Media Centre

NTI celebrates the Inuit Language Protection Act

NR 08-35 LPA ENG Language Protection Act.doc

(September 18, 2008 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak is pleased to see the Legislative Assembly has passed Bill 7, the Inuit Language Protection Act.

This is a historic turning point for all dialects of the Inuit language in Nunavut. The act gives Nunavummiut a good foundation to systemically advance and protect the Inuit language. said NTI President Paul Kaludjak. The act requires government, Inuit organizations, municipalities, private businesses and essential service providers to communicate in the Inuit language to the public.

The Inuit language is the mother tongue for 83% of Inuit in Nunavut. We need to protect and advance our language, as it is a cornerstone of our Inuit society. It is also our right as a founding people of Canada to use and be served in our native language, said Kaludjak.

NTI was heavily involved in the development of the language legislation through the Government of Nunavut led language legislation steering committee. NTI looks forward to working with the GN in the regulatory process for ILPA to ensure the implementation of the act covers the areas of the right to receive education in the Inuit language, the right to work in the Inuit language, the use of Inuit language in early childhood education as well as in adult education.

The act is a good foundation to start reversing the trend of Inuit language loss in Nunavut. We will continue to work with the government to ensure that Inuit language rights are fully reflected in Nunavut in honor of our parents and grandparents for the benefit of our future generations, concluded Kaludjak.

For further information:
Franco Buscemi