Is the Inuvialuktun language at risk?

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: aboriginal language

Principal Investigator: Esau, Sally L (1)
Licence Number: 15643
Organization: Aurora College
Licensed Year(s): 2015
Issued: Mar 05, 2015
Project Team: Joel McAlister (Superviser, Aurora College), Sarah Beattie (Adviser, Aurora College)

Objective(s): To study the state of the Inuvialuktun language and its teaching in the Inuvik region.

Project Description: The goal of this research is to study the state of the Inuvialuktun language and its teaching in the Inuvik region. The researcher is interested in studying threats to the Inuvialuktun language. A language can be considered endangered if 1) has a low population of remaining speakers and is not used often in the broader community, and, 2) the remaining speakers are aging and passing away. A language can also be at risk of disappearing if its speakers switch to another language, usually English, and no longer speak in their traditional language.

To study the state on the Inuvialuktun language, the researcher will complete a set of interviews with local Inuvialuit living in Inuvik. The structured interview will include questions about: 1) knowledge of the Inuvialuktun language; and 2) their opinion on its teachings. This study will likely provide a set of recommendations about potential improvements to the Inuvialuktun curriculum in the Inuvik region. Traditional use of the language will help strengthen the communication between Elders and the younger generations to understand the Inuvialuit culture.

The results of this study will be written up in a formal tech report and presented at Aurora College. Community members involved in the study will be encouraged to attend. A copy of the report will also be given to the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Center for reference in the future.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 3, 2015 to April 30, 2015.