At Home with the Hansard

But Seriously, Folks

I’ve quoted a lot of fluffy and entertaining bits from those early years. So it’s only fair to give equal time to some of the serious issues facing any Third World country—even when, or especially when, it’s physically and politically located inside a securely First World country. If nothing else, it will give some idea of what made Session 1.5 so exhausting. Water supplies is a good subject; I met that one in the course of my researches into duct tape. Education is another. But first . . .

Synchronize those Chronometers

Let’s go back to the first—and only—seating of the first session of the first assembly, on the slightly unfortunate date of 1 April 1999.* The session was largely taken up with (self-)​congratu­latory speeches by anyone who could be roped in to attend. But the Assembly did find time to pass its very first law, the Flag of Nunavut Act.

* If you are interested, the complete text of the Blues for this date is right next door.

One of the obligatory speakers was Commissioner Maksagak, never identified by full name.

nunavut nammi­nirivavut, kisiani nammi­nirillutigu asittinnut piqasiutivavut. ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓇᒻᒥ­ᓂᕆᕙᕗᑦ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᓇᒻᒥ­ᓂᕆᓪᓗᑎᒍ ᐊᓯᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ ᐱᖃᓯᐅᑎᕙᕗᑦ. Nunavut is ours, but ours to share.
piliriatsaqaqpuq namituinnaq. ᐱᓕᕆᐊᑦᓴᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᓇᒥᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅ. There is work to be done everywhere.

It feels as if she used the word “share” several dozen times in the course of her speech, so I was surprised to count only two. But there’s always that undertone of “or else . . .

gavamavut piliriniaqtut atuinna­qaqtitsi­nirmut pijitsirau­tinik ammalu piliqiatsanik nunavummiunut ippigusutsiar­lutik, qanuilingagiaq­pallu­tillu ammalu kamaniqatsiar­lutik. ᒐᕙᒪᕗᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇ­ᖃᖅᑎᑦᓯ­ᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐱᔨᑦᓯᕋᐅ­ᑎᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᓕᕿᐊᑦᓴᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓄᑦ ᐃᑉᐱᒍᓱᑦᓯᐊᕐ­ᓗᑎᒃ, ᖃᓄᐃᓕᖓᒋᐊᖅ­ᐸᓪᓗ­ᑎᓪᓗ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑲᒪᓂᖃᑦᓯᐊᕐ­ᓗᑎᒃ. Our government will work to deliver services and programs to the people of Nunavut in a sensitive, responsive and responsible manner.

The Hansard does not record suppressed yawns, only audible utterances. Note how “our government” means Ottawa, while Nunavut drops back to the third person. The Commis­sioner knows which side her bread is buttered on.

Hmm. That doesn’t really work as a metaphor, does it? The Commissioner knows which side of the walrus flipper has the most fat.

gavamavut qinujjutiqarivut ilitsinnik qinuisaaqullusi ammalu ilaliutiqut­siaqullusi. ᒐᕙᒪᕗᑦ ᕿᓄᔾᔪᑎᖃᕆᕗᑦ ᐃᓕᑦᓯᓐᓂᒃ ᕿᓄᐃᓵᖁᓪᓗᓯ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓚᓕᐅᑎᖁᑦ­ᓯᐊᖁᓪᓗᓯ. Our government also asks for your patience and your goodwill.
kisutuinnait tamarmik kajusitsiaq­tuinna­ujjaa­nngilat sivullirmik, ᑭᓱᑐᐃᓐᓇᐃᑦ ᑕᒪᕐᒥᒃ ᑲᔪᓯᑦᓯᐊᖅ­ᑐᐃᓐᓇ­ᐅᔾᔮ­ᙱᓚᑦ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᕐᒥᒃ, Not everything will work the first time,

. . . or the second, or the third, or . . .

allavviillu tamarmik iqqanaijaq­tiqakauti­gijjaaratik; ᐊᓪᓚᕝᕖᓪᓗ ᑕᒪᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅ­ᑎᖃᑲᐅᑎ­ᒋᔾᔮᕋᑎᒃ; not every office will be staffed;
ilanginnik kinguvari­aqtuqaqpa­niaqtuq pigiakammattu­qaqpa­llunilu. ᐃᓚᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᑭᖑᕙᕆ­ᐊᖅᑐᖃᖅᐸ­ᓂᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᒋᐊᑲᒻᒪᑦᑐ­ᖃᖅᐸ­ᓪᓗᓂᓗ. there will be some delays and false starts.

