Language


The survival of the Inuit language was one of the most important motivations for Inuit of Canada's eastern Arctic in their struggle to establish Nunavut. Today, the Inuit language is the mother tongue of nearly three out of every four people living in the new territory. This sets Nunavut apart from all of Canada's other provinces and territories where either English or French is the majority language. Within Nunavut, the Inuit language is a family of dialects that vary from community to community. Inuktitut is most often written in syllabics, a writing system that developed during the 19th century.


The Inuit language is a defining characteristic of Nunavut and a shared heritage of all its citizens. The presence of Inuit in Nunavut as a people of distinct culture and linguistic heritage is also a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian identity.

The Inuit language is crucial to Nunavut and to Canada in a number of ways:

1. It is an expression of Inuit identity;
2. It shapes the relationships between individuals, families and communities in the eastern Arctic;
3. It enables Inuit to participate in making decisions about the society in which they live.







The Inuit language is at a pivotal moment in its history. The establishment of Nunavut has created a unique opportunity to ensure that the Inuit language remains a healthy and vibrant language for many generations to come. While the Inuit language is still strong, it has suffered greatly from past government policies that were aimed at assimilation. The Inuit language also faces new pressures from the wide use of English in global electronic media and culture.



Source courtesy of: http://www.gov.nu.ca