Stuck at home with no school to keep your kids busy? You may be looking for ways to keep your little ones (or you) entertained in the house. We’ve compiled a list of Inuit art games, activities and movies to help pass the time. Colour together with a series of Indigenous-made colouring pages, or learn Inuit stories through beautifully animated shows on Isuma TV.
You can also keep busy by looking at online art together—if that’s more your speed, check out some of our other Couch Content here, here and here.
Iñupiaq artist and writer Nasugraq Rainey Hopson has designed a series of illustrations for kids and adults to colour with. Since first making her colouring pages free on Facebook for everyone in early March, she and a group of other Indigenous artists, including Sarah Whalen Lunn and Hanna Agasuuq Sholl, have banded together to produce full sets of colouring books. Their colouring pages depict mammals and traditional Alaskan Native dress and activities, alongside Iñupiat and English names.
Traditional Inuit Games
Compiled by Grade Six students in Iqaluit, NU, this set of Traditional Inuit Games requires no equipment other than a willing partner. With step-by-step instructions in words and photos, your kids will learn how to play games like the Musk Ox Push, where players on all fours brace their shoulders together and see who can push the other forward.
Early Inuktitut Language Lessons
An introductory lesson in Inuktitut from the University of Maine, this resource teaches writing in syllabics and some basic Inuktitut words and phrases, along with suggested learning exercises for students K-12.
Tim Pitsiulak Computer Generation (2012) Coloured pencil 50.8 x 66 cm Courtesy RBC Art Collection Reproduced with permission Dorset Fine Arts
Inuktitut Computer Games
Run by Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, the school board that covers much of Nunavik, these Inuktitut Computer Games aim to be both educational and fun, teaching early vocabulary like body parts and animal names in Inuktitut, and introducing games like Memory and Mirror Puzzles in a new language.
Inuktitut Language Reading
Inhabit Media has partnered with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. to provide Inuktut language picture books online while schools are out, to ensure that children have access to resources that support learning from home in their language. For non-Inuktut speakers, Inhabit Media also produces a broad catalogue of children’s books in English and French, which can be found at most major online retailers.
National Film Board
The National Film Board has devoted a page to Inuit films for children, with both documentary and animated features. We love I Can Make Art...Like Andrew Qappik, which has the celebrated graphic artist teach basic printmaking skills to elementary schoolchildren.
The family channel on Isuma TV has animated TV shows, stop-motion films, and documentaries in English, French and Inuktitut, all created by Indigenous artists. We love JerryCo Animation’s series on Inuit stories!
The Legend of Sarila
Available through CBC Gem, The Legend of Sarila is an animated feature film that tells the story of three young Inuit in the early 20th century who set out to look for the fabled land of Sarila, where they can find food for their families. The cast includes actor Natar Ungalaaq and singer Elisapie.
The children’s division of the Aboriginal People’s Television Network, APTN Kids features shows for children of all ages. You can stream Anaana’s Tent, featuring award-winning singer and performer Riit, or visit the website to play games and listen to songs and stories.
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