Preserving Inuit Culture and Language in Canada’s Arctic: A Case Study of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation - Manitok Thompson
formats were degrading quickly. The recordings were haphazardly stored and in less-than-ideal conditions in television production centres of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) across Nunavut. It was imperative that action be taken or risk losing an irreplaceable cultural treasure – programs and recordings in the Inuit language, produced by Inuit and going back to the 1970s. Nine years later, in 2015, the impressive Nunavut Media Arts Centre opened in Iqaluit. It is a state-of-the-art facility where IBC’s Inuit language programming is now produced, and is the home of the new Inuit Film and Video Archive (IFVA). A team of Inuktitut-speaking archivists have been trained and they have retrieved, stored and catalogued all 9,000 hours of material. The majority has been digitized and is housed on servers. It is now accessible to media makers, researchers, students and the general public. Manitok Thompson presents a paper that begins in the dark days when archival preservation seemed like an impossible task, to the creation of the IFVA, to today when a cultural treasure is safe and accessible. Manitok Thompson had a distinguished career as a teacher, educator and language consultant across the north before moving into politics. She was elected as an MLA in NWT and then in Nunavut, and was cabinet minister in both territories.