“It’s a privilege and an honor to be doing this,” Stewart, who will broadcast in Eastern Cree, said. Stewart, who resides in Montreal, hosts the Winschgaoug radio show on CBC North, which transmits to James Bay Cree communities in Quebec.
She’s been taking language lessons to keep her vocabulary up to date with the region’s three languages, especially when it comes to Olympic sports terms. Cree, like many Indigenous languages, is descriptive. “In terms of just saying ‘Olympics,’ I can say ‘Olympics,’ but I have to add that this is where people participate in sport,” she explained.
“It’s a little difficult, but I’ve been practicing and trying to do the best I can.” William Firth, the Inuvik, Northwest Territories-based host of CBC North’s Gwich‘in language radio show Nantaii, anticipates comparable obstacles, but he’s thrilled about them.
According to him, several of the Olympic summer sports are novel notions in Gwich’in. For example, the term “javelin” translates to “throwing a spear. We need to depict the real game itself so people can create a mental picture,” he says.
“I’m going to have a good time with that.” The opening ceremony will be co-hosted in Inuktitut by CBC North’sKowisa Arlooktoo and Jordan Konek, who are located in Iqaluit. “A lot of Inuit don’t speak or understand English, but there are a lot of wonderful huge sports enthusiasts,” Arlooktoo added.
“We can explain to our listeners and viewers what is going on during the opening ceremonies and what they may expect during the Olympic Games. That’s what makes it enjoyable for me.” Konek believes it is critical to demonstrate how Inuktitut may be used in the work that CBC does for Inuit audiences.
“When you travel to villages and meet people, you understand how essential language is,” he added. “This opens the door to many more things that we will be capable of accomplishing and demonstrating that we can do it in our own language. So, for the audience, I’m looking forward to making this available and seeing how the public reacts.”
“We are very excited to expand our program to include coverage in eight Indigenous languages. I hope everyone in the country tunes in Friday morning – and throughout the Games!”
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2020, and will include 33 sports and 339 medal events spread over 42 competition sites.