Note that -jjaa-, otherwise known as the Emphatic Future. It is generally, as here, followed by a negative. So where the English has “maybe it won’t”, the Inuktitut has “when pigs fly”.

ingirranittinni katsungagiakkanniqpugut naalanniqaruma­lluta nunavum­miunik ammalu ajauqtauniqat­sainna­nirmut inuit takujuma­janginnut. ᐃᖏᕐᕋᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ ᑲᑦᓱᖓᒋᐊᒃᑲᓐᓂᖅᐳᒍᑦ ᓈᓚᓐᓂᖃᕈᒪ­ᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻ­ᒥᐅᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᔭᐅᖅᑕᐅᓂᖃᑦ­ᓴᐃᓐᓇ­ᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑕᑯᔪᒪ­ᔭᖏᓐᓄᑦ. In continuing this journey we commit to listening to the people of Nunavut and continuing to be guided by the people’s needs.

. . . for a given definition of “listening to the people”.

uuttuutiginiarlugu nunavummiutait atausi­uqatigiinniri­jangita sivunit­satinnut, ᐆᑦᑑᑎᒋᓂᐊᕐᓗᒍ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑕᐃᑦ ᐊᑕᐅᓯ­ᐅᖃᑎᒌᓐᓂᕆ­ᔭᖏᑕ ᓯᕗᓂᑦ­ᓴᑎᓐᓄᑦ, As a demonstration of unity in Nunavut for the future,
gavamavut qanui­ligia­rumaanniaq­simavut inulimaat nunavuumi atausirmik ikarraq­siutiqali­qullugit, ᒐᕙᒪᕗᑦ ᖃᓄᐃ­ᓕᒋᐊ­ᕈᒫᓐᓂᐊᖅ­ᓯᒪᕗᑦ ᐃᓄᓕᒫᑦ ᓄᓇᕘᒥ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᑲᕐᕋᖅ­ᓯᐅᑎᖃᓕ­ᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ, our government intends to take measures to bring all the people of Nunavut into a single time zone,
qikiqtarjuarmit qulluktumut, qikiqtaaluup tariunganit kuarunaisin ikirasanganut, qikiqtanit ausuittuup qikiqtaaluanut. ᕿᑭᖅᑕᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᑦ ᖁᓪᓗᒃᑐᒧᑦ, ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓘᑉ ᑕᕆᐅᖓᓂᑦ ᑯᐊᕈᓇᐃᓯᓐ ᐃᑭᕋᓴᖓᓄᑦ, ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂᑦ ᐊᐅᓱᐃᑦᑑᑉ ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᐊᓄᑦ. from Qikiqtarjuaq to Kugluktuk, from Davis Strait to the Coronation Gulf, from the Belcher Islands in the south to Ellesmere Island at the top of the globe.

“Take measures” sounds about right. I believe Ottawa has only just un-taken those measures, reverting to a more viable three time zones. Going strictly by longitude, the territory spans five. And someone should have told the Commis­sioner that latitude—north to south—makes no difference. Maybe someone did tell her, but she kept the line because it sounded good.

Helen Mamayaok Maksagak was both the first woman and the first Inuk to serve as Commis­sioner of the Northwest Territories in their pre-1999 form, making her the obvious choice for Nunavut’s first Commissioner. She may actually have been speaking Inuktitut. Or at least Inuinnaqtun. But she sure manages to sound more qallunaaq than the qallunaat themselves, doesn’t she? I think it’s something about that “Commis­sioner” title.

A bit later in the proceedings, the Prime Minister, Jean “A proof is a proof” Chrétien, had much better success with

qujannamiirumavara angijuqqaaq sulijuri­jauniq­paangu­laungur­ninganut katimaji­uqatiminut niruar­niusaa­lauqtumi. ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᕈᒪᕙᕋ ᐊᖏᔪᖅᑳᖅ ᓱᓕᔪᕆ­ᔭᐅᓂᖅ­ᐹᖑ­ᓚᐅᖑᕐ­ᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᑲᑎᒪᔨ­ᐅᖃᑎᒥᓄᑦ ᓂᕈᐊᕐ­ᓂᐅᓵ­ᓚᐅᖅᑐᒥ. I want to congratulate the Premier for having won the confidence of his colleagues here during the recent election.
uqautijumavara ukiunut 30nut akuniutigi­lauqsima­ninganik angijuq­qaarjuanguga­suannirnut ivvilli angijuq­qaangutitau­lauqputit pinasuarusi­tuinnarnut marruunnut.
 
