The Inuit language (Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun), English and French.

It means:

  • You should be able to receive services from public sector offices in an official language.
    That in 2012 the Municipalities must provide services in the Inuit language as well as in French where there is a significant demand.

No, this is not our mandate. The translation department of the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth handles translations for the Government of Nunavut. The private sector or general public can contact a freelance translator at the Nunavut Interpretors Society. 


Nunavut government, its board and agencies, the Legislative Assembly and Nunavut courts  must provide services in the official languages if their office:

  • Is a head or central office;
  • Supplies emergency or other essential services that impact on health, safety, security of the person; and
  • Has a significant demand for the service from a proportion of the population served and the volume of communications or services using the official language.

At a future date to be determined by Cabinet, the private sector will have to provide services and communicate with the public in the Inuit language.
A private sector body is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, a society, an association, cooperative, and union or non-government entity.

All private sector bodies are expected to:

  • Display its Public signs, including Emergency and Exit Signs in the Inuit Language together with any other language used;
  • Display and issue its posters and any commercial advertising in the Inuit Language together with any other language used;
  • Display the Inuit Language text on its public signs, posters and commercial advertising and make sure it is at least equally prominent as any other language used; and
  • Provide in the Inuit Language its reception services and any customer or client services that are available to the general public.

No, but as stated above, customer or reception services should be available in the Inuit Language as well as signage, invoices and bills, and publications mailed or given to Nunavummiut.

The Inuit Language Plan guidelines outline what the private sector body must do in order to comply with the language acts and, if they cannot comply, what steps they can take to plan for compliance.

The Private Sector Liaison Officer is also there to answer questions or to offer assistance in developing an Inuit Language Plan.

The Office of the Languages Commissioner can exempt a private sector body if:

  • The requirements would cause hardship.
  • An organization’s only purpose is for the expression, promotion, and strengthening of its linguistic, cultural heritage. For example, those organizations with programs targeting a Francophone or Inuit community.

 A formal exemption would need to be obtained. Our office would encourage anyone who has questions about exemptions to contact the Private Sector Liaison Officer.

The Office of the Languages Commissioner does not provide financial assistance for language compliance; however, we do want to hear any concerns or needs that you may have so that we can report them to the Minister of Languages.