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2023 Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event

2023 Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event official program booklet cover

Inuvialuit Communications Society (ICS)

Inuvik, NWT

Inuvialuit Piuyausiat (Northern Games) are a category of Inuit traditional sports played to practice survival skills­—an integral part of Inuvialuit (Western Arctic Inuit) culture since time immemorial. In 2023, Tusaayaksat designed the souvenir program for the Northern Games Society’s “Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event,” which took place in Tuktuuyaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk, NT) from July 19–24. Inspired by Olympic pictogram designs, the team worked with Inuvialuk illustrator Kyle Natkusiak Aleekuk, who illustrated dynamic pictograms and stickers for the fifteen youth Northern Games competition at the event. Northern Games historian and archivist Donald Kuptana Jr. shared the histories and tutorials of various games, providing the intergenerational knowledge to connect young athletes to their ancestors and relatives. This inspired historic and modern game play photo overlays—beautiful reminders of Inuvialuit ancestors’ skill and strength through the continued revitalization of Inuvialuit culture today. The completed project saw 750 publications distributed, and more than 7,000 online impressions, to support the competitions and larger intergenerational Traditional Knowledge sharing at the momentous event. The result is a symbol of Inuvialuit joy and pride of culture, identity and community, which contributes to ongoing efforts to revitalize and promote Inuvialuit culture and language in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and beyond.

Two (2) kids holding the Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event official program booklet and merchandise

Judge’s Pick

Danielle Coates RGD, Senior Graphic Designer at the National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, USA

“The 2023 Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event Program is a beautiful example of when history, culture and design come together to uplift the community. The program was a multi-functional document intended to serve as a schedule of the games, but more importantly, it became a source of pride. The design of the program retains the character of the vintage Northern Games booklets while incorporating contemporary design elements such as bold type, neon colours and pictograms. The bright colour palette and gestural illustrations also draw inspiration from Lance Wyman, an American graphic designer, best known for his work for the 1968 Summer Olympics. The subtle design nod communicates to a diverse audience the importance of the Northern Games. In addition to the pictograms, the use of historical photography brings the concept of heritage to the forefront. The connection to the younger generation was enhanced through thoughtful details such as overlaying photography of current athletes, and the use of emojis and stickers. The design team exceeded their goal by creating a visually engaging document that also functions as source of intergenerational knowledge.”

A person holding an open Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Youth Development Event official program booklet, besides a stack of closed programs


  • Main Illustrator: Kyle Natkusiak Aleekuk
  • Guest Editors: Lucy and Donald Kuptana Jr.
  • Designer & Editor: Jason Yuk-Fai Lau/Tusaayaksat Magazine
  • Project Manager: Tamara Voudrach
  • Youth Illustrator: Lexis McDonald
  • ICS Support: Kata Kuhnert
  • Photography: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Chris Blechert, and ICS & NGS Archives
  • Publisher: Inuvialuit Communications Society (ICS)
  • Cultural Consultants: Northern Games Society (NGS) and Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC)