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  • Brendan Griebel

2019 Donation Feature: the Kiihimajuq Kamaak Program

Updated: May 16, 2021

As a social enterprise, Kaapittiaq was created to develop funding for Inuinnait culture and language programs. Each year, the company donates 75% of its profits to Pitkuhirnikkut Ilihautiniq/Kitikmeot Heritage Society to revive and mobilize Inuit knowledge, and ensure its transfer to future generations.

In 2019, we used Kaapittiaq revenue to support the creation of the Kiihimajuq Kamaak Program.

The skills and knowledge necessary to make the traditional kiihimajuq kammak (crimped sole boot) had been lost in Cambridge Bay—that is, up until December 2019. The knowledge was still being carried by Ulukhaktok's Mary Kudlak, so we brought Mary to Cambridge Bay to teach a workshop and revive the art among a group of Cambridge Bay artisans. Our Elders and apprentice artisans spent a week together with Mary, learning the art of kamik making with the goal to be able to pass on the knowledge to others. The workshop also gave us an opportunity to document and record fine-grained Inuinnaqtun terminology associated with kamik manufacture. In February 2020, the apprentices who learned from Mary Kudlak held another workshop and taught a second group of apprentices how to make the kiihimajuq kammak, strengthening the revival of this knowledge among Inuinnait. These workshops were additionally supported by Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Nunavut.

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