Nunavut is getting a new all-Inuktut TV channel this year.
Inuit TV will have Inuktut programming in dialects from all Inuit regions, including Greenland, said Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, president of the new broadcaster, Inuit TV Network. Inuktut is a term used to encompass all Inuit languages, including Inuktitut.
“This educational broadcaster will make it easier to be able to show more Inuktut content in Inuit homes.”
Newly registered with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Inuit TV Network is planning occasional programming for this year and full-time programming in 2021.
“We will be starving for content at first,” Arnaquq-Baril said.
Focused on cultural and language education, the network will be a place for Inuit filmmakers to show their work. It will also run content from other production companies, such as the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation.
Arnaquq-Baril said at a news conference that the channel will air on a conventional television station in Nunavut. It will also have a channel on Isuma.tv, a Nunavut-based website for Indigenous media art.
Announced on Thursday for Nunavut Day, the network is being funded by $2.4 million over the next three years from the Nunavut Tunngavik Foundation — a charity of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the organization that represents Inuit in the territory.
Mainstream shows, Nunavut-made films
The station’s goal is “to strengthen Inuktut, Inuit culture and identity and access to information in Inuktut, the majority language of the territory,” Nunavut Tunngavik said in a news release on Thursday.
For children, she said, translating mainstream children’s shows like Spider-Man and Dora the Explorer can be a “powerful way to preserve language.”
Elders, who contributed to planning for the station, had their own ideas, too.
A filmmaker herself, Arnaquq-Baril said it can be challenging to find a platform to share Nunavut-made films within the territory.
“We want to support and encourage as much original content in our language as possible.”
She said first-time filmmakers can access funding through organizations such as the Nunavut Film Development Corp.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Inuit artists in their own words, Eye on the Arctic – Videos
Finland: Finnish live stream gives users bird’s eye view of eagle’s nest, Yle News
Iceland: Arctic tourism in the age of Instagram, Eye on the Arctic – Long Format
Norway: Norwegian slow TV to feature Svalbard round the clock for nine days, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Moose migration in northern Sweden makes for “contemplative” slow TV, Radio Sweden