Ottawa, ON—Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) in Ontario is fighting back against the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting Urban Inuit Youth. The youth leadership team, part of the Youth Life Promotion at TI, is excited to launch the Inuksuk Campaign. The Inuksuk is iconic and is a symbol of knowing our way and moving forward. Historically the Inuksuk was seen as a survival tool and during this pandemic, it is vital to remember our strengths and move forward in our lives. The Inuksuk Campaign is designed as a community project to share photos and videos of Inuksuk made by Urban Inuit or seen within the Urban Inuit communities. We invite one and all to show their Inuksuk from across the country in support of Urban Inuit Youth.
Take your photo or video and post it on social media with the hashtags:
#InukStrong and #UrbanInuit
The inspiration came from Youth Life Promotion team member Mikka Komaksiutiksak. “This project is important to me because it connects Urban Inuit Youth and their communities within Canada. It highlights the strength in celebrating aspects of our culture together during an uncertain time. Urban Inuit Youth are hearing from their Elders that this has happened within our communities before. Stories of outbreaks related to tuberculosis, polio, and other illnesses are sparking important conversations with Elders. This connects us all to our survival and will help Urban Inuit Youth carry the knowledge forward and help to understand that we will all get through this together.”
The campaign will also help bring together urban and rural Inuit community members in “The Fifth Region”. Statistics Canada has identified that nearly 40% (or more) of Inuit live outside of Inuit Nunangat and it is important to recognize urban Inuit communities and celebrate their unique history of urban Inuit identity.
Mikka adds, “All youth within every society faces challenges. Urban Inuit Youth in particular face unique challenges that include being born into a world where inter-generational impacts are a normal aspect of understanding who we are as Inuit. Urban Inuit Youth must be provided an outlet during this pandemic to allow them to use their voice in positive ways. Nobody is alone. Urban Inuit Youth becomes stronger together, and this project will inspire the entire community.”
Join the campaign and show your Inuksuk!