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Inuit Traditions focus of Conference


The 20th biennial Inuit Studies Conference, held in October in St. John’s Newfoundland, was an interactive event that included presentations, demonstrations and panel discussions as well as an Inuit-focused arts festival and an all-night arts crawl, all around the theme of Inuit Traditions.

The three-day gathering of elders, researchers, artists, politicians and students heard speakers cover topics such as the health benefits of traditional Inuit games, Inuit art, language revitalization and standardization, housing, archaeology, creative arts, technology, the environment, public policy and the decolonization of education in Inuit communities.

Speakers included Natan Obed (Nunatsiavut), President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Natalia Radunovich (Chukotka), linguist and folklorist; Joar Nango (Samiland), architect; Tanya Tagaq (Nunavut), performance artist; and Mataalii Okalik (Nunavut), President of National Inuit Youth Council.

The event also featured country food demonstrations, glow-in-the-dark Inuit tattoos, Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute’s foil balloons shaped as sealskin floats, live music, theatre and film screenings, and the launch of Sakkijâjuk, a major exhibit of art and crafts from the Nunatsiavut region.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Nunatsiavut government hosted the event.