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Throughout Canada’s North, First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations, large and small, grapple with similar imperatives: how best to preserve the stories and traditions of generations past; how to maintain their rich cultural heritage and language to benefit the generations that follow; and how to nurture the modern-age advancement and betterment of their communities and people within a broader, diluting global context.
Avataq Cultural Institute, headquartered in Inukjuak, Nunavik, addressed precisely those questions when it was formed in 1980. Its mandate then,and now, is to protect, develop and promote the Inuit identity within and beyond the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. The Institute is guided by an elected Board of Directors and the significant input of Elders representing each of the 14 uniquely Inuit communities that dot the meandering coastlines of the region. The Elders meet every two years at the Inuit Elders Conference to discuss Avataq initiatives.
Though its primary mission is to disseminate the wealth of knowledge contained in its archives amongst Nunavimmiut first, Avataq’s Documentation and Archival Centre also serves the information needs of researchers and media at home and from around the world. The Centre’s library holds more than 4,000 publications primarily concerning Nunavik’s Inuit origins, materials on other Arctic regions and indigenous peoples, and encourages the establishment of local libraries and resource centres in Nunavik communities.
Amongst its many culture and heritage achievements,two stand out: Avataq’s Genealogical Research Program and its Archaeological Department. Since 1987,the Research Program has amassed and documented Inuit genealogical data for Nunavik. Over 22,000 individuals are now linked and their ancestries recorded, including updated information on new births and lineage. Avataq’s Archaeological division to date has recorded over 1,000 sites of particular importance and benefit to Nunavimmiut that encompass some 4,000 years of history in the region.
Avataq also maintains a large collection of invaluable recordings of Inuit oral history and manuscripts,historical documents and anthropological archives, including thousands of historical photographs.
Avataq’s extensive endeavours in museology include archival repatriation, where warranted; an active publishing arm that produces factual and culturally relevant reading and visual materials for use by Nunavimmiut; Aumaaggiivik — Inuit Art Secretariat supporting all arts disciplines; the development of local cultural committees at the community level and an Inuktitut Language Department.
As a result of all of these initiatives, the Institute continues to grow in capability, value and relevance not only for the Nunavik Inuit it is mandated to serve, but also for a much wider, more information-hungry audience than has ever been experienced before.

AVATAQ Cultural InstituteProtecting, developing and promoting Inuit identity in Nunavik and beyondThroughout Canada’s North, First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations, large and small, grapple with similar imperatives: how best to preserve the stories and traditions of generations past; how to maintain their rich cultural heritage and language to benefit the generations that follow; and how to nurture the modern-age advancement and betterment of their communities and people within a broader, diluting global context.
Avataq Cultural Institute, headquartered in Inukjuak, Nunavik, addressed precisely those questions when it was formed in 1980. Its mandate then,and now, is to protect, develop and promote the Inuit identity within and beyond the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. The Institute is guided by an elected Board of Directors and the significant input of Elders representing each of the 14 uniquely Inuit communities that dot the meandering coastlines of the region. The Elders meet every two years at the Inuit Elders Conference to discuss Avataq initiatives.
Though its primary mission is to disseminate the wealth of knowledge contained in its archives amongst Nunavimmiut first, Avataq’s Documentation and Archival Centre also serves the information needs of researchers and media at home and from around the world. The Centre’s library holds more than 4,000 publications primarily concerning Nunavik’s Inuit origins, materials on other Arctic regions and indigenous peoples, and encourages the establishment of local libraries and resource centres in Nunavik communities.
Amongst its many culture and heritage achievements,two stand out: Avataq’s Genealogical Research Program and its Archaeological Department. Since 1987,the Research Program has amassed and documented Inuit genealogical data for Nunavik. Over 22,000 individuals are now linked and their ancestries recorded, including updated information on new births and lineage. Avataq’s Archaeological division to date has recorded over 1,000 sites of particular importance and benefit to Nunavimmiut that encompass some 4,000 years of history in the region.
Avataq also maintains a large collection of invaluable recordings of Inuit oral history and manuscripts,historical documents and anthropological archives, including thousands of historical photographs.
Avataq’s extensive endeavours in museology include archival repatriation, where warranted; an active publishing arm that produces factual and culturally relevant reading and visual materials for use by Nunavimmiut; Aumaaggiivik — Inuit Art Secretariat supporting all arts disciplines; the development of local cultural committees at the community level and an Inuktitut Language Department.
As a result of all of these initiatives, the Institute continues to grow in capability, value and relevance not only for the Nunavik Inuit it is mandated to serve, but also for a much wider, more information-hungry audience than has ever been experienced before.