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Kitikmeot Heritage Society planning for fall cultural campus opening

Institution to be 'a model for sustainable Arctic infrastructure and a space for Inuinnaqtun revitalization'
A rendering of Kuugalaaq, the Kitikmeot Heritage SocietySA国际影视传媒檚 new cultural campus, which is set to open in Cambridge Bay in fall 2024. Image courtesy of Kitikmeot Heritage Society/Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq

The Kitikmeot Heritage Society/Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq (KHS/PI) has announced that Kuugalaaq, the new Cultural Campus for the KHS, is expected to officially open in Cambridge Bay in fall 2024.

The institution is "purpose-built to reflect Inuinnait values, a model for sustainable Arctic infrastructure and a space for Inuinnaqtun revitalization", said the announcement on KHS/PI's Facebook page on June 7. "More specific details to come."

The organization is dedicated to leading Inuinnaqtun revitalization.

"We are constantly navigating the complexities of language loss and reawakening. Since time immemorial, Inuinnaqtun has been an oral language. Only in the last century has our language been converted to a written form. Multiple orthographies (the spelling system for a language) exist, and our translators and speakers do not always follow the same system, but we are all doing our best to support Inuinnaqtun use," KHS/PI states of its mandate.

The group also made a second and related announcement that to reflect its ongoing commitment to recognizing the ICI standardized orthography, it would be changing the spelling of the cultural campus from Kuugalak to Kuugalaaq SA国际影视传媒 "a spelling that we feel more closely represents how our Elders speak this word, which means 'little stream.'"

The announcement further explains that the Kitikmeot Elders chose the name Kuugalaaq because of the waterway running adjacent to the campus. The post also notes that the stream used to have a much deeper, wider current, but "climate change has reduced it to a small creek. Our aim has always been that Kuugalaaq is both a symbol and a place where our knowledge and connection to the landscape flows deep through the community once again. We cannot wait to welcome you in."

A representative from the organization declined to elaborate further, but did add that more information would become available later in the summer.

Kira Wronska Dorward

About the Author: Kira Wronska Dorward

I attended Trinity College as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, graduating in 2012 as a Specialist in History. In 2014 I successfully attained a Master of Arts in Modern History from UofT..
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