ᐅᖃᐅᑎᔪᒪᕙᕋ ᐅᑭᐅᓄᑦ 30ᓄᑦ ᐊᑯᓂᐅᑎᒋ­ᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪ­ᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᐊᖏᔪᖅ­ᖄᕐᔪᐊᖑᒐ­ᓱᐊᓐᓂᕐᓄᑦ ᐃᕝᕕᓪᓕ ᐊᖏᔪᖅ­ᖄᖑᑎᑕᐅ­ᓚᐅᖅᐳᑎᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯ­ᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓄᑦ ᒪᕐᕉᓐᓄᑦ.
 
I would like to tell him that it took me thirty years to become Prime Minister and you became Premier in two weeks.
illamattut/ pattatuqtut ᐃᓪᓚᒪᑦᑐᑦ/ ᐸᑦᑕᑐᖅᑐᑦ Laughter/ Applause

Education: 15 November 2001

Along with housing and water supplies, education is an ongoing problem. On 15 November 2001, Rebecca Williams of Quttiktuq—an area spanning the extreme northeast of Nunavut, the part closest to Greenland—grills the Education Minister. Not the Dishon­orable Mr Arvaluk who held the position in 1999; by now he’s been replaced. In fact, Ms. Williams herself has only just stepped into a position left vacant by another misbehaving MLA. In spite of her name, she appears to be speaking Inuktitut; her words are flagged as “interpretation”.

angajuqqaarijaujunit tusaqtitti­tilluta qitur­nganga gulait* 8miimmat. ᐊᖓᔪᖅᑳᕆᔭᐅᔪᓂᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎ­ᑎᓪᓗᑕ ᕿᑐᕐ­ᖓᖓ ᒍᓚᐃᑦ* 8ᒦᒻᒪᑦ When we inform the parents in the communities that your child is in grade ten
iqalunnuaraangata imaak ilinniaqtiit asinginnit nunalinnii­ngaaqtut gulait 10miittutit ᐃᖃᓗᓐᓄᐊᕌᖓᑕ ᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᑏᑦ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓃ­ᖔᖅᑐᑦ ᒍᓚᐃᑦ 10ᒦᑦᑐᑎᑦ and they go to Iqaluit, although they are at the grade ten level
amma tikikkaangata iqalunnut gulait 8miippapput ᐊᒻᒪ ᑎᑭᒃᑳᖓᑕ ᐃᖃᓗᓐᓄᑦ ᒍᓚᐃᑦ 8ᒦᑉᐸᑉᐳᑦ when they arrive in Iqaluit they are at a grade eight level
amma itmantanmua­raangama gulait 10qaqtunga gulait 7muaqta­uvammata. ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᑦᒪᓐᑕᓐᒧᐊ­ᕌᖓᒪ ᒍᓚᐃᑦ 10ᖃᖅᑐᖓ ᒍᓚᐃᑦ 7ᒧᐊᖅᑕ­ᐅᕙᒻᒪᑕ. and when they go to Edmonton with a grade ten level, they would put him in grade seven.
tamanna tavva uqarasuktara. ᑕᒪᓐᓇ ᑕᕝᕙ ᐅᖃᕋᓱᒃᑕᕋ. So that’s what I am trying to say.
qanuq tamanna aaqqigia­runnaq­pitigu sivuliqti­ullutit tavvani minista­uvvimmi. ᖃᓄᖅ ᑕᒪᓐᓇ ᐋᖅᑭᒋᐊ­ᕈᓐᓇᖅ­ᐱᑎᒍ ᓯᕗᓕᖅᑎ­ᐅᓪᓗᑎᑦ ᑕᕝᕙᓂ ᒥᓂᔅᑕ­ᐅᕝᕕᒻᒥ. How can we improve this with your leadership in your portfolio.

* The improbable-looking word ᒍᓚᐃᑦ or gulait—the g sound doesn’t occur word-initially in Inuktitut—is a more-or-less phonetic conversion of the English “grade”. No, I don’t know why they didn’t use an existing word like ᒪᔪᕋᖅ (majuraq) or ᑐᒪᕋᖅ (tumaraq).

