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ISR members preserve culture while playing cards

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A sample of Piannat Inuvialuktun (Inuvialuit Playing Cards). © Inuvialuit Communications Society

The Inuvialuit Communications Society has created a unique way to preserve and promote the Inuvialuit language and culture. Piannat Inuvialuktun (Inuvialuit Playing Cards) feature all three Inuvialuktun dialects for animals that match up with the current Inuvialuktun curriculum taught in Inuvialuit Settlement Region schools. The 52‐card deck can be used as regular playing cards and as a matching card game. 

The cards are being distributed to Inuvialuktun language classes, residents in the six Inuvialuit communities, and beneficiaries living outside the settlement region. 

The project is a collaboration between the Inuvialuit Communications Society (ICS), the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC) and artist Kyle Natkusiak Aleekuk. Several language and cultural consultants were also involved and include: 

  • Beverly Siliuyaq Amos (Sallirmiutun, dialect of Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, and Sachs Harbour) 
  • Dwayne Adjgaliaq Drescher (Uumarmiutun, dialect of Aklavik and Inuvik) 
  • Mataya Gillis (Editor in Chief of Nipatur̂uq, Inuvialuit youth magazine, culture consultant) 
  • Ethel‐Jean Gruben (Manager, ICRC, culture consultant) 
  • Alice Kimiksana (Kangiryuarmiutun, dialect of Ulukhaktok) 
  • Alice J Thrasher (Sallirmiutun) 
  • Tamara Voudrach (Manager of ICS, culture consultant). 

The project was funded by the Canadian Roots Exchange and Northern Youth Abroad. The group is applying for funding to order more decks for distribution to more Inuvialuit households, and hopes to design more editions featuring different sections of the current curriculum such as tools, greetings, math/ numbers, etc. 

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