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2021 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq

2013 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2014 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2015 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2016 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2017 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2018 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2019 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq  | 2020 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq | 2021 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq



Every year, Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, meaning “celebration of our language,” highlights the importance of Inuit heritage and its unique traditions rooted in Inuktut. 

The Department of Culture and Heritage, in partnership with other Government of Nunavut (GN) departments, promotes several activities, including the release of multiple Inuktut literacy resources that are shared with all Nunavummiut. Celebrating Inuktut’s diverse vocabulary, our beautiful traditions and wonderful stories, proactively supports, encourages, and revitalizes the use of the many Inuktut dialects spoken across Nunavut.

The 2021 Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq theme is Inuit Pinnguarusingit - Traditional Inuit Games

The Inuit Pinnguarusingit – Traditional Inuit Games theme provides a backdrop to a month full of activities that centre around wit, strength, endurance, and celebration. Year after year, Inuit Traditional games play an integral part in the safeguard and strengthening of Inuit culture and identity. 

“Inuit traditional games have been a staple of our culture for generations, helping us develop survival skills by building strength and endurance, as well as the ties between our communities,” said Minister of Culture and Heritage, Margaret Nakashuk. “After almost a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons and knowledge learned from our games still serve as an important reminder. As we continue to stay connected, even when apart, our traditional games allow us how to pass time as we foster and learn Inuit culture and identity.” 


2021 Qilaut

Qilaut 2021 Songwriting Contest

The Department of Culture and Heritage in partnership with Qaggiavuut, is accepting submissions for Qilaut 2021, Nunavut's annual Inuktut songwriting contest. This year’s theme is Quviasuutiqarniq!

Qilaut celebrates the vibrant Inuktut music scene, inspires the creation of more original music and strengthens the use of Inuktut in all areas of our lives. The contest is a chance to be creative and express joy and celebration, especially during difficult times. Songs that make you want to smile, dance or laugh are encouraged!

See details on prizes, contest submission, deadline and rules below!

Qilaut Short form Rules
Qilaut Rules
Qilaut 2021 Entry Consent Form



This year’s highlights:
Elders share the importance of the games in the preservation of Inuit Culture and Language

Follow-us on Facebook and Twitter throughout February as we will be posting fun and educational Language Month videos from around Nunavut!




Inuktitut is now on Microsoft translator!

As of last week, through a collaboration between Microsoft and the GN’s Departments of Culture and Heritage and Community and Government Services, Inuktitut is now available to Microsoft translator users around the world. Whether you are at home, work or in the classroom, this tool will increase access to Inuktitut for anyone with Internet access via computer, phone, or tablet.

“It is an honour and a privilege to work with the Government of Nunavut on such an important project,” said Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada. “Language is deeply connected to culture and identity.  We believe technology can help protect our heritage and preserve language. That is why we are proud to collaborate with the Government of Nunavut and learn from Inuktitut speakers to add Inuktitut text translation to Microsoft Translator.”

The introduction of Inuktitut is a first step towards increasing visibility of the Inuktut language across the world. The more Inuktitut speakers use it and provide input, the more the translator “learns” and increases its Inuktitut skills. Atii!

For more information on the project, go to:

To use the  Microsoft translator go to .  There is also the Microsoft Translator app on Android, iOS and Windows: Apps - Microsoft Translator

Thank you to all project contributors!


The Name of the Game

One-Foot High Kick

The high kick is a tremendous example of agility, balance, and focus.

Target: Hit a bone, piece of fur or seal skin, suspended at a given height. The target height depends on the participant’s level of skill. In international competitions, target height can reach 2.97 meters. To compare, a basketball hoop is 10 feet above the floor or 3 meters in height.

How it is played: The player begins in standing position, both feet together. The player jumps and attempts to kick the target with one foot, ensuring they land on the same foot they kicked the target with. Once all players attempt the high kick, those who do not reach the target or land on the same foot are eliminated. The target is then raised a few inches and the remaining players repeat the process. With each round the target is raised again and the game continues until only one player remains.

Two-Foot High Kick: 

This game has the same target and is played similar to the one-foot high kick, except the target must be reached with both feet with the player landing on both feet.


Knuckle Hop

The knuckle hop is a test of endurance and technique.

Target: Hop as far as you can, touching the floor with only your toes and knuckles.

How it is played: Competitors start off in a push-up position, but they are on their knuckles. The one who hops the furthest wins. 

Want to learn more? Follow Team Nunavut;  Check out the Arctic Winter games website at 

What is Your favourite Traditional Inuit Game? 




GN celebrates Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq

GN Departments actively strive to and participate in the promotion of Inuktut. Some examples are:

Department of Education

Did you know the Department of Education has developed over 700 student books and teacher resources in Inuktitut, and nearly 400 student books and teacher resources in Inuinnaqtun?

Angirrami Ilinniarniq ( is an online educational resource to help families and caregivers support their children’s education at home, in their own language. There are hundreds of resources on the site, including books, audiobooks, animated videos, simple learning activities, and language apps.

Uqausiit Pinnguarutiit and Titirariuqsauti are fun, interactive Inuit language apps developed by the Department of Education that introduce users to Inuit language vocabulary and syllabics. These apps can be downloaded for free from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Want to learn more? Go to:


Department of Human Resources

As part of Piliriqatigiinniq/Ikajuqtigiinniq – working together for a common cause, the Government of Nunavut (GN) is committed to supporting employees to use the Inuktut Language as the working language of the public service.

The Inuktut Language Incentive Policy encourages employees to use and increase their Inuktut language skills in the workplace.

Inuktut language courses and professional development training opportunities are also offered in Inuktut to GN employees. Visit the GN Training Calendar to see current training opportunities.

We are accepting applications now for a Computer Foundations course, an Inuit Timeline: Past to Present course, and a Modern and Technical Inuktut Terminology course, all of which will be facilitated in Inuktut.

Elders are also often invited as guest speakers (with translation) in the department’s Hivuliqtikhanut Leadership Development, Policy Skills Development, and Cultural Orientation programs.  

Nunavummiut lets promote Inuktut by using it daily!