That’s what happens when the Education Minister makes errors of judgement involving soothing tapes. You need a full night’s sleep to deal with this kind of thing. Or, heck, just transfer your kids to American schools. If they’re fifteen, they are by definition in grade ten. Or the tenth grade, as they will soon learn to call it. They won’t have to learn anything else unless they particularly want to.

Education: 10 March 2011

* But not everything. Even as we speak, yet another MLA has been charged with domestic violence. He should have listened to his Elders. The traditional and time-honored rule is: A man is free to beat, starve and torture his wife, children and dependent relatives—but only if he is a good hunter. Being an elected legis­lator doesn’t cut any ice.

Stop the presses! A much more recent Hansard—the Blues for 10 March 2011—suggests that the legislators have learned a thing or two since 2001.* Too many young Nunavummiut dropping out of high school? The solution: reposition vocational training as a parallel “track”, so you can give everyone a high-school diploma without the incon­venience of providing a high-school education to go with it. Call it Multiple Options, so it sounds as if you’re giving them more than they have now.

Ron Elliott—coincidentally also from Quttiktuq—proceeds with extreme caution. The English text is his own words; the Inuktitut side is the interpreter struggling heroically to keep up. After several minutes of complimentary boilerplate, we get to the but:

kisiani Grade 9-miilluni inuusuttura­laangulluni taimaak isuma­liurasu ­lluni imaak ilaa taikkununga ilinni­aqtaujariaq­aluanngua­qattaq­tunut. ᑭᓯᐊᓂ Grade 9-ᒦᓪᓗᓂ ᐃᓅᓱᑦᑐᕋ­ᓛᖑᓪᓗᓂ ᑕᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓱᒪ­ᓕᐅᕋᓱᓪᓗᓂ ᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓛ ᑕᐃᒃᑯᓄᖓ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖅ­ᐊᓗᐊᙳᐊ­ᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᓄᑦ. but again, at a grade 9 level when you’re a young teenager, making a decision for your life could be affected by choosing a stream instead of the academic and then the ability to go back might not be there.

I don’t know how old Mr Elliott is. Maybe he remembers when most European children had their lives mapped out before they hit their teens. Screw up in grade five and it’s all over.

My next question is: what type of counselling is received?
taimali qanutigi ikajuq­tautigi­qattaqqut taimaa isuma­liuqtuminiup­pata, ᑕᐃᒪᓕ ᖃᓄᑎᒋ ᐃᑲᔪᖅ­ᑕᐅᑎᒋ­ᖃᑦᑕᖅᑯᑦ ᑕᐃᒫ ᐃᓱᒪ­ᓕᐅᖅᑐᒥᓂᐅᑉ­ᐸᑕ, What counselling will the students receive to make that decision,
suurlu inuusirmut isuma­liuruti­gimmagu? ᓲᕐᓗ ᐃᓅᓯᕐᒧᑦ ᐃᓱᒪ­ᓕᐅᕈᑎ­ᒋᒻᒪᒍ? that huge life decision or career decision?
I know that in some of our meetings,
uqaqattaqsimammi­gavit marru­inna­ummati inuusiliri­nirmut, ᐅᖃᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᒻᒥ­ᒐᕕᑦ ᒪᕐᕈ­ᐃᓐᓇ­ᐅᒻᒪᑎ ᐃᓅᓯᓕᕆ­ᓂᕐᒧᑦ, you had said that there are only two guidance counsellors across the territory that are actually hired.
kikkunnut ikajuq­tauvappata taimaak isumaliuq­tillugit? ᑭᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖅ­ᑕᐅᕙᑉᐸᑕ ᑕᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᐅᖅ­ᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ? Who will help the students make these decisions?
Thank you.

Clearly the interpreter is flagging. But let’s give the Minister of Education—currently Hunter Tootoo—a chance to answer the questions. He, too, is speaking English.

tukisiumajakkulli atani ilinni­arviujut, ᑐᑭᓯᐅᒪᔭᒃᑯᓪᓕ ᐊᑕᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᕐᕕᐅᔪᑦ, It’s my understanding that at each school,
iqqanai­jaqtiujut ikajuqattara­jaqtut ilinni­aqtunik ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃ­ᔭᖅᑎᐅᔪᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑦᑕᕋ­ᔭᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᖅᑐᓂᒃ the staff in the school will be counselling the students,

