The NWT Official Languages Act (NWTOLA) recognizes eleven official languages: Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich’in, Languages Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tåîchô. To a certain degree, they have equal status and rights and privileges, in particular regarding their use in the proceedings of the Legislative Committee and communication with the government of the Northwest Territories, including before the courts established by the Legislative Assembly (the Territorial Court and the Justice of the Peace Court). In some matters, however, English and French enjoy privileged status.
The public has the right to communicate and receive services in English and French in all central offices of the government, and also has the right to communicate in English or French in any regional office of the government where:
The government of the Northwest Territories has adopted a regulation providing that there is significant demand for French in government institutions located in Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik and Yellowknife.
The public has the right to communicate with and receive services from any regional or community office of the government in an Indigenous official language where:
The Office of the Languages Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is responsible for encouraging compliance with the NWTOLA and respect for the languages it protects. Complaints about violations of the law may be submitted to it by completing the prescribed form and submitting it to that office:
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