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The GN appeals the Nunavut Court’s decision to allow the Inuktut Education Discrimination lawsuit to proceed

(April 25, 2023, Iqaluit, Nunavut) The Government of Nunavut (GN) has filed to appeal the Nunavut Court of Justice’s decision to allow the Inuktut Education Discrimination lawsuit to proceed to trial. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) and two Inuit families filed the lawsuit on the basis of discrimination faced by Inuit students in Nunavut’s education system.

NTI is dismayed by the GN’s continuing efforts and dedication of public resources to fight Nunavut Inuit in court. On March 2, 2023, the Court decided that the case needs to be heard in court and should proceed to trial without further delay, and ordered the GN to file its long overdue Statement of Defence.

In its appeal of the decision, the GN is reiterating the same harmful and hurtful arguments that the Court had rightly rejected. The GN argues that:

  1. Inuit do not have equal rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) that protect Inuit from being discriminated against based on Inuktut as a part of Inuit cultural identity;
  2. The Charter only protects English and French-speaking students from discrimination; and
  3. The Nunavut Legislative Assembly may create whatever laws they would like when it comes to Inuktut Education, even if it is harmful to Inuit.

On April 14, 2023, the GN served its Statement of Defence, which puts forward substantially the same harmful arguments as those found in their Motion to Strike, including their position that Inuit students are not protected by the Charter because it does not protect the Inuktut language or language of instruction.

“NTI remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting Inuit and pursuing all avenues to end the discrimination of Inuit students in the Nunavut education system. To not be given any choice but to learn in English or French and not have the option to receive Inuit language of instruction past grade 3 harms the future of our children, our culture, and our language, in our own Inuit homeland”, said NTI President, Aluki Kotierk.

“It is a sad day when our public government actively works against the dignity, language, culture, and identity of its majority constituents, including the most vulnerable members – Inuit children. This is not why the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Territory were created. We urgently need to make sure our children can achieve greater success in school, and they will do so in a school system that supports our language and culture, said NTI Vice-President, Paul Irngaut.

The GN’s appeal can be found in full linked here: NTI v. GN – Notice of Appeal Application to Strike ( and their full Statement of Defence is linked hereGN-Statement-of-Defence-April-14-2023.pdf ( You can read Justice Bychok’s decision rejecting the GN’s Motion to Strike in full linked here: 08-21-463-CVC 2023-03-02.pdf (



Kevin Kablutsiak

Director of Communications

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Tel: (867) 975-4900/Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006

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