He doesn’t actually know this—he’s only the Minister of Education, after all—but he had it from a reliable source. The word “staff” is gloriously vague, isn’t it? Maybe the janitor and the lunch lady can pick up some overtime pay extolling the advantages of their respective lines of work.

tukisi­ttiuraluar­mangaata qaujima­ttiaqtitaulu­tillu qanuq attuiniqaniar­mangaat ilinni­aruma­janginnik. ᑐᑭᓯ­ᑦᑎᐅᕋᓗᐊᕐ­ᒪᖔᑕ ᖃᐅᔨᒪ­ᑦᑎᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓗ­ᑎᓪᓗ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐊᑦᑐᐃᓂᖃᓂᐊᕐ­ᒪᖔᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᕈᒪ­ᔭᖏᓐᓂᒃ. ensuring that they understand and are fully aware of the implications of the decisions they make and the courses that they choose to take in the high school program.
allaaluunnuut, aaqqaasimajugut titiraq­simajumat garaiqaqtut 7-8, ᐊᓪᓛᓘᑦ, ᓯᒪᔪᒍᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅ­ᓯᒪᔪᒪᑦ ᒐᕋᐃᖃᖅᑐᑦ 7-8, Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, we have developed a pamphlet to go out to the middle schools, grades 7 and 8,

I don’t know if this is a general Canadian response or unique to Nunavut. Got a problem? Print up a pamphlet. But at least I’ve found some of those missing long vowels.

isumaqsaqsiurunnaqsi­vallia­qullugit qanuq isumaliuriaqarniar­ninginni quttiniq­samut ilinniar­vimmuu­launginningani. ᐃᓱᒪᖅᓴᖅᓯᐅᕈᓐᓇᖅᓯ­ᕙᓪᓕᐊ­ᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᐅᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᐊᕐ­ᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᖁᑦᑎᓂᖅ­ᓴᒧᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐ­ᕕᒻᒨ­ᓚᐅᖏᓐᓂᖓᓂ. to get them thinking about the choices they need to look at as they go into the high school as far as where they want to go and what they want to do with their future.
It’s something that we’re taking.

. . . Yes?

maannaujuq pigiaq­sarainniq­sauvaliq­tugut ilaannikkut ᒫᓐᓇᐅᔪᖅ ᐱᒋᐊᖅ­ᓴᕋᐃᓐᓂᖅ­ᓴᐅᕙᓕᖅ­ᑐᒍᑦ ᐃᓛᓐᓂᒃᑯᑦ We’re actually starting it now at an earlier level
because, as the member points out, if you wait until, it’s too late . . .
qaujimavakkatta sivunilluakallangagut akauniqsauga­jarmat sugumam­mangaata, qaujimalu­tillu qanuq attuinirijanginnit, qanuiluu­rumani­nginnit, qanuq ilinni­arumanniqqata ilinni­aqtiminni. ᖃᐅᔨᒪᕙᒃᑲᑦᑕ ᓯᕗᓂᓪᓗᐊᑲᓪᓚᖓᒍᑦ ᐊᑲᐅᓂᖅᓴᐅᒐ­ᔭᕐᒪᑦ ᓱᒍᒪᒻ­ᒪᖔᑕ, ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓗ­ᑎᓪᓗ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐊᑦᑐᐃᓂᕆᔭᖏᓐᓂᑦ, ᖃᓄᐃᓘ­ᕈᒪᓂ­ᖏᓐᓂᑦ, ᖃᓄᖅ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᕈᒪᓐᓂᖅᑲᑕ ᐃᓕᓐᓂ­ᐊᖅᑎᒥᓐᓂ. I think the more advance notice that these young people get to think about what they want to do and ensure that they’re aware of the implications of program choices that they decide to take and the effect that they would have in any opportunities that they choose to pursue in the future.

Uhmm . . . I think Mr Elliot may have been a little too subtle in voicing his concerns. The Education Minister seems to have entirely missed the point—or maybe it’s just that his train of thought got seriously derailed. Possibly he overlooked the part of the “Tips for Working with Interpreters” that stressed using simple, complete sentences and making sure the interpreter has caught up before you continue talking. But you have to give the Minister points for audacity. The solution to the problem of asking people to make a decision they’re too young to make . . . is to have them make it even sooner.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider what the reaction would have been if this “multiple options” scheme had been proposed by, let’s say, Ottawa in 1972.

sod house for the millennium
Education: September 2009

Turns out the “multiple options” idea is at least partly a response to Qanukkanniq 2009,* a governmental “report card” from a few years earlier. In spite of the name, the text seems to be primarily a list of recommendations. I found it while—stop me if you’ve heard this one—looking for something else. ᐊᓯᐊᓂᒃ ᕿᓂᖅᑐᖓ (asianik qiniqtunga) ᓇᒡᕚᓚᐅᖅᑕᕋ (nagvaalauqtara).

