“The stories came from myself, too.” Markoosie Patsauq and the beginnings of Inuit literature in Canada
Guest blog by Valerie Henitiuk, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Marc-Antoine Mahieu, INALCO, Sorbonne Paris Cité
“That’s how it started. I wrote it in syllabics first and then they asked me to write it in English and that’s where the difficult time starts […].”
National Indigenous Languages Day offers a prime opportunity to talk about the first Indigenous novel ever published in Canada, written by an Inuk whose family was among those forcibly relocated to the High Arctic in 1953, and who helped lead the fight for redress. Markoosie Patsauq later became both a pilot and a beloved author translated around the world. He wrote—originally in Inuktitut syllabics—a story whose English adaptation remains, 50 years later,...