Nunavut is the only territory in Canada where Aboriginal people are the majority. There, Inuit represent 85% of the population. In the 1996 Census, 72 percent of Nunavut residents said their mother tongue was Inuktitut, while 24 percent said it was English. In Canada, Cree is the only Aboriginal language with more speakers than Inuktitut.
The Nunavut Literacy Council endorses the vision for literacy that was developed at a literacy summit in Arviat:
All Nunavummiut have the right to participate fully and be included in their community. Literacy is much more than reading and writing, it also means being connected to your language and culture. Literacy involves everyone and is fundamental to the development of health and well-being. Literacy is fostering and nurturing understanding, knowledge and wisdom.
The Council integrates Inuktitut into its daily work. It is currently undertaking an Inuktitut Family Literacy Project. One of the goals of this project is to help communities make the connection between the concepts of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Traditional Knowledge), Ilippallianginnarniq (Continuing Learning) and literacy. The Council is also developing an oral history manual that will include the benefits of using oral history and traditional knowledge as a tool to strengthen Inuktitut. It will contain information on how to collect and publish oral histories. The Nunavut Literacy Council has an Aboriginal Language and Cultural Consultant on staff and Aboriginal members on its Board.
There are some major differences, however, between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, when it comes to Aboriginal literacy:
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