When the World Went Online, Inuktitut Followed

2016 Jun 10

Eva Aariak and Leena Evic pose in front of a wall of greenery.

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Learn with Meet the North as two of Nunavut’s foremost language experts explain how Inuktitut has evolved for the digital age.

The Inuktitut word for internet, “ikiaqqijjut,” is often translated as “the tool to travel through layers.” But Eva stresses that it needs more explanation.

“The idea is that when shamans are in their trance, they can go anywhere around the world, including the moon,” Eva says. “When our elders heard there was the first man on the moon, they said, ‘They are not the first. We have been there and done that,’ because shamans have been there. Shamans would travel in a trance; if they want to check on their family far away, they can visit them and see how they’re doing.”