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Artists Can Now Apply in Inuktitut

The Canada Council for the Arts has released a new app in order to make their funding programs more accessbile to Inuktitut-speaking artists.

The app – the first-ever downloadable program in the Inuktitut language – helps users write proposals to the many Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) grant programs.

Apparently, the CCA noticed they were receiving a low number of applications from Inuit artists and recognized the lack of language accessibility as a barrier.

From CBC News’ Inuktitut iPhone app to help Inuit artists:

Myna Ishulutaq teaches Inuktitut at the Pirurvik Centre in Iqaluit. She says it could really help artists who are writing in a second language, or who only speak Inuktitut. “This will really help Inuit, to artists who apply, not just needing a translator all the time but now they’ll be able to read and understand on their own,” said Ishulutaq.

Mathew Nuqingaq is an artist and he has done some consulting for the council over the past twenty years. He was one of the first to see the app.

“There are so many artists that are here in Nunavut, I think we have the most artists, and we are the least that get the funding,” said Nuqingaq… “It’s great because when the artist gets the funding, it’s a living allowance,” he said. “They get to live without having to think about having to sell their pieces for a while and then they get a collection. That way, when they get a collection, they’ll get a showing in a gallery,”

The only concern Nuqingaq takes is the Council’s lack of an Inuktitut-speaking employee to further help Inuit artists to apply for funding.

Hopefully, the app is the first step in the right direction at the CCA for equal access by Inuktitut speakers.

The app is free and available on iTunes and the Android market. It’s also available in English and French.