers who traditionally move from one camp to another, depending on the season. (Paver 2008) The broad regional groupings were used randomly divided into smaller seasonal groups: winter camps, called "bands," bringing together a hundred people, and summer hunting groups, which comprise less than a dozen. Each band was identified by a place and a name relating thereto, the Arvirtuurmiut Peninsula Booth was called "eating baleen whales." (McGrath 2007)

Today, the fruits, vegetables and milk are too expensive, are rare and their freshness is poor, as they must be transported long distances before arriving in northern communities. However, game, marine mammals and berries abound, so many Inuit share some of the fruits of the hunt, caribou, duck and whaling and fishing and berry picking. (Steckley 2008) A 2005 report shows that almost all Inuit Nunaat of adult derive their livelihood from this food. Game, marine mammals and berries remain an important food source for many Inuit, almost all families Nunaat (96%) that food barter with other households.

Since the beginning of its settlement, 4000 years ago, the emergence of new people has always enriched the cultural life of the Arctic. The ancestors of the Inuit, whose culture is similar to that of Inuppiats (northern Alaska), the Katladlits (Greenland) and Yuit (Siberia and western Alaska), arrived 1050 years ago. From the eleventh century, VIKINGS influence of an unknown magnitude of the Inuit. (Paver 2008)

The successive arrival of explorers, whalers, traders, missionaries, scientists and other irreversibly alter their culture. As these people want to trade and need guidance and show them how to survive, the Inuit are actively involved in the development of the North. (Paver 2008) Despite the changes made by the Inuit themselves over the last three centuries and the abandonment of certain customs, and Inuit culture still raises more than ever an important realization. Inuit retain their cultural identity through language, cultural customs ancestral attitudes and behaviors as well as the INUIT ART, which has a great reputation.

In North, Inuktitut remains one of the most vibrant indigenous languages, although its use is declining. Some Inuit are learning as a second language. (Hauser et al. 2010) In the 2006 Census, 32,200 Inuit, 64% of this population reported Inuktitut as their mother tongue, down 4 percentage points since 1996. Mother tongue is the first language learned at home in childhood and still understood today. (Eber 2008)

The proportion of Inuit who speak Inuktitut most often at home also decreases. In 2006, about 25,500 Inuit (50% of the population of this group) reported Inuktitut as the language spoken most often at home, down 8 percentage points from 1996. (Eber 2008) Some Inuit learning Inuktitut as a second language. Approximately 11,100 Inuit youth aged 14 and under, 63% of this population had Inuktitut as their mother tongue. (King et al. 2005)

Approximately 12,200 Inuit (69%) mastered the language...


The Inuit probably come from an Asian nation of hunters and gatherers. They came across the Bering Strait to America, long after the Indians, approximately from 3000 to 2500 BC. (Eber 2008) They move today by the Chukchi Peninsula in the Bering Strait to Alaska along the Arctic Ocean to the islands of northern Canada to Greenland. Archaeologists have found evidence for several waves of immigration, with the new arrivals were mostly developed technically and forced the locals, or mingled with them. (Hauser et al. 2010)

Settlement areas of the Inuit

The last immigration, about 1000 years AD, as the previous ones as in a much warmer climate phase today instead. But the Inuit were able to adapt to colder climates. You were as pure fighter, also in contrast to the Indians, not to agricultural products or gathered fruits and berries need. (Hauser et al. 2010) As long as there was plenty of prey, the existence of the Inuit community was assured. Even the so-called "Little Ice Age" from 1550 to 1850 they could not endanger the public. (Crandall 2000)

The Inuit were living during the warm periods mostly in permanent settlements, at least until it all year round in the area were sufficient prey. In colder periods they changed seasonally with prey of the wandering between several hunting camps. (McGrath 2007) Depending on the region they hunted mainly the different prey species of the Arctic: caribou, musk oxen, fish, seals, walruses and whales. They were usually not in the legendary snow houses, igloos. These were used mostly as a short-term accommodation while traveling or hunting trips. (De Poncins et al. 1996)

The encounter with the whites

Until modern times, had encounters with whites for many Inuit of northern Canada have little impact on their daily lives? However, there have been epidemics of diseases such as tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, which were transferred on the Inuit. Whalers visited the settlements often only for a short time, had been missionaries greater cultural influence. (Hauser et al. 2010) Sun missionaries around 1770 German missionaries, the Moravians in Saxony, on the coast of Labrador. As a result, there the Christian Inuit and sometimes even had to accept German first names. (Alia 2009)

Apart from the more southern coastal regions, however, were large areas without extensive contact with Western culture. (Kulchyski et al. 2007) A first step in the early 20th Century, the activities of the "Hudson Bay Company," the furs for hunting rifles, tents and other goods exchanged. (McGrath 2007) So many Inuit came first with the rules of the modern economy in contact. The coveted goods had to be paid. The Inuit have been victims of unscrupulous dealers who purchase the coveted hunting rifles shamelessly cheated. (Eber 1997)

Survive in a modern Canada

With the Second World War grew the strategic value of northern Canada. The state began to step up to take care of the Inuit. (Hauser et al. 2010) Apart from this, military interests and natural resources such as lead, silver, zinc, petroleum and natural gas were an incentive. The Inuit had a short time to live in a modern society, but especially in an economic system in which each product must be paid for with money. (Billson et al. 2007)

With hunting, the Inuit could hardly earn money, possibly sealskins could sell. But only until the big markets in Europe and America by boycott calls from animal rights activists broke down. (McGrath 2007) There is other paid work in the Arctic, however, hardly. Although it is currently starve no more Inuk. But many do not earn enough to pay the out of the South introduced foods and goods, of which they are increasingly dependent due to the sedentary lifestyle. The modern wooden houses are comfortable, but it can no longer live exclusively by hunting. Many Inuit have become recipients of state grants. (Stern 2004)

Dramatic consequences

The hopelessness of this situation, coupled with the extreme isolation, meant that occur in some localities extremely high suicide rates. Often in young people who experience while on television the wide world, but find you getting buried alive. (Paver 2008) The high cost of travel in the Arctic mean that they can hardly ever even leaving the village. Also, alcohol abuse is a problem, especially where there is no established social structure, such as in mining villages or in the vicinity of military installations. More recently, the sale of alcohol in self-governing regions is largely prohibited. (Kulchyski et al. 2007)

Many well-intentioned approaches to help the government, the Inuit from their…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alia, Valerie (2009). Names and Nunavut: Culture and Identity in Arctic Canada. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781845451653

Billson, Janet Mancini; Kyra Mancini (2007). Inuit women: their powerful spirit in a century of change. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742535961

Crandall, Richard C (2000). Inuit art: a history. McFarland. ISBN 0786407115

De Poncins, Gontran. Kabloona. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1996 (originally 1941). ISBN 1-55597-249-7

Cite this Document:

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