* The last time I looked, this page had vanished without a trace. Yesterday http://www.gov.nu.ca/reportcard/, today Page Not Found (ᐱᔭᐅᔪᒪᔪᖅ ᒪᑉᐱᒐᖅ). If I find it, I’ll post it.

Now, it doesn’t take a governmental report with accompanying “What we heard” file to tell us that some pretty crucial needs are going unmet. In many respects, living in Nunavut is like living in one of the desert countries a few thousand miles closer to the equator. The two are almost equally uninhabitable. The differences are largely trivial:

So there’s room for a lot of specialized vocational training, starting with the obvious:

And the less obvious but equally essential:

Et cetera. ᐊᓯᖏᓪᓗ.

And so, under the head of Education, the Qanukkaniq report advises (emphasis mine):

add a carefully sequenced and fully resourced program of career counseling, planning, and coursework to ensure that students focus their studies on achievable career goals

Got that, Nanook? You’re an Eskimo. You’re going to work in the mines and like it.


But don’t worry. I’m sure some kind Southerner will step in and fill the breach. Call it compensation. For parents and grandparents, the concept of going away to school carries such horrendous emotional baggage that the idea has become, in the most literal way, unthinkable. It’s local or nothing. With emphasis on “or nothing”.

Education: 16 November 2001

Meanwhile, back in 2001 . . .

On 16 November, the day after Rebecca Williams’s ministerial grilling, the Honorable Jack Anawak—the same one who spoke so eloquently about qablunaaruluk—has his turn with the subject of education. The “Honorable” designation comes from his position as Minister of Community Govern­ment and Transportation. But here he is speaking simply as repre­sentative of Rankin Inlet North. Again, if the text can be believed, he was speaking Inuktitut, so the words are not his but the interpreter’s. The English words, that is. The Inuktitut words are the translator’s best guess at what he really said.

nunavut namminiq tusarniq­tummariummat, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓇᒻᒥᓂᖅ ᑐᓴᕐᓂᖅ­ᑐᒻᒪᕆᐅᒻᒪᑦ, Nunavut itself has a nice ring to it,
tusariurattigulu pitaqalilauqtinnagu suli, angijumit niriunniqtaqalaurmat. ᑐᓴᕆᐅᕋᑦᑎᒍᓗ ᐱᑕᖃᓕᓚᐅᖅᑎᓐᓇᒍ ᓱᓕ, ᐊᖏᔪᒥᑦ ᓂᕆᐅᓐᓂᖅᑕᖃᓚᐅᕐᒪᑦ. and when we first heard about it, before it became a reality, there were lots of expectation.
aaqqissuiniaqtilluta nunavummi gavamamit. ᐋᖅᑭᔅᓱᐃᓂᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒐᕙᒪᒥᑦ. As we were going to establish the Nunavut Government,
maligaliuqtirurataalauqtunga maliga­liur­vikjuarmik aatuvaamik ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᕈᕋᑖᓚᐅᖅᑐᖓ ᒪᓕᒐ­ᓕᐅᕐ­ᕕᒃᔪᐊᕐᒥᒃ ᐋᑐᕚᒥᒃ I was a Member of Parliament in Ottawa
ilauqatauliqtillunga nunalinni gavamalirijiit amma ingirrajulirijiitjauninganik nunavut gavamanganni. ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᖓ ᓄᓇᓕᓐᓂ ᒐᕙᒪᓕᕆᔩᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐃᖏᕐᕋᔪᓕᕆᔩᑦᔭᐅᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᒐᕙᒪᖓᓐᓂ. when I was involved in the creation of the Nunavut Government.
inuit niriulauqpuit takugumallutik nunavut gavamamik. ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓂᕆᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᐃᑦ ᑕᑯᒍᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᒐᕙᒪᒥᒃ. People were looking forward to seeing the Nunavut Government at that time.
sanagatta namminiq gavamattinni, ᓴᓇᒐᑦᑕ ᓇᒻᒥᓂᖅ ᒐᕙᒪᑦᑎᓐᓂ, As we established our own Nunavut Government,
sananiaqturimauqtavuq uumma­tittinni­inngaarluni. ᓴᓇᓂᐊᖅᑐᕆᒪᐅᖅᑕᕗᖅ ᐆᒻᒪ­ᑎᑦᑎᓐᓂ­ᐃᙶᕐᓗᓂ. we expected to establish it from our hearts.
immaqaa ilinniaqsimanngiluaqpitaqai qallunaatitut aulatsinirmik gavamamik, ᐃᒻᒪᖄ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᖅᓯᒪᙱᓗᐊᖅᐱᑕᖃᐃ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑐᑦ ᐊᐅᓚᑦᓯᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᒐᕙᒪᒥᒃ, Perhaps we are not too educated in the western style of operating our government,

