University of Washington

December 2013 Report

Dear Friends,
Please join Vince and me in thanking Tony Penikett, UW’s first Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies, for his time with us this Fall. Tony’s course, Arctic Insecurities, was a tremendous success. He will be back in Winter Quarter as part of the Future of Ice lecture series (please see below for registration). We also want to thank our Visiting Québec Scholar, Thierry Giasson, for bringing current Québec politics to the awareness of our students and faculty. Finally, we thank Alexina Kublu and Mick Mallon, originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut, for tutoring our students in the Inuit language. In the article below you will hear a short clip of Kublu and Mick speaking Inuktitut. Happy holidays and Nakurmiik (Inuit for thank you) for being part of the UW’s Canada community! – Nadine and Vince

Graduate students - FLAS Fellowship applications now available; undergrads - two fellowships up to $10,000 to study in Canada; all - Future of Ice Lecture Series quickly filling! See below for more information.

Canadian Studies Center, December 2013
Québec Scholar, Thierry Giasson, Discusses the 2012 Québec Student Demonstrations
by Annie Banel, Graduate Student, Evan's School of Public Affairs, Student Assistant, Canadian Studies Center

Thierry (second from left) with Denyse Delcourt (left), Hedwige Meyer & Alex Price, all with French & Italian Studies; and, Lucy Jarosz, Geography.

On November 26, 2013 Thierry Giasson, our visiting Québec Scholar, presented his talk “Québec Student Strikes of 2012: Red Squares, Fair Shares, and Boycotts.” Giasson expressed his fondness for the University of Washington, calling it his “academic home away from home.” Giasson said that the strikes were a traumatic experience for him and that as a university professor, Giasson had “zero distance” yet he was compelled to find a way to talk about the strikes.

Giasson drew on his research background in political marketing, strategic communication by political parties, and framing in his analysis of the strikes. He focused on how government communications evolved during the crisis through a content analysis of 229 government statements from November 2011 to August 2012. Giasson included all government press releases during the crisis, media coverage of the government’s reactions to ongoing events, as well as government responses presented during Parliamentary debates in the Québec National Assembly were included in his content analysis. Giasson argued that the government’s shift from describing the demonstrations as “strikes” to calling them “boycotts” was one example of how the PLQ adjusted its narrative of the problem to its advantage.

Giasson’s presentation aimed to answer the provocative question of whether the government wanted the crisis to continue. Giasson argued that from a political marketing perspective, the crisis was in fact an example of well-managed wedge politics. Giasson argued that the PLQ used the crisis to prepare the electoral field with wedge politics. Giasson points out that Charest’s only television ad, 1.5 months before the election, should have been counted as an electoral ad as the ad did not talk about the tuition issue but rather communicated the government’s sense of responsibility. Through his content analysis of government communications, Giasson concluded that through their framing of the problem the government was able to control the agenda in a way favorable to them, polarize the electorate on an issue, and present the PLQ as strong on law and order as well as strong on the “right to education.”

Thierry Giasson is Associate Professor in the Information and Communication Department at Université Laval in Québec City. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Montreal. Dr. Giasson is the principal investigator of the research group in political communication (GPCR) from Université Laval. He is also an associate researcher at the Institute of Information Technology and Society at Université Laval and the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) from McGill University. Thierry served as the Center’s Québec Visiting Professor in 2006-07.

This event was made possible, in party, by Title VI grant funding from the Office of Postsecondary Education, International Education Program Services, U.S. Department of Education; and by a Québec Academic Initiative Grant, Government of Québec.

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Arts & Sciences Grant Supports First UW Interdisciplinary Graduate Course in Arctic Studies

Two students from the course - Elle Roelofs, Education (far right) and Jason Young, Geography (next) - meet with Alexina Kublu, former Language Commissioner for Nunavut, Mick Mallon, Inuktitut instructor, and Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator (back) to learn more about Nunavut and the Inuit language.

In Fall Quarter 2013 the Center – in conjunction with College of the Environment and the Future of Ice initiative – offered a graduate course on the Arctic entitled, The Arctic as a Global Emerging Region.

As a result of climate change, the Arctic is fast becoming a region of considerable scientific and geopolitical interest. In the Arctic, global warming is occurring at twice the rate of the rest of the planet – for the first time in history we will witness the emergence of a new ocean. At the same time, the Arctic is a focus for global geopolitics with unique characteristics including the prominence of environmental security and, the effective role of Arctic indigenous peoples in international affairs. The Arctic is now a top foreign policy priority for Canada, Russia, the Scandinavian countries and the United States as well as for sub-national entities such as Québec and Alaska. Even China, Japan, Singapore, India and the Republic of Korea now have a role on the Arctic Council. The Arctic is a paradox – it serves as the global barometer for climate change while presenting new ways forward in global geopolitics. How do we understand the complexities of this “new” global region?

