Julie Docherty

Nunavut's main language officially recognized



Inuktitut.JPG

Chimo! It’s taken only fourteen years, but on April 1 the Inuit language Inuktitut/Inuinnaqtun was recognized as an official language in Nunavut—where nearly 70% of the population speak it.

English (26.75%) and French (1.27%) have been official languages since Nunavut became a territory in 1999. Their status was inherited from the Northwest Territories, which recognized seven Aboriginal languages as well, including Inuktitut, but with a lesser set of rights.

Nunavut began the process of official recognition of its primary language in 2008, passing legislation to that effect. Because of its status as a territory, not a province, this legislation had to be approved by both houses of Parliament, and received royal assent in 2009. Since then, the Nunavut government has been working on detailed implementation plans. The work of preserving Inuktitut/Innuinaqtun—which have experienced a decline in recent years—remains a work in progress: official language status will certainly be helpful.

A large proportion of our members in Nunavut are Inuit. I’d like to offer those sisters and brothers in particular my warmest congratulations. About time!

[illustration credit]


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This page contains a single entry by Julie Docherty published on May 2, 2013 2:17 PM.

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