Tag Archives: Inuktitut

Way Back Then

Written by: Neil Christopher

Illustrated by: Germaine Arnaktauyok

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English, pronunciation guide included. 

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Folklore, Culture & Traditions, 

Summary: Kudlu’s children cannot sleep.  They beg him for stories about olden times, when there was magic and the mountains were made of giants.  Kudlu tells his children of a fox and a raven.  They each wanted something different from the sky-the fox wanted a dark sky and the raven wanted a bright one.  The two could never agree, so that’s why we have night and day! Kudlu’s children and the reader learn why there are caribou, a goose-woman, and a time when the earth helped Inuit numbers grow by giving birth to children.

Each folktale Kudlu tells his children starts with “Way back then…” and they are short, taking up just half a page.  The book setup has a beautiful illustration on one page, and the story in both languages on the opposite.  They are fantastical tales and fun for children to imagine, with giant polar bears and whales bursting out of a woman’s fingers.  This book is an amazing resource for someone unfamiliar with Inuit folklore and history!  Bilingual books are so important, even if the reader isn’t learning the language.  Having exposure to a variety of languages helps with acceptance of others, and the questions naturally built into the story are an awesome resource for reflection.

Reflection Questions:

  • What do you notice about the Inuktitut language?
  • Which was your favorite legend?
  • Which magic power would you like to have?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Neil-172x300Neil Christopher is an educator, author, and filmmaker. He first moved to the North many years ago to help start a high school program in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. It was those students who first introduced Neil to the mythical inhabitants from Inuit traditional stories. The time spent in Resolute Bay changed the course of Neil’s life. Since that first experience in the Arctic, Nunavut has been the only place he has been able to call home. Neil has worked with many community members to record and preserve traditional Inuit stories. Together with his colleague, Louise Flaherty, and his brother, Danny Christopher, Neil started a small publishing company in Nunavut called Inhabit Media Inc., and has since been working to promote Northern stories and authors.

2602boo_postGermaine Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist and illustrator, best known for her prints and etchings depicting Inuit myths and traditional ways of life. In 1999, she designed the special edition two-dollar coin commemorating the founding of the territory of Nunavut. She is the co-author, with Gyu Oh, of My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok. She lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

 

 

 

6n_DMFs0_400x400About the publisher, Inhabit Media! Scroll down for English translation.

Inhabit Media Inc. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕆᔭᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᔪᖅ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖓᓂ. ᑐᕌᒐᕆᔭᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᕋᓱᒡᓗᒋᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᒋᐊᕐᓗᒋᓪᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐅᔪᓪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᓂᑦ, ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓯᕐᓗᑕᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ (ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ, ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐊᕕᒃᑐᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖅᐸᓯᖕᓂᖅᐹᖓᓃᑦᑐᖅ).  ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑎᑦ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑎᑦ, ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐆᒻᒪᖅᑎᑎᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐅᖅᑕᐅᔪᓂᒡᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ.

ᑎᒥᙳᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ 2006-ᖑᑎᓪᓗᒍ, Inhabit Media ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ᓄᑕᕋᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᖃᑦᑕᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑕᒥᖕᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂ. ᐅᑭᐅᑦ ᖁᓕᙳᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᖢᑕ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖅᑎᓂᒡᓗ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖁᑎᓕᒫᖏᓐᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐳᐃᒍᖅᑕᐅᖁᓇᒋᑦ ᑭᖑᕚᕆᔭᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᓄᑦ.

ᐊᒥᓱᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑕᕗᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᑦ, ᐱᑕᖃᐃᓐᓇᐅᔭᖅᑑᒐᓗᐊᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᒑᖓᒥᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᖢᑎᒃ  ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ. ᐃᓚᖏᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑐᖄᓘᒐᓗᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒡᓗ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᒫᓐᓇᕐᓂᓴᕐᓂᒃ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓂᒃ ᓇᑭᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᒥᐅᔪᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᔭᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᒥᐅᓂᑦ ᐊᒥᐊᓕᑲᒥᐅᓂᓪᓗ. ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᕆᕙᒃᑕᕗᑦ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔾᔨᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᙱᓚᑦ; ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᖕᒥᔪᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᐊᓯᐅᔨᔭᐅᓇᔭᖅᑐᒃᓴᐅᔪᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓂᑦ ᐱᐅᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᓴᐅᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᑦ.

ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᑕ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ, ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓯᓚᑐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔨᔭᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᐅᓄᑦ!

 

Inhabit Media Inc. is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. We aim to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory). Our authors, storytellers, and artists bring traditional knowledge to life in a way that is accessible to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Inuit culture and traditions.

Incorporated in 2006, Inhabit Media was born out of a need for Nunavut kids to see their culture accurately represented in the books they read in schools. We have spent the last ten years working with elders and storytellers from across the Canadian Arctic to ensure that the region’s unique Inuit oral history is recorded and not lost to future generations.

Many of the stories that we publish have never been written down before, having existed for centuries as tales passed orally from generation to generation. While many of these stories are ancient, we work closely with elders, contemporary Inuit writers, and illustrators the world over to present folktales and traditional stories in a format that will resonate with modern audiences across North America. Our books do not simply provide a glimpse into Inuit culture; they also represent the preservation of oral history and traditional knowledge that may otherwise have been lost, in a format that contemporary readers will find engaging, entertaining, and informative.

As the first independent publishing company in Nunavut, we are excited to bring Arctic stories and wisdom to the world!

Anguti’s Amulet

Written by: The Central Coast of Labrador Archaeology Partnership

Translated by: Sophie Tuglavina

Illustrated by: Cynthia Colosimo

For ages: 8 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English

Topics Covered: First Nations People, Indigenous Voices, Culture & Traditions, Family, Community, Love, Historical Events, Historical Fiction.

Summary: This is a two-part book.  The first tells of a young Inuit boy named Anguti and his life, particularly retelling an adventure with his sister. To briefly explain, Anguti and his sister Tukkekina find and kill a seal during a particularly harsh winter, but at the expense of getting stuck on a piece of ice that drifts out to sea.  Anguti wears an amulet that his shaman grandmother gave him, and his courage is renewed because of this.  The entire book is Inuktitut forward, with English translations coming afterwards.  The English version also keeps several words in Inuktitut, emphasizing their importance and teaching the reader over the course of the story.

Although the story is not true, it is based on objects found at an Inuit archaeology site and the story was written by the students and staff that worked at the site.  After the story is over, there is a huge amount of information about the dig site as well as a plethora of photos!  There are photos of the site, some of the objects that were found, and historical photographs.  Drawn maps of the site and the Labrador coast are included in the book, with additional historical context for readers unfamiliar with Inuit life and culture and geographical layout.  There is also a foreword that explains briefly about the book and its contents, as well as explaining the traditional facial tattooing seen on some of the women in the illustrations within the story about Anguti.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you notice any differences between the Inuktitut and English spelling of words or capitalization?  
  • What do you know about other languages?
  • Do you or a family member speak another language?
  • Has anyone you know ever been up to Canada or the Arctic Circle?
  • What do you think is different in daily life there versus where you live now?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Find out more about what goes into long-term archaeology projects, like the one whose staff wrote this book.  Where are other projects taking place?  What sort of objects are being found?
  • Look for a video or recording of the story, told in Inuktitut.  What do you notice about the pronunciation versus English pronunciation?  A lot of people regard English as incredibly hard to learn, what do you think?
  • PBS just came out with a show called Molly of Denali, about an Indigenous girl.  See if you can find an episode to watch!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

The Central Coast of Labrador Community Archaeology Partnership is a cooperative research and educational venture with the community of Makkovik, Labrador.

Here is some more information about archaeology programs and how they work with Indigenous communities within Labrador!

ccolosimoOriginally from Thunder Bay, Cynthia Colosimo has lived in Labrador for sixteen years where she has worked on a number of community development and heritage projects. She also illustrated Anguti’s Amulet, a story about an 18th century Inuit boy, based on the archaeology of the Adlavik Islands in Northern Labrador. Cynthia has a BFA in drawing from the University of Manitoba and an MFA in printmaking from Concordia University. She is married to an archaeologist and has one child, another aspiring artist.

 

 

unnamedSophie Tuglavina is the translator of the story.  It was extremely difficult to find information about her online, so if you find any let us know!