This seminar explored the Arctic as an emerging region in the 21st century from a variety of perspectives – climate and ocean change, human rights, changes to the cryosphere (sea ice, permafrost, glaciers), indigenous concepts of Arctic territory, fisheries management and economics, community security (education, health, housing and food), international customary law, past human-environmental dynamics, global geopolitics, resource extraction and environmental ethics, and the interactions between the Arctic indigenous peoples and state entities in the policy dialogue.

The course was structured to facilitate the writing of research proposals for the Arctic Research Fellowships. Eighteen students (nine from the College of Arts and Sciences and nine from the College of the Environment) attended a weekly seminar. In each seminar a panel of UW faculty or researchers, local artists, the Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies and even guest speakers from Canada presented on their research or artistic work as it concerns the Arctic as a distinct region. This seminar marked the first time that UW students – and faculty – had the opportunity to see the wealth of activity that is occurring in Arctic Studies at the UW. “This was a real eye-opener for me,” one student commented.

Speakers included Cecilia Bitz, Atmospheric Sciences; Kristin Laidre, Oceanographer, Applied Physics Laboratory, Polar Science Center; Sven Haakanson, Department of Anthropology and Burke Museum; Marc Miller, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; David Fluharty, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; Terrie Klinger, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; Sandy Parker-Stetter, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Maria Coryell-Martin, Expeditionary Artist; Michelle Koutnik, Department of Earth and Space Sciences; Tony Penikett, Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies; Peter Geller, University of the Fraser Valley; Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, Jackson School of International Studies; Jennifer Marlow, UW School of Law; Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Jody Deming, Oceanography and Astrobiology; Axel Schweiger, Applied Physics Laboratory, Polar Science Center; Saadia Pekannen, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Vince Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Canadian Studies; George Hunt, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; and Chris Anderson, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

Panelist discussions covered a wide-range of perspectives on the Arctic region including the salience of Inuit political mobilization, how the Age of the Arctic compares with the Rise of Asia, fisheries management as fish stocks move north, sea ice biology and the role of marine microorganisms in ocean ecology, and the impacts of climate change on Alaskan communities and on tourism in the north, to mention just a few of the subjects addressed. Students were asked to attempt to incorporate new content beyond their own disciplines into their understanding of the Arctic as a distinctive region.

The students each gave presentations on an area of research concerning the Arctic that was of keen interest to them. These areas of interest included Québec’s Arctic policy, the role of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the role of Asian countries on the Arctic Council, Canadian government policy concerning funding for Arctic research, use of new technologies by the Inuit civil society organizations to further community goals, impacts of climate change on the boreal forest and on ice modeling, and differing concepts of ice (Western scientific vs. indigenous). Some of the students may apply for an Arctic Research Fellowship – a program open to any UW graduate student.

The Arctic Research Fellowships provide a $5,000 award to about eight UW students working on research that addresses the Arctic as a distinct world region in area studies. Students are encouraged to examine the Canadian, Russian or Scandinavian Arctic regions, or analyze interest in the Arctic by Asian countries, from an interdisciplinary perspective (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts). The funding is provided by an Arts and Sciences grant awarded to the Canadian Studies Center with co-PIs from the Program on Climate Change and Atmospheric Sciences.

The course was taught by a faculty team including lead instructor, Ben Fitzhugh, Anthropology; Jody Deming, Oceanography; Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center; Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Canadian Studies; and, Christine Ingebritsen, Scandinavian Studies and West European Studies.

For more about the course and Arctic Research Fellowships, visit

This course and the research fellowships are made possible thanks to a grant from the College of Arts and Sciences for the project entitled, Re-imagining Area/International Studies in the 21st Century: The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region to enable the Canadian Studies Center – in partnership with the Center for West European Studies, Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, Center for Global Studies, and East Asia Center (all in the Jackson School), Anthropology and Scandinavian Studies, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, Program on Climate Change, and the Quaternary Research Center – to take the first steps in building a Graduate Certificate in Arctic Studies at the UW.

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Canadian Studies Report, December 2013 
UW students learning Inuit language with help of FLAS fellowship
by Malanie Eng, UW News Lab

From left, Walter O'Toole (UW English major), Caitlyn Evans (UW law student and FLAS Fellow), Alexina Kublu and Prof. Mick Mallon.

Inuktitut, the indigenous language of the Inuit peoples of Northern Canada, shares no roots with any other language in existence.

