Founded in 1996, the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society is guided by an Inuinnaq Executive Director and Inuinnait Board, and is one of the territory’s longest established heritage organizations. Based, out of the May Hakongak Community Library & Cultural Centre in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, we have over 20 years of experience in cultural research, exhibition development, and program delivery.
We address projects of critical importance to the revival of Inuit culture, language and history. We focus on the critical needs of Inuinnait—a distinct regional group of Inuit living in the Central Canadian Arctic. The Inuinnaqtun language—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. We are working to reverse the effects of advanced language shift through multiple parallel programs that bring together communities, Elders, Language Specialists and researchers to initiate a large-scale language revitalization movement.
means ‘learning through culture’ in Inuinnaqtun.
To preserve and renew Inuinnait knowledge, language and culture for the benefit of all Inuit.
To concentrate and connect the resources, expertise and technology critical to Inuinnait cultural and linguistic survival.
Flexibility and Innovation
We're working to reverse the trend of Inuinnaqtun language and knowledge loss in our communities. We are establishing strong human and digital networks that bring together Inuinnait communities and create innovative solutions to overcoming geographical, political and economic barriers to knowledge exchange and revitalization. We are working to foster a unified Inuinnait voice that speaks to the issues and priorities of our respective communities, and calls for initiatives of change. Most importantly, we are harnessing the expertise of remaining Elders and Inuinnaqtun speakers and directing their valuable knowledge towards the renewal of our culture.
Our priorities are based on the urgent needs facing our cultural communities today:
We are providing daily opportunities for community members to consult Elders on traditional knowledge, and to be mentored in traditional skills.
We are developing new digital tools to facilitate Inuinnait access, ownership and usability of our traditional knowledge.
We are combining oral history and archaeological research to build a better understanding of the Inuinnait past.