Inuit Traditions are a repository of Inuit culture, a primary expression of Inuit identity. Around this theme, the 2016 Inuit Studies Conference is bringing together Elders, knowledge-bearers, researchers, artists, policy-makers, students and others to engage in conversations about the many and diverse ways in which traditions shape understanding, while registering social and cultural change.
Co-hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Nunatsiavut Government, the conference will take place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador from October 7th-10th, 2016. “Inuit Traditions” has assembled a program of over two hundred presentations, panel discussions, and demonstrations that explore a wide range of disciplines including: education, housing, health, language, archaeology, the creative arts, the environment, public policy and many more. Distinctively Inuit perspectives will thread through these discussions on community knowledge, language & cultural expression, relationships with the land, intergenerational transmission, technology and change, and community health and well-being. A detailed preliminary Conference Program is available, however, we encourage you to check the website regularly for program updates as the conference approaches.
Our keynote speakers will set the tone for conversations between traditional knowledge and scholarly research. They include Natan Obed (Nunatsiavut), President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Mary Simon (Nunavik), educator and diplomat; Natalia Radunovich (Chukotka), linguist and folklorist; Joar Nango (Samiland), architect; Tanya Tagaq (Nunavut), performance artist; and Mataalii Okalik (Nunatvut), President of National Inuit Youth Council.
Simultaneous with the Conference, we are hosting the katingavik inuit arts festival – a three day celebration of Inuit creativity in film, music and visual arts. Performances, screenings, exhibitions and concerts –by Inuit artists, tradition-bearers and their collaborators – will be scheduled at venues across St. John’s. The festival is framed by two major events: the opening of the SakKijâjuk: Inuit Fine Art & Crafts from Nunatsiavut at The Rooms Provincial Gallery on October 7th and a concert by the sensational Tanya Tagaq, in collaboration with the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Monday, October 10th. Festival details and the schedule of events can be found on the katingavik festival website.
A highlight of the weekend will be iNuit Blanche, the first ever all-Inuit, all-night art crawl spread across downtown St. John’s the evening of October 8th. More than 30 performances, demonstrations, and events will animate the city with a distinctly Inuit flair. For full details on performers and activities, visit the iNuit Blanche website.
We invite you to explore these pages for more information about the Conference, and we look forward to welcoming you to join in the conversations about Inuit Traditions in October.