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Section title: What's New

News Release

What's New

Library and Archives Canada Celebrates Project Naming Success with Inuit Elders and Youth

OTTAWA, May 19, 2004 - Library and Archives Canada will showcase the new Web product Project Naming on May 21, 2004, at 10:00 a.m., at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. This new Web site and searchable database contains exciting and evocative images from the photographic collections of Library and Archives Canada-images of people from Canada's Nunavut region who have recently been identified, and whose stories have been rediscovered. In addition, the site explores the history, language and culture of the Inuit people portrayed.

Research for Project Naming began in 2001 with the selection and scanning of photographs. The next stage involved youth travelling across Nunavut showing Elders these photographs on laptop computers. The people in the images were then "named" by the Elders and the new information was added to the Library and Archives Canada photographic database. Through Project Naming, hundreds of Nunavut residents who were photographed between the 1920s and the 1950s have been identified.

For many Elders viewing the Project Naming photographs, it might have been their first time seeing images of certain family members. For the youth, it offered the chance of seeing a photograph of a deceased relative, and of learning about their past. The "naming" of the people in these photographs is time sensitive-today's Elders may be the last people left to identify these individuals, whose names might otherwise remain lost forever.

Project Naming connects Inuit youth with Elders and bridges the cultural differences and geographic distances between Nunavut and the more southern parts of Canada. It is an ongoing initiative-through continued research, its goal is to identify all those in the database photographs.

"The photographs of people from Nunavut are an important part of Canadian culture. Canadians are fortunate to have the assistance of the Inuit people in identifying this key part of our history," said Ian E. Wilson, National Archivist.

The Honourable Peter Irnik, Commissioner of Nunavut stated, "It has been rewarding for our youth to connect with our Elders in this new way. By adding names to the photographs of our ancestors, our people have also been able to reclaim their past. Some people can now identify with their relatives and friends. This is just great work!"

This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Library and Archives Canada, the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Training Program in Ottawa and the Government of Nunavut Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (CLEY). Funding for Project Naming was provided by CLEY. Funding for the Web site was made available through the Memory Fund of the Canadian Culture Online Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

The morning's activities will include an interactive showcasing of the new Project Naming Web product; remarks by National Archivist Ian E. Wilson, the Honourable Peter Irnik, Commissioner of Nunavut, and Mrs. Aluki Rojas, CLEY representative; testimonies by Nunavut Elders and youth; and Inuit dancing and throat singing performances.

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:

Louisa Coates
Media relations officer
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: 613-992-9361
Cellular: 295-5516
E-mail: media@lac-bac.gc.ca


For historical information visit:

List item Library and Archives Canada - What's New Archives (2005)
List item Library and Archives Canada - What's New Archives (2004)
List item National Archives of Canada - News & Events Archive (1999-2003)
List item National Library of Canada - What's New Archives (1999-2003)