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Review: Language, Politics, and Social Interaction in an Inuit Community By Donna Patrick

Ellen M. Schnepel

Language, Politics, and Social Interaction in an Inuit Community is a study of indigenous language maintenance in an Arctic Quebec community, Kuujjuarapik (literally “little big river”), the most southerly Nunavik community on the Hudson Bay coast, where four languages – Inuktitut, Cree, French, and English – are spoken. The Inuit of Arctic Quebec have struggled to survive economically and culturally in a rapidly changing environment in which they have had a limited form of self-government since 1975. The promotion and maintenance of Inuktitut, their native language, through language policy and Inuit control over institutions, have played a major role in this struggle. The central argument of the book is that in order to understand the present-day vitality of Inuktitut, one must look at the wider historical, political, and economic processes and their relationship to everyday language practices at the micro-level of interaction.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 25, Spring, 2005 pp 91 – 93

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