Nunavut Cultural Identity

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and cultural identity. Nunavut territory, an area which encompasses 20% of the total landmass of Canada, the population is rapidly increasing, and will have almost doubled by 2020, (almost 50% in only 10 years) and is characterized by a young demographic, of which 85% of identity as Inuit. There are other important social factors affecting these communities, such as wealth inequality, substance misuse, and high unemployment. Education is key to employment in this region, in fact, the Canadian government decrees a minimum level of academic achievement, and English literacy, as a pre-requisite for the majority of employment opportunities. Moreover, this huge land expanse lacks infrastructure, reducing mobility for the population. Statistics…show more content…
For centuries this language has been passed from generations to generations orally, only in the recent past has it been recorded in written form. This has been somewhat haphazard, to say the least, with at least two starkly contrasting versions being in use, one syllabic, the other a non-standard Roman orthography. Attempts, even at the highest government levels, to codify a single written glossary, have failed, without reaching consensus. According to the author, this has led to the perception that the antiquated syllabic system is holding the community back, from full integration into the new world. Furthermore, due to their oral heritage, there is a dearth of culturally relevant literature written in the mother tongue, (Harper, 2005). Inuktitut is a polysynthetic language, it has words with multiple stems in a single word (which are not compounds). This is achieved by incorporating ergative nouns into complex verb forms, these suffixes contain further information about the person, number, tense, mood, voice, etc., whereas English is currently classified as a fusional synthetic language, (Manker, 2016) and ("Basic Language Structures", 2018). The morphological structures of Inuktitut and English share no similarities, which render grammar translation methods of teaching impossible. The fundamental order and construction of sounds, words, and…show more content…
Research from the 80’s and 90’s highlighted another potential acquisition problem for Inuit people, the family dynamic, especially in regards to early-stage development is markedly different from western culture. Households are more commonly multi-aged, and baby care often takes place in silence, there is less encouragement to talk, offering vocabulary labels is less frequent, and babies are not required to show knowledge through questioning. A number of studies concluded that quiet, passive behaviour is preferred, with a pre-disposition to non-initiation of conversation with older household members, (numerous sources as cited in Dench, Cleave, Tagak & Beddard, 2011). The cultural dynamic of these multi-generational households means that children are discouraged from being active participants in adult conversations, or asking questions, often being ignored if they did so. This would be in direct contrast to most modern language teaching methods, where comprehension strategies often require students to answer, creating a social barrier to

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