IsumaTV creates Inuit Language and Culture Institute

Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, speaking at the Arctic Indigenous Languages Symposium in Tromso, Norway, October 20, 2008, announced the creation of the Inuit Language and Culture Institute on IsumaTV, a five year $25 million commitment to install high-speed broadband and public access production studios in every participating Inuit community.

IsumaTV/ILCI's mission starting April 1, 2009 is to use new media technology to preserve, promote and revitalize Inuktitut language and culture in the face of 21st century challenges of climate change, globalization and mining and resource development.

ILCI's immediate objective is to give Inuit equal-access to information technology through IsumaTV to insure compliance with the language and culture requirements defined by the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement and Nunavut's new Bill 7, Inuktitut Language Protection Act.

Northern communities currently have the slowest and most expensive internet service of any region in Canada.

Kunuk proposes a partnership among Isuma, IBC and other Inuktitut media producers to develop the IsumaTV network; and a 1%-for-Language policy to finance it by service contracts with governments, mining developers and Inuit Development Corporations obligated by the NLCA and ILPA to provide good faith, 2-way information services to Inuit communities.

Speaking in Inuktitut, Kunuk said, "Inuit communities must connect at the same speed as their governments and mining companies."

A state-of-the-art high-speed internet network with local production studios in every community would be a world's first, putting Inuit in the leadership of indigenous cultures using new technology to protect language and cultural identities.

www.isuma.tv launched in January 2008 as a multimedia platform for Inuit and Aboriginal content, registering almost 4 million hits in its first nine months. With new funding from Canadian Heritage Partnerships Fund, Telefilm Canada and the Government of Nunavut, IsumaTV 2.0 will expand by April 1, 2009 into a fully interactive social networking site for Inuit and Aboriginal languages and cultures.

For more information contact:

Bernadette Dean
ILCI
Executive Director
bmdean@isuma.tv
www.isuma.tv

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23 January 2009

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