The traditional definition of literacy is a Western one, steeped in a print-based individual experience. The Inuit experience their literacy in a cultural manner, with connections to their local and social contexts.
CCL provided the Nunavut Literacy Council with the funding to host a roundtable in order for stakeholders to discuss the research results presented in Building a Strong Foundation: Considerations to Support Thriving Bilingualism in Nunavut.
This report and its companion Making the Links: Language Acquisition and Literacy Development in the Inuit Language written to report on the roundtable results, address the need for a bilingual society in Canada’s North.
Roundtable participants concluded that tools from both cultures are needed so that all Nunavummiut can enjoy the opportunities created by a thriving bilingualism.
Currently, Nunavut has an unstable bilingualism where both English and the Inuit language are being spoken. However, an increasing use of English is threatening the balance.
The two reports assess the current situation, in terms of language and literacy, and propose goals, policy considerations and five potential programs of action which would contribute to an enduring bilingualism in Nunavut.