A brand-new all-Inuktut TV channel is set to be launched in Nunavut later this year.

The Inuit TV Network – which has filed its paperwork with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – will focus on cultural and language education. It’s expected to become an important vehicle upon which Inuit filmmakers will be able to showcase their craft.

Noah Muckpah on tablet, left, and Russell Suluk on the Canon practise their craft recording virtuoso Chris Mikeeuneak on piano in Arviat on Nov. 23, 2017.
photo courtesy of Gord Billard

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) is funding the new network to the tune of $2.4 million during the next three years.

NTI stated in a news release this past Thursday, July 9, that the station’s main goal is to strengthen Inuktut and Inuit culture.

Eric Anoee of Arviat, who’s treasurer for Inuit TV’s executive group, said the concept of the network has been worked on for quite some time.

He said it seemed like the work went on for about a decade, and then things started to happen quite fast in terms of securing the funding necessary to make the network viable.

I’ll make sure Arviat and the group won’t be forgotten, and I’ll try to advocate more on behalf of the smaller communities to ensure they have a presence and a voice in the decision-making process,” said Anoee.

When you’re running something like a TV station you’re, obviously, always hungry for content, especially new content.

I’m sure there will be a shortage of content for a time when Inuit TV is first launched, and we may purposely go with occasional programming and not full-time programming right off of the bat.”

Anoee said he has high hopes that Inuit TV will open up new opportunities for Inuit filmmakers to have their work showcased.

He said the network should provide an economic boost to Inuit interests in the industry and help kick-start careers across Nunavut.

Right now, at this point, there’s a real lack of content coming from Nunavut and Inuit artists out there in broadcast TV world.

Hopefully, with this new broadcast dedicated to Nunavut, there will be more of a presence felt and Nunavummiut and (those) abroad can listen and hear more about our language and culture.

That way, I’m hoping it will have a positive impact because our first language is in real decline right now and we’re fighting a hard battle with mainstream media.

I’m hoping this new opportunity will give us a lot more exposure for our people and our children to have their voices heard.”

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News