Summary of language rights in Canada and complaint mechanisms


Applicable Norms

Official Languages Act, SNu 2008, c. 10
Inuit Language Protection Act, SNu 2008, c. 17


Nunavut recognizes the Inuit language (Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut), English and French as official languages; they have equality of status and equal rights and privileges in territorial institutions.

Together, the Official Languages Act (NOLA) and the Inuit Language Protection Act (ILPA) impose a number of obligations on territorial institutions regarding communications and the delivery of services. For example, all public signs must be displayed in the official languages. In addition, the public has the right to communicate with and receive services from the head or central office of a territorial institution in the official language of their choice. Municipalities must also offer services in the official languages for which there is a significant demand.

Other measures relate specifically to the revitalization of the Inuit language. For example, parents have the right to have the right to have their children receive Inuit language instruction from kindergarten to grade three. In addition, all employees of the government of Nunavut may choose to work in the Inuit language. After a period of consultation, on a date chosen by the Cabinet, private sector corporations will also have to offer services in the Inuit language.

Complaint Mechanism

The office of the Language Commissioner of Nunavut has the mission of encouraging respect for the NOLA and the ILPA and the languages they protect. Complaints relating to violations of those Acts can be submitted to the Commissioner by completing the prescribed form and submitting it:

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