Speaking for Themselves: the Legacy of Residential Schools on Inuit languages in Canada
By Marianne Williams with the collaboration of James Benning
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This paper examines the historical decline of Inuktitut as a result of the residential school system and the recent resurgence of the language as an act of resistance against assimilation from the Inuit community in Canada. This paper will answer following questions: how did this decline affect the Inuit and what are its residual effects? What are the sources and motivating factors behind the resurgence of Inuktitut? This research is relevant in understanding the role Inuktitut plays within Inuit culture and sovereignty. It also outlines the process of healing and reconciliation through language resurgence.
Inuit, Residential Schools, Reconciliation, Inuktitut
I’m Marianne Williams, a fourth year undergraduate in the School of Canadian Studies and Art History Combined Honours. My main areas of academic interest are Indigenous art history and Indigenous cultural heritage, with a focus on the Inuit peoples in Canada. I will be pursuing concurrent Masters of Museum Studies and Library Science at the University of Toronto in fall 2012, where I hope to research Indigenous involvement and representations in arts institutions