Now let me get this straight. It is definitely before November 2005. So what we’ve got is [some Inuktitut word] rendered by the English interpreter as “western”, and subsequently re-translated as qallunaatitut. Seems like it should be “southern”, doesn’t it?

Incidentally, this is just the kind of linguistic detail that drives me bonkers. On the one hand: qallunaa_titut. On the other: inuktitut. How come you get to keep your k but I lose my q? Maybe it’s got something to do with that long vowel. Maybe it’s something else entirely. Maybe someone will show up on my doorstep and explain it. It’s either that, or continue struggling through Bourquin.

kisianittauq piliriarigumamaurattigu ikajuqsurlugillu innatuqait uqausingit. ᑭᓯᐊᓂᑦᑕᐅᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᕆᒍᒪᒪᐅᕋᑦᑎᒍ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓱᕐᓗᒋᓪᓗ ᐃᓐᓇᑐᖃᐃᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖏᑦ. but we wanted to concentrate and support elders’ comments.
maligaliuqtiuqu­jaugunniirniruma, ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᐅᖁ­ᔭᐅᒍᓐᓃᕐᓂᕈᒪ, If I were to be asked to leave this House as a member,
asianik iqqanaijaaq­taarunna­rajanngillanga ilinnianira quvjasinnili­muungatuir­narmat 8mut. ᐊᓯᐊᓂᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖅ­ᑖᕈᓐᓇ­ᕋᔭᙱᓪᓚᖓ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᓂᕋ ᖁᕝᔭᓯᓐᓂᓕ­ᒨᖓᑐᐃᕐ­ᓇᕐᒪᑦ 8ᒧᑦ. I wouldn’t be able to get other employ­ment because I only have grade eight.

Trust me,* Mr Anawak. You are not the only elected official—anywhere—who would have trouble getting a job outside of government. Most of them don’t even have your rock-solid excuse.

* That sound in the distance is the Honorable Mr Anawak laughing bitterly. He may have only an eighth-grade education, but I’ll bet he knows exactly what happens when a non-native person says “trust me” to a native person.

My grade level is only grade eight,
iqqanaijaaqtaarasuaruma silatanni gavamaup, ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖅᑖᕋᓱᐊᕈᒪ ᓯᓚᑕᓐᓂ ᒐᕙᒪᐅᑉ, if I tried to get employment outside of the government,
tusaumatinngikkukkit ministai iqqanaijaaqtaarasuarlunga ᑐᓴᐅᒪᑎᙱᒃᑯᒃᑭᑦ ᒥᓂᔅᑕᐃ ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔮᖅᑖᕋᓱᐊᕐᓗᖓ if I did not consult with the ministers and I tried to get employment
uqaujjaugajarpunga ilinnuaniqanngiluarama ilinniarnira 8muungatuinnarmat. ᐅᖃᐅᔾᔭᐅᒐᔭᕐᐳᖓ ᐃᓕᓐᓄᐊᓂᖃᙱᓗᐊᕋᒪ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᕋ 8ᒨᖓᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᒪᑦ. I would be told that no, you are not qualified because you only have a grade eight level.
imainniaqturitsilauqpallainnginatta nunavut saqqipalliatillugu. ᐃᒪᐃᓐᓂᐊᖅᑐᕆᑦᓯᓚᐅᖅᐸᓪᓚᐃᙱᓇᑦᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᐸᓪᓕᐊᑎᓪᓗᒍ. I don’t think when Nunavut was becoming a reality that we were expecting it to be this way.
tautulauratta sivunitsamut, saputi­nasua­rumalau­rattigu iliqqusivut. ᑕᐅᑐᓚᐅᕋᑦᑕ ᓯᕗᓂᑦᓴᒧᑦ, ᓴᐳᑎ­ᓇᓱᐊ­ᕈᒪᓚᐅ­ᕋᑦᑎᒍ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᕗᑦ. We were looking into the future, we wanted to preserve our culture.

