In a surprise announcement on Nunavut Day, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and Inuit TV Network announced the launch of Inuit TV, an independent Inuit television broadcasting service that aims to “inform, educate, entertain and engage Nunavummiut.” NTI will provide $2.4 million in funding over a three year period to cover overhead and programming for the service.
“The board of Inuit TV would like to thank the many volunteers and partners across Nunavut that have supported us over the years, and provided their valued expertise in language, education and broadcasting to bring this important dream into reality,” said Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, President of Inuit TV Network.
One of the goals of the project is to preserve and promote Inuktut, particularly as a literary development tool for children. Although Inuktut is the majority language of Nunavut, there is a lack of Inuktut programming available, both for entertainment and learning purposes. Inuit TV will address this disparity by building on the medium of radio, which already offers Inuktut-language content and information, to provide “rich audio and visual information to reach all ages and learning needs.”
“It is our collective aspiration to strengthen Inuktut in all aspects of life for Nunavut Inuit,” said Aluki Kotierk, President of NTI. “I am especially thankful to Inuit TV for their vision to bring Inuit culture and language into our homes and ensure Inuit have access to information in the majority language of the territory.”
As a filmmaker herself and producer of Red Marrow Media, Arnaquq-Baril says it can be challenging to find a platform to share Nunavut-made films within the territory. Nurturing original content will be an important part of Inuit TV’s work in the months and years to come.
In its first year, Inuit TV plans to feature occasional special broadcasts, ramping up to a regular schedule of programming in 2021.