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The Inuit Language Protection Act

September 19, 2008 – Okalik Eegeesiak, Chair of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) applauds the passing of Bill 7 - the Inuit Language Protection Act. IBC actively participated in the opportunities provided to comment on the Bill over the past two years. IBC has also advocated for legislation to protect and promote the Inuit languages in several international forums.

In passing this historic legislation, the Nunavut Legislative Assembly has sent a strong message that Nunavut is prepared to move forward to ensure that Inuktitut and Innuinnaqtun will be able to withstand the external pressures and policies, which put its use at home, the workplace and the classroom, at risk.

Speaking to the United Nations Expert Group on Indigenous Languages earlier this year, Ms. Eegeesiak stated that it was very disturbing to hear about indigenous languages that were faced with the immediate threat of extinction and that it reinforced her position that it must be a priority for languages that may not currently be in danger, such as the Inuit language, to have the strongest protection possible now to ensure its effective survival.

“I am pleased and encouraged that the Legislative Assembly has passed Bill 7 so that we can ensure that the Inuit language will have a strong base in legislation as a step to create policies and programs which will strengthen and support our language. IBC looks forward to working with the Government of Nunavut going forward in the implementation planning phase. In particular, IBC has proposed the concept of a regional television network (TV Nunavut) as a means to protect and promote the Inuit languages. There has been considerable support and interest in the concept from potential partners across Nunavut and beyond,” said Ms. Eegeesiak.

For more info contact:
Okalik Eegeesiak, Chair, IBC
(867) 222-2400

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