Now that you mention it, how would you say “oxymoron” in Inuktitut? I’ve never happened to meet the word—and neither, it seems, have the interpeters and translators of the Hansard.

gavamaqalirmat, tuniuqqaq­taunginna­tuinnaqumajuujaaliq­pugut nulavut gavamakkunnut. ᒐᕙᒪᖃᓕᕐᒪᑦ, ᑐᓂᐅᖅᑲᖅ­ᑕᐅᖏᓐᓇ­ᑐᐃᓐᓇᖁᒪᔫᔮᓕᖅ­ᐳᒍᑦ ᓄᓚᕗᑦ ᒐᕙᒪᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ. Now that there is a government, it seems like we expect to be spoon fed by the Nunavut Government.
inuusimagatta nunaqaqtuta aksurur­nammariktumik ikiiknarnir­paulluni, ᐃᓅᓯᒪᒐᑦᑕ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑐᑕ ᐊᒃᓱᕈᕐ­ᓇᒻᒪᕆᒃᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᑮᒃᓇᕐᓂᕐ­ᐸᐅᓪᓗᓂ, We have survived and lived in a very harsh environment and our climate was the coldest,
suliilaak ikkiinaurnir­pauvuq. ᓱᓖᓛᒃ ᐃᒃᑮᓇᐅᕐᓂᕐ­ᐸᐅᕗᖅ. it is still the coldest.

That line is just begging for a wisecrack about global warming, isn’t it? Maybe Mr Puqiqnak will find something suitable.

inuujjutiqalaunilagut nunagijattinni. ᐃᓅᔾᔪᑎᖃᓚᐅᓂᓚᒍᑦ ᓄᓇᒋᔭᑦᑎᓐᓂ. We didn’t have any means of living in our harsh environ­ment.
saviqajanik sunakkuti­ksaqalau­nngilagut suliilaak inuulauqpugut. ᓴᕕᖃᔭᓂᒃ ᓱᓇᒃᑯᑎ­ᒃᓴᖃᓚᐅ­ᙱᓚᒍᑦ ᓱᓖᓛᒃ ᐃᓅᓚᐅᖅᐳᒍᑦ. We didn’t have metal resources and yet we still survived in this harsh environ­ment.
kingumun qimirrugutta qauji­nasuarluta qanuq inuuvalaur­mangaatta, ᑭᖑᒧᓐ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᒍᑦᑕ ᖃᐅᔨ­ᓇᓱᐊᕐᓗᑕ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐃᓅᕙᓚᐅᕐ­ᒪᖔᑦᑕ, If we look back and try to find out how we lived in this way,
amisukkallaujugut maannaujuq taimaak inuujjutiqaqtuujaapaluppugut, ᐊᒥᓱᒃᑲᓪᓚᐅᔪᒍᑦ ᒫᓐᓇᐅᔪᖅ ᑕᐃᒫᒃ ᐃᓅᔾᔪᑎᖃᖅᑑᔮᐸᓗᑉᐳᒍᑦ, a lot of us live at this time,
ajjiginngikkaluaq­tuniuk sivullimi­nittinni, ᐊᔾᔨᒋᙱᒃᑲᓗᐊᖅ­ᑐᓂᐅᒃ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᒥ­ᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ, maybe not exactly the same way as our ancestors,

Sure you do. Well, except that you’re now hunting with a rifle manufactured in the south requiring bullets manufactured in the south, traveling in a snowmobile manufactured in the south fueled by gasoline piped up from the south, and all of this has to be paid for with money originating in the south. Details, details.

kisianittauq inuukatausimammi­jugut aksurur­naqtumik. ᑭᓯᐊᓂᑦᑕᐅᖅ ᐃᓅᑲᑕᐅᓯᒪᒻᒥ­ᔪᒍᑦ ᐊᒃᓱᕈᕐ­ᓇᖅᑐᒥᒃ. but we have lived in this harsh environment.

Applause, ᐸᑦᑕᑐᖅᑐᑦ, pattatuqtut.