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A huge part of solving the climate crisis is communication between generations and among communities to make sure all parties have a grasp of what problems they are facing and are on the same page as to how to solve them.

A child and her grandmother discuss climate change, energy issues and green technology in four languages in an upcoming book illustrated by Tyra Cockney-Goose and in development by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.
Photo courtesy Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Recognizing this and seeking ways to help maintain and revitalize their language and culture, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has announced plans to publish a Children’s Book in four languages to promote cross-generational learning about energy literacy between children and Elders.

“The book captures traditional values while promoting adaptation through knowledge mobilization,” said IRC director of Innovation, Science and Climate Change Jenn Parrott. “Over the last few years, what IRC has realized is there may not be a thorough verification process for some of the new terms involving energy and cleaner growth.

“So we did a robust literature review around what terms already exist and where the gaps are. Then we ran a series of terminology workshops to focus on the key terms.”

Funding for the project, called Siqiniqmin Aullan – An Inuvialuit children’s book on energy, was announced by Northwest Territories MLA Michael McLeod on behalf of Natural Resources minister Seamus O’Regan on Sept. 22 at the Nihtat Gwich’in Building. The federal government has committed $184,000 for the book.

In the works since April of this year and illustrated by Tyra Cockney-Goose, the story is written by an Inuvialuit beneficiary living within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. It will be published in English and three Inuvialuktun dialects as well as released as audio books.

The story describes a conversation between a young girl and her grandmother in the ISR about energy issues, climate change and technological change over lunch. Parrott said part of the project was to translate current climate change concepts into traditional languages and focused around 21 key concepts, including Climate Change, Energy, Mitigation, Adaptation, Research, Technology, Stewardship, Energy Saver, Pollution, Extreme Weather, Solar, Temperature, Drought and Water.

“Preservation of Inuvialuit cultural identity, language and values within a changing northern society is one of the founding principles of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement,” said Parrott. “It’s important to ensure that as technical terms are being developed they’re translated into local dialects of Inuvialuktun. This will promote effective knowledge mobilization and ensure individuals can receive this information and understand it as well as possible.

“This initiative presents an excellent opportunity to pilot this type of work, and if successful the plan would be to continue to roll this out to other types of children’s books.”

Siqiniqmin Aullan is expected to be on the shelves by March 0f 2022. Parrott said the book would be distributed throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

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Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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