Uvagut (Our) TV is celebrating its first year of bringing all-Inuktitut television to Inuit all over Canada, after its Jan. 18, 2021 launch under Nunavut Independent Television (NITV).
It is the first all Indigenous–language channel and, with APTN, only the second Indigenous television network service among 762 broadcasting in Canada.
“Thank you to everyone who have supported Uvagut TV, this first year would not have been so successful without your help. Elders are proud to see our language being represented,” said Lucy Tulugarjuk, NITV chairperson and executive director.
Highlights of the year include airing a live broadcast of the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) hearings on Phase Two of Baffinland’s proposed expansion to Mary River Mine on Jan. 25, 2021 and again in April.
In November, as public hearings into Baffinland’s proposed mine expansion resumed in Iqaluit and Pond Inlet, NITV filed a court challenge against the NIRB for its refusal to grant Uvagut TV the right to rebroadcast the public hearings.
Tulugardjuk, at the time, stated, “We are continuing to stand for Inuit rights to participate in the NIRB process and to be meaningfully informed about what is happening on Inuit lands.”
Building live production capacity in communities across Inuit Nunangat has been a proud achievement for Uvagut – after six months on air it enabled filmmaking teams to locally produce and share their stories with each other and a national audience.
Another milestone was the live coverage of several national events in Inuktitut, including the installation of Governor-General Mary Simon and the Federal Leadership debate.
“NITV is dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of Inuktut and Inuit culture through the creation and exhibition of Inuit video art, linking Nunavut communities through Internet television channels, local access internet-TV, media training and digital literacy initiatives, the production and distribution of Inuktut video and film — and now broadcast television,” states a Jan. 17 release from Uvagut TV.
Uvagut broadcasts programs by Arnait Video, Artcirq, Kingulliiy and Taqqut Productions as well as Inuktut movies and documentaries.
“Together we are restoring part of our identity,” said Tulugarjuk on bringing more Inuktitut content to Inuit.