What’s in a name?
Nujignua’tegeg comes from Nujignau’teget. The first refers to a thing, the second to person – or more accurately a function performed by a person.
“Nujignua’teget is a person who’s recognized for their ability to inform and/or has been appointed to inform – either on behalf of the community or the leadership,” said Dr. Fred Metallic. “It’s a mechanism for communications between the leadership and its people.”
The fact that it is in the language suggests that there has been a long traditional use and understanding of the importance of such a role. But it also applies to far broader functions.
“There’s many people who could serve that purpose,” said Metallic. “Depending on the situation – because leadership was quite situational – then that would dictate who the Nujignua’teget would be.”
Clearly the Chief often assumes this role, but even the head an extended family would be considered a nujignua’teget.
A key component to the term is “nuji,” which recognizes there is some official capacity to the role.
“Everybody can be an informer, but not everybody is an official informant,” said Metallic. “Gnua’teget is what you’re doing – you’re informing. But ‘nuji’ makes it an official one.”
This term sums up the function of this newsletter. It will provide a space for people and organizations to inform the community. But – like the term – it will be more than that. It will perform the more fundamental function of representing great parts of the community back to itself.
“(Nujignua’teget is) something that’s done within the community,” said Metallic. “But it’s also something that serves communities in general.”