Chambers leads overseas project

The British Museum's collection of Inuinnait objects is part of a visual repatriation project taking northern elders, crafts people and researchers to London, England.

The project is part of the Ulukhaktok literacies research, a long‐term collaboration among the NWT Literacy Council, the community of Ulukhaktok, and Dr. Cynthia Chambers, a Faculty of Education researcher from the University of Lethbridge.

The research sought to understand what literacy meant traditionally to the Kangiryuarmiut and what it means today.

The elders, researchers and crafts people will examine British Museum tools, clothing and other objects dating back to the first encounters between Europeans and ancestors of the Inuinnait.

The museum objects and the trip to London, England will be captured in photos and a video documentary.

"People who still know the importance of these objects to the traditional way of life will have a chance to see some of them," says Helen Balanoff, the NWT Literacy Council executive director. "We hope to be able to capture language and stories about the objects, as well as the skills involved in making them."

Those going on the Apr. 16‐23 trip include Chambers and toolmaker Adam Kudlak and researchers Emily Kudlak and Helen Kitekudlak, all of Ulukhaktok, as well as Emily Angulalik, a founder of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, and elders Mary Avalak and Annie Atigihioyak, all of Cambridge Bay.

The Ulukhaktok literacies research project findings from Phase 1 were shared in a museum exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in 2009 and in the recent book, Pihuaqtiuyugut: We are the Long Distance Walkers.