The territory of Nunavut came into existence on April 1, 1999 when the Northwest Territories was divided. Among the structures inherited by Nunavut were a consensus-style legislature and a set of legislation, including the NWT’s Official Languages Act, a Languages Commissioner and language services reflecting the needs of the public, government and parliamentarians alike. This article looks at the use of the Inuit language in Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly including the challenge of developing terminology within the parliamentary context.
Language is one of the most prominent and critical issues when it comes to politics and public administration in the north. It affects all areas of service delivery, from health and social services, to education and the expectations of our educational system, to the composition of our labour force and the way business is conducted in the workplace.