Inuit Cultural Education Days

workshops with Nunavut Sivuniksavut
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Indigenous arts Workshops

In person at the NAC

Program date Start time Language Availability
Wed, Mar 20, 2024 10:00 am English available
Thu, Mar 21, 2024 10:00 am English available

Come join Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) at the National Arts Centre for a day of learning and celebrating Inuit culture. Students will experience a cultural performance by NS, then break out into groups for experiential workshops. This full day of activities will provide students with a broad perspective of life in the North and of Inuit culture both historical and contemporary. The Education Day runs from 10am to 1:30pm and includes a performance, 4 different workshops, as well as a lunch break.  

Wednesday March 20th 2024: grades 4-6
Thursday March 21st 2024: grades 7-10

 About Nunavut Sivuniksavut
Nunavut Sivuniksavut provides Inuit youth with a unique learning experience that combines college-level academic studies with the development of Inuit cultural knowledge, communication skills, as well as independent living and leadership skills. Through regular sharing of their culture with southern audiences, students become Ambassadors for Inuit Culture and Nunavut. From elementary school students, to university students, to the crowds at outdoor winter festivals, NS students foster new awareness of Inuit culture for hundreds of southerners each year.

Activity Descriptions:
1. ​Syllabics/ Fun Facts
In this workshop, students will learn simple words and phrases in Inuktitut, the Inuit language. Students will also try writing their names in the syllabic writing system. Finally, the group will learn some fun facts about Nunavut.
2. Inuit Games
Traditionally, Inuit games were played to strengthen the body and to perfect skills. In the long winter months, these games were played to prepare for hunting on the land. In this workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn and play a few Inuit games.
3. Traditional Clothing and Tools
Animals play a very important role in Inuit culture. Students will have the opportunity to see, feel and even try on the different types of traditional seal and caribou clothing that Inuit wear.   Students will also learn about the craft and use of traditional tools, such as the qulliq (traditional stone lamp), the ulu (traditional crescent women's knife), the unaaq (harpoon) and the qamutik (wooden dog teaming sled) to name a few.
4. Throat singing and Drum Dancing
Traditionally, throat singing took place when women carried their babies in their amautis (child carrying parkas). The singing and vibrations would help soothe the child and help them fall asleep. Today, throat singing is a popular and fun pastime. In this workshop, students will have the chance to listen to throat singing up close. They will also be encouraged to try!

Learning and engagement at Canada’s National Arts Centre is made possible through the support of many generous individuals and organizations from across the country. Arts Alive is generously supported by the Azrieli Foundation, the Government of Nunavut, Canadian North, Calm Air, The River Philip Foundation, The Turnbull Family Community Building Foundation, and The Thomas Sill Foundation. Thank you also to Grant and Alice Burton, Canada Life, A Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Friends of the NAC Orchestra, Donors to the NAC Foundation's Future Fund, The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, and the donors and sponsors of the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust, the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre.

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