Ilitaqsiniq & Literacy

Ilitaqsiniq takes a very broad view of what literacy is, and how it can be used. To us, literacy is not simply about reading, writing and document use—it’s about “seeing and knowing what you see.” Inuit literacy and essential skills holistically embrace Inuit ways of learning by incorporating observation, hands-on experiential learning and storytelling into learning activities.

In the unique cultural context of Nunavut, literacy practices can include:

  • An Elder using the Inuit language to share stories with a group of school children.
  • A grandfather teaching his grandson wayfinding skills by reading the land and sky.
  • A community member writing to the newspaper on an important community issue.
  • An adult adjusting a garment to a new size.
  • A youth using and following a GPS navigation system.
  • A young hunter designing and building a sakku (harpoon head).

Ilitaqsiniq has identified the following skills as essential for life in Nunavut:

  • Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit / traditional knowledge
  • Pilimmaksarniq / targeted skill through practice
  • Pijunnautitaaqpaalliqsimaliqtut / confidence that comes from skill
  • Piliriqatigiinniq / working together
  • Uqaqatigiigunnattiarniq / communication skills
  • Inuuqatigiitsiarniq / interconnectedness
  • Inunnguiniq / becoming an able being, healing and life skills
  • Ilippallianginnarniq / engagement with lifelong learning