Language Rights

 Your Language Rights in Nunavut

 The Official Languages Act makes the Inuit, English and French languages, the official languages of Nunavut. The Inuit Language Protection Act seeks to protect and revitalize the Inuit language.

Overview of language rights

  • Every territorial institution, meaning the Nunavut Courts, the Legislative Assembly, and the Government of Nunavut, including that of its boards and agencies, must have its services and comunication available to the public in all the official languages.
  • Starting in September, 2009, parents have the right to have their children from kindergarten to grade three receive instruction in the Inuit language.  Instruction for all other grades must be in place by 2019.
  • Since Septembet 2011, employee of the Government of Nunavut have been able to choose to work in the Inuit language.
  • Since September 2012, municipalities have had to offer services in any official language where there is a significant demand for it.
In-effect dates yet to be set by Cabinet
  • The services being provided for territorial institutions through third party party contracts
  • Private sector bodies having to provide services in the Inuit language
  • Early childhood education and adult language aquisition and upgrading
  • Specifically, sections 3-5, 9, 10 of ILPA

Concerns over language rights

As a member of the public you can report a concern, either on your own behalf or on behalf of another individual, group or community if:

  • You were not able to obtain services in the official language of choice.
  • You believe that decisions made by a territorial institution will have a negative impact on the vitality of an official language community.
  • You believe that the equal status of any of the three official languages is not being respected.
  • You believe there is non compliance with one of the sections of ILPA or OLA.

The Office of the Languages Commissioner can only safeguard language rights when people communicate their concerns.