It is spoken by only 35,000 people – with nearly all of them living in tribal communities in Arctic Canada. With its complex glottal sounds and unique set of written symbols, Inuktitut is rare to hear and difficult to learn.

But thanks to the University of Washington’s FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship program, UW law student Caitlyn Evans is getting that chance.

The program awards tuition and living stipends to undergraduate, graduate and professional students to pursue foreign language and international area studies.

Fellowships are awarded through the Jackson School of International Studies’ eight National Resource Centers, each of which organizes training and research focused on a different world region: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Middle East, Canada, West Europe, Russia/East Europe/Central Asia and Global Studies.

These resource centers receive Title VI funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support students gaining competencies in 66 global languages and a variety of area topics.

“The objective is to have U.S. citizens and permanent residents in a wide variety of fields who can operate in foreign languages and with expertise in various world regions,” said fellowships coordinator Robyn Davis in an email.

Evans, an aspiring environmental lawyer interested in indigenous land rights in the Arctic territories, was keen on learning the Inuit language “to build a cultural connection with the Arctic” upon first starting law school.

Luckily for her, Inuktitut was one of the languages offered for a FLAS fellowship in 2012. Not so lucky was the fact that UW doesn’t offer any way to learn it on campus.

In fact, after calling nearly every U.S. and Canadian university with a distance-learning program, Evans thought there was no pathway for her to learn Inuktitut in all of North America.

That’s when Mick Mallon entered the picture.

The retired language professor and former head of the Language Commission in the Inuit territory of Nunavut is one of the best qualified Inuktitut teachers in North America – not to mention one of just “four living white guys” fluent in the Inuit language today.

Canadian Studies Associate Director Nadine Fabbi first reached out to Mallon in 2004, on behalf of former JSIS student Tim Pasch who was interested in applying for FLAS in Inuktitut. Fabbi said Mallon has been an invaluable learning resource ever since.

“Given the fast-increasing outside interest in the Arctic, Inuktitut is becoming a strategic language for U.S. security,” Fabbi said. “We are extremely fortunate to have resources to teach the Canadian Inuit language here at the UW.”

Since Mallon lives in Victoria, Canada, the Canadian Studies Center had to get creative in setting up the curriculum for Pasch’s fellowship. Traditional classroom lessons were clearly not an option, nor was going through an official university distance-learning program.

So, they turned to Skype. In addition to their lessons on the UW campus, Mallon now conducts semi-private lessons over the Web for Evans and her only other classmate, Walter O’Toole. O’Toole, an undergraduate English major, hopped on board when the class was resurrected for Evans’ fellowship this quarter.

O'Toole grew up hearing stories about Inuit culture from his father, who used to work in the Arctic, and plans to take a trip north after graduating. He says he was interested in learning Inuktitut to “be exposed to something different.”

“It’s a beneficial cognitive exercise to learn a rare language,” he said.

Evans and O’Toole both say Inuktitut is tough to learn, despite the fact that it’s a very logical language in terms of semantics, phonetics and structure. (The Inuk word for education, for example, is at the beginning of the words for student, teacher, school and learning.)

“There’s a lot of word making, instead of sentence making,” O’Toole says. “Mick compares Inuktitut to Lego blocks, while English is like a string of beads on a necklace.”

“My favorite part of teaching any students who persevere with this difficult and fascinating language,” Mallon said, “is that moment when suddenly they start to glimpse the logic that holds the whole thing together. From then on, they're hooked.”

Mallon immigrated from his native Belfast to Ottawa, Canada in 1954 to take a job as a high school teacher “set for a nice, boring life.” But a chance encounter with the director of Canada’s Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) program – and the incredible stories he shared – inspired a trip to the Nunavik territory of Arctic Quebec.

A lifelong language aficionado (who enjoyed “temporary” fluency in French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Portuguese and Japanese throughout his life), Mallon decided to settle up north and slowly master the indigenous language of the Inuit people.

Over time, he grew fluent enough to switch from student to teacher and launch a prominent career in indigenous linguistics education. He said it wasn’t exceptional talent that allowed him such prominence in the field, but the fact that he was teaching (and speaking) Inuktitut at all.

“In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” he says.

Mallon also spearheaded the development of various indigenous language curricula in Arctic Canada, and published the only textbook written on Inuktitut.

He also served as the head of Nunavik’s Language Commission and set up an Eskimo Language School in the Inuit territory of Rankin Inlet.

“I taught Canadian government workers, Inuit children, college students,” he said. “I even taught a few American Baptist missionaries - they were the best students I ever had!”

At 80, Mallon says he still “jumps at every chance” to teach Inuktitut – doing his part to keep the language alive.

Helping teach Evans and O’Toole is Mallon’s wife, Alexina Kublu, a fellow Inuktitut linguist and former pupil of Mallon’s. As an Inuit native, she adds a unique cultural dimension to their lessons.

“Kublu brings in cultural stories a lot,” Evans said. “There are a lot of stories. She offers the Arctic perspective.”

Kublu and Mallon both say it doesn’t matter who learns the language, just as long as someone is learning it.

“We’re very much concerned with the language disappearing,” Mallon said. “The worst enemy of the indigenous languages of the world is the English language. It’s like a cancer, and television is like cigarettes.”

“We’re losing the battle,” Kublu added.

Mallon and Kublu say most younger-generation Inuks don’t even speak their native language. They say this is partly due to the globalization of English, and partly because resources to learn it are limited - even in traditional Inuit communities. Setting up the Eskimo Language School in Rankin Inlet was Mallon’s response to the latter problem.

But according to Kublu, not all hope is lost. She said the advent of social media is helping tremendously in connecting Inuks around the world, and giving the language a platform for global exposure.

“YouTube gives people everywhere access to Inuktitut singing, for example,” she said.

“A friend told me: ‘if we want to save the language for young people, we’ve got to make it cool,’” Mallon said. “And it is cool!”

MELANIE ENG is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.

The Canadian Studies Center is a recipient of a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program grant. The grant provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to assist meritorious graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and Canadian Studies. The Canadian Studies Center is extremely proud in having awarded several Fellowships in least-commonly taught Canadian Aboriginal languages including Inuktitut, Dane-zaa, Musqueam Salish, and Anishinaabemowin.

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Canadian Studies Center, December 2013
Killam Fellow Shares Canadian Experience
by Kwame Babukar, Killam Fellow 2013-2014

I’ve had a terrific experience in Canada. It started with a weekend long orientation hosted by Fulbright Canada in Ottawa. We got to tour the Parliament building and the Supreme Court. Later we also went to the museum and played a game of hockey. Fulbright Canada took care of everything. After I returned from Ottawa, I started my exchange. On campus, I met Canadians as well as other exchange and international students. I participated in activities on campus and throughout the city including bowling, dodgeball, thanksgiving dinner (October in Canada), visited an Ontario farm, and helped organize a flash-freeze mob against conflict minerals. I also learned more about Canadian history, the issues Canadians face, Canada’s relationship with the rest of the world, multiculturalism in Canada, and Canadian media. My semester in Canada has been a truly worthwhile experience.

The Killam Fellowships Program provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students from universities in the United States to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in Canada. Killam provides a cash award of $5,000 U.S. per semester ($10,000 for a full academic year), an all expense paid three day orientation in Ottawa, and a three day all expense paid seminar in Washington. The Canadian Studies Center is a partner institution with the Killam Foundation enabling up to two full academic year fellowships annually for U.W. students. For more information on the Killam Fellowship contact the Center at

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Canadian Studies Report, December 2013
2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance Alum Awarded $30,000 OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies

Monica Chahary, 2011 Task Force Alum was awarded OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies for the 2014-2015 academic period carried out by the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture of the Organization of American States by the Organization of American States (OAS). Chahary applied for the award to complete her her degree in Master in Business Administration. She was awarded $30,000 a year for 2 years as a full-time student. 

Chahary's area of focus, chosen from among various OAS initiatives, is "Sustainable Development and the Environment." Canada is at the forefront for a variety of policies and issues concerning the Arctic region, even more so now as they enter their second term of chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-2015). She hopes to learn more about what Canada is doing to promote sustainable development in the region, with regards to growing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

For award announcements, click here.

Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The Winter 2011 Canada Task Force was entitled, "Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance."

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Canadian Studies Center, December 2013

Timothy Pasch (FLAS Fellow, Inuktitut, 2005-08), Associate Professor, University of North Dakota, chaired a very successful conference entitled, "Science, People, & Sustainability in the Canadian Arctic: From the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition to the 2013 Arctic Council Chairmanship" on December 12, 2013.






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Canadian Studies Report, December 2013
Letter from a K-12 STUDY CANADA Teacher Associate in Arizona
by Dennis Rees, Peoria Unified School District teacher, Peoria, Arizona

Dennis Rees (far left) and other educators at the NRC's "Archives on the Arctic" workshop in Denver, CO. (06/13)

My name is Dennis Rees and I taught 6th – 8th Grade in the Peoria Unified School District in Peoria, Arizona, for 30 years. I have had a wonderful career as a teacher focused on improving geography education in middle school classrooms. In 2007, I even received the first Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship from the National Council for Geographic Education for my efforts and was graciously awarded with a Lindblad Expedition to the Galapagos Islands as well as a $3000 honorarium. Even so, a highlight for me has been learning about Canada and encouraging other teachers to include new and improved content on Canada in their social studies classrooms.

