Culture, Heritage & Spirituality (2021)
Inuinnait, Cambridge Bay, NU
“My Inuinnaqtun Uqauhiq (Language) is to be preserved, and how I can preserve this is by educating, sharing and most of all using my language through various ways including cultural activities, as did our ancestors for thousands of years. Language is our identity, we need to rise and nurture our identity, without the language there is no culture, without the culture there is no language, we must take pride in our identity and walk in today’s world.”
Language and culture are foundational components of Emily Angulalik’s identity as an Inuinnaq woman – elements which she has made it her life’s mission to preserve and transmit. With over twenty years as a teacher and cultural ambassador, she has dedicated much of her time to educating others about Inuinnaqtun, a dialect of the Inuktitut language. Whether it has been through her work in the community as a translator and teacher or her founding of the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society, she has always actively protected language and transmitted cultural knowledge through her lived experience. Her ongoing mission to promote Inuit language and culture, and to educate Canadians about Inuit people and their ancestral history, has created cultural bridges which foster a spirit of community between Inuit and Canadians. She carries the wealth and strength of her ancestors through her connection to the land, cultural knowledge and traditional skills. A respected leader, Emily is an inspiration to Indigenous language advocates, educators and learners.