The first Inuit novel
Mitiarjuk Attasie Nappaaluk, born in Kangiqsujuaq in 1931, did a lot to preserve Inuit culture.
As both a hunter and a mother, Mitiarjuk was well aware of the traditions of her people. As a young woman, she taught her language to missionaries, and in return they taught her syllabic writing.
During the 1950s, she wrote Sanaaq, the first novel written in Inuktitut. By 1983, her work was being used in all Inuit schools. She also put together a book of legends and traditional knowledge and wrote teaching manuals for Nunavik schools.
She was such a popular storyteller that her legends were broadcast on CC Radio-Canada for many years. This Inuit elder was well respected by her people and she always gave the Inuit the same advice: “Never forget your traditional way of life.”
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