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Memory Is So Different Now: Thoughts on the Translation of Inuit Literature

Valerie Henitiuk, MacEwan University
Henitiuk eflyer
Henitiuk eflyer
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 5:30pm
Communications 120

The Inuit settled along what is now northern Canada some 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. They have a centuries-long history of orature (legends, myths, songs, etc.), and texts written in Inuktitut date as far back as the 18th century. Interest in this nomadic, socially complex, and richly imaginative culture has increased rapidly, with the emergence of prize-winning films by Zacharias Kunuk and others (Atanarjuat, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen); a recent second edition of Life Among the Qallunaat, the autobiography of Mini Aodla Freeman, a quadrilingual Inuk who worked as a translator in Ottawa for some 20 years; and the publication of an English version of what has been called the first Inuktitut novel, first begun by a woman in the 1950s. This lecture examines recent cultural circulation of one of Canada’s no-longer-quite-so-invisible “invisible minorities.” It offers particular focus on the 2014 translation of Sanaaq by Salome Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, who has been called “the accidental Inuit novelist.”

Henitiuk e-flyer  (PDF)

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