Organizer: CBC North
Time: Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022 – 10:00 AM MST
My name is Vanessa Joan Malegana but everyone calls me by my nickname that I grew up with, “Dodie”. My Inuvialuktun name is Shukr̂aaluk after my grandfather’s older sister. I have three children and one granddaughter whom I raise. I was custom-adopted by my grandparents, Johnny and Dora Malegana from Aklavik, Northwest Territories.
My grandparents only spoke Iñupiatun and Inuvialuktun in our home and I am very thankful that I was immersed in our language. They are the reason that I can understand and speak in the Uummarmiutun dialect of Inuvialuktun which is very close to the Iñupiaq dialect of the North Slope area of Alaska.
I also grew up hearing the Sallirmiutun dialect from the coastal Elders when they’d visit. I am thankful that I have been able to work in various capacities in my language of Inuvialuktun.
Marja Kristine Jåma
Mervin grew up on The Key First Nation in the Treaty 4 Territory. His Mother is Cree and his Father is Anishnabe. He attended grade school in the neighbouring town of Norquay. And went on to attend the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College at the University of Regina. He completed a journalism degree and a degree in Indian Studies and Political Science.
Mervin has worked in radio, television, newspaper and public relations. He published the Treaty 4 News newspaper from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, Mervin accepted the job as the Managing Editor for CBC North based out of Yellowknife, NWT. In the fall of 2020, he was promoted to Senior Managing Director of CBC North.
As a result of the Indian Residential School legacy, Mervin and his siblings were not taught to speak their Indigenous languages that their parents spoke beautifully and fluently. Mervin is committed to keeping northern Indigenous languages strong and vibrant through CBC programming.