NEWS: Nunavut June 19, 2012 - 5:20 am

CamBay youth wins Languages Commissioner video award

“I am happy to know that young people are willing to get involved in protecting their language rights by raising awareness in this way"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Cambridge Bay’s Richard Egotak has won the first prize in a video competition run by the Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut.

The contest was open to Nunavummiut between the ages of eight and 21.

“I am happy to know that young people are willing to get involved in protecting their language rights by raising awareness in this way. We had entries from every region of the territory,” said Languages Commissioner Alexina Kublu in a June 18 news release. “I congratulate Richard and would like to thank him for his hard work.”

Kublu asked people to submit a video of no more than one minute showing why language rights are important to them.

For his prize-winning video, Egotak took on the role as Nunavut’s first language hero, going throughout his region teaching Inuinnaqtun to those who had lost their language.

The video will be posted on the OLC website as well as on YouTube.

Egotak won a Blackberry Playbook and $500, which was donated by retired professional photographer and cameraman Bob Carveth of Australia.

Carveth has “an enthusiastic interest in the preservation of the Inuit language and its culture,” the Office of the Languages Commissioner said June 18.

“I personally see the issue of promoting the retention of the Inuktitut language as an identity issue. I believe that maintaining the use of their forebearer’s language affirms and strengthens the identity of the student as a Inuit,” said Carveth in a message he sent to Resolute Bay’s Qamartalik School.

Carveth has also sent indigenous items from Australia to Ulluriaq School in Kangiqsualujjuaq where these have been given as prizes at the school.