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IBC, Ross Video, and the Ottawa Community Foundation Partner To Make Inuit Archives (“Our Life”) Accessible to the Public and Future Generations

Ottawa, Canada, January 12th 2022 – The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), with support from Ross Video and the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), is embarking on a project that will preserve and promote Inuit Television Archives for the public now and into the future.

This unique public, private, and philanthropic partnership will help store all of IBC’s current and archived television programs on a single user-friendly platform. This content will be accessible to a variety of audiences including the public, researchers, educational institutions, elder’s care homes, and freelance producers.

IBC has archival footage spanning four decades, shot and produced by Inuit, for Inuit in all dialects of Inuktut.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to share our stories with all the world. People can learn about our way of life, our culture and our language from us, instead of from some researcher who visits one of our communities for a brief period of time,” said Manitok Thompson, Executive Director of IBC.

The goal of the project, which is being called Inuusivut,” or “Our Life,” is to have all of IBC’s content from the beginning of television in the North (in the 1970’s) up to the latest productions, available to the public on an organized, user-friendly platform.

“Inuusivut” will also include a component of training for both Inuit and non-Indigenous youth to work together on archiving content. IBC production staff have been working in the field for many years and have a wealth of technical and cultural knowledge to share. The partners hope this project will inspire youth to take the baton and carry it forward while gaining valuable skills that will help with future employment. For non-Indigenous students, we hope this will open a whole new world they have never had the opportunity to explore. By watching and hearing so many stories and gems from real Inuit lives, they will gain a more intimate understanding of the culture and language and bring further progress towards truth and reconciliation.

When like-minded organizations come together with the goal of improving society, the possibilities are endless. This project puts into action many recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. As Article 13 states, “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures…”.

“Ross Video is very proud to be supporting this culturally significant project,” noted CEO David Ross. “As a leading Canadian manufacturing company providing solutions and services to the broadcast industry and other customers around the world, Ross is acutely aware of the role Inuit and other indigenous people play in the history of our nation. Sharing their images, voices and stories can only help us better understand our complex and sometimes troubled roots, and work towards a more inclusive and harmonious future.”

IBC also wishes to acknowledge the generous contribution to the archives and the production of television programs from the Government of Nunavut, Culture & Heritage, Canadian Heritage, Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program, Library and Archives Canada and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Ottawa Community Foundation president Marco Pagani cited the fact that Ottawa is home to the largest population of Inuit people outside of Nunavut as one of many reasons for the OCF’s enthusiastic support. “This project will contribute to their ability to maintain cultural connections and will help boost broader knowledge and appreciation so that we can collectively make this a great city for Inuit residents”, states Pagani. “This is also a demonstration of the potential for public, private, and philanthropic collaboration to contribute to a future that works for all people.”

For more information about this release or to speak with someone regarding the Inuusivut” project please contact Karen Prentice, IBC Director of Content and Communications (226) 222 8742 karen@inuitbroadcasting.ca or Kimothy Walker with Ross Video at (613) 859-3753 or kiwalker@rossvideo.com.

 

Additional information about the partners:

Inuit Broadcasting Corporation has been producing award winning programming by Inuit for Inuit and been “A Window to the Arctic” for 40 years. The organization maintains a collection of approximately 40 years of priceless historic film and video material. It involves an estimated 9,000 hours of footage and completed programs valued at approximately $60 million dollars. These materials have been funded by various governments, corporations and multilateral organizations that support and believe in the valuable work IBC does with its proven track record of accountability and resourcefulness with limited funds. Currently, IBC is in the process of organizing, digitizing and cataloguing all of this material so that it may be available to our staff, to researchers and academic institutions and to the public worldwide

The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) is one of Ottawa’s most highly regarded philanthropic organizations, working with donors and the community at large to bring about positive, systemic and sustainable change in our city and beyond. The Foundation has built an enviable reputation for astute financial management, high quality donor services, strategic grant making and innovative partnerships across the city.

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