Over the last eleven years, I have been fortunate to participate in several workshops offered by the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center (NRC) on Canada, including three “STUDY CANADA Summer Institutes”. My first experience was in 2002 when the program was held on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. I participated again in 2006 when “STUDY CANADA” moved to Vancouver and Whistler, BC and focused on themes connected to 2010 Winter Olympics and, again in 2012, when a “Capital View of Canada: Nations within a Nation” became the theme and the location moved to its capital city, Ottawa, ON. In addition, last June, I participated in a special “Archives on the Arctic: Connecting to Global Issues with Primary Sources” workshop that the NRC offered with a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Western Regional Center. Combined, these experiences provided me with a huge wealth of information about Canada’s geography, history, government, culture, and economy. The presenters were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I always came home with a fire in my belly to spread the word about Canada not only in my school but also at professional development events.

One way I promoted Canada at my school was to create a “Canada Resource Shelf” in our Geography Lab. It contained an artifact box filled with items that were examples of Canadian culture, heritage, geography, and economy. In addition to that, I collected resource materials, maps, digital media, music, children’s literature, and instructional materials that teachers could use in their classroom to teach about Canada. Several of these items were inspired by resources found in the K-12 STUDY CANADA Resource Valise, a teacher loan-kit available to teachers across the country for a 3-week loan period (to learn more, see

Classroom lessons were also expanded and shared as part of professional development presentations made at national education conferences such as NCSS San Diego (2007) and NCGE Lake Tahoe (2006), San Marcos (2012), Denver (2013) as well as at several regional Arizona Geographic Alliance GeoConferences. These presentations helped me not only get the word out about the NRC’s K-12 STUDY CANADA resources at<> and the summer institute but also to show the need for greater knowledge about Canada in our social studies curricula. Though now retired, this is how I continue to share knowledge about Canada with colleagues and I am delighted to do so on behalf of the NRC as a K-12 STUDY CANADA Teacher Associate.

As a result of my professional development training by the NRC, access to K-12 STUDY CANADA resources, and my continued outreach, many students, pre-service teachers, classroom teachers and social studies supervisors have been impacted. It has been rewarding to know that they left our interaction with a better understanding of Canada, our too often-overlooked northern neighbor.

As an active member of several education organizations, I encourage others to explore the NRC’s resources and, especially, participate in a STUDY CANADA Summer Institute – the experience is transformative for teachers at every level of education…and all who know me recognize that I do not give such compliments often or lightly. Thanks to all at WWU and UW for the professional development opportunities and support provided to teachers like me. I wish you continued success in bringing Canada into American classrooms.

The Canadian Studies Center forms the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center (NRC) on Canada with the Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University (WWU).Tina Storer, at WWU, serves as Education and Curriculum Specialist for the NRC. STUDY CANADA is the NRC's annual professional development workshop, offered by the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University for the last 34 years serving educators from almost every state in the nation. The Institute is funded, in part, by a Title VI grant from International and Foreign Language Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

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The Future of Ice lecture series is quickly filling! It features Arctic photographers and scientists; the UW Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies, Tony Penikett; and, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuk leader from Nunavik, Canada. Click here for more on the series and to register:

Grants/Funding/Opportunities - There are various opportunities for students, educators, and researchers to apply for programs and grants related to Canada. For the full list, click here:

Educational Materials - Our Pacific Northwest National Resource Center for the Study of Canada (NRC) published two educational "fact sheets" this month. "Canada" and "The Arctic World Region." For printable copies click below.
Canada Fact Sheet
The Arctic Word Region Fact Sheet



Hannah Dolph, 2013-14 Killam Fellow, in New York with Rachel Tam, JSIS alum.(11/13)

Delegates from the Korean Maritime institute visit the Jackson School to discuss future collaboration regarding the Arctic particularly the Inuit in Canada. From left JSIS faculty Clark Sorensen, Don Hellmann and Yong-Chool Kim; Nadine Fabbi and Vince Gallucci, Canadian Studies; and Justin Kim, Korean Maritime Institute. (12/13)

From far right - Mick Mallon, Inuktitut instructor; Alexina Kublu, former Language Commissioner for Nunavut; Walter O'Toole (undergraduate in English) student in the Inuktitut course; and Russ Hugo (doctoral candidate in Linguistics) and UW Language Learning Center. (11/13)


Canadian Studies Center
University of Washington
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
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