You are here
Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun Resources
The Government of Nunavut is dedicated to promoting and strengthening the Inuit language and this commitment is evident in the territory’s education system. As a new educator in Nunavut, you should become familiar with the territory’s two languages acts and the Language of Instruction models that are used in schools.
There are three official languages in Nunavut, outlined in the territory’s Official Languages Act (OLA). These languages are the Inuit language (Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun), English and French. The Act provides guidelines and requirements for the use of the Inuit language in the workplace and by government bodies.
The Inuit Language Protection Act (ILPA) was created to protect and revitalize the Inuit language, in order to increase the number of people who can fluently speak and read the Inuit language. In addition. Nunavut’s Education Act requires that the territory’s public schools provide all students with an Inuit language education and Nunavut students graduate fully bilingual in the Inuit language and English or French by 2019.
Language of instruction (LOI) models
In 2007-2008, Nunavut schools, along with their local District Education Authority (DEA), carried out community consultations to select a language of instruction model (LOI) for their respective community. There are three models and each guides educators in language use in their classrooms and schools. Check with your principal or DEA for more information about your school’s LOI model.
often used when the Inuit language is the first language of the community
supports the Inuit language as the main language of instruction
kindergarten – grade 3: 85-90% of instruction is in the community’s Inuit language
grade 4–6: 70-75% instruction in the Inuit language, with a gradual increase in English or French instruction
later grades: instruction is 50% Inuit language and 50% English or French immersion model
developed for communities that have experienced profound language loss
intended to reverse this loss and provide strong bilingual speakers upon graduation
students entering kindergarten are taught in a primary Inuit language/immersion environment
kindergarten – grade three: 85-90% Inuit language instruction with the rest in English or French
grades four to six: 80-85% Inuit language instruction with the remainder in English or French
later grades: 50% Inuit language and 50% English or French instruction
Two-way bilingual model
developed for communities who have both strong Inuit and English first language speakers
kindergarten – grade six: most of day taught in first language
a gradual move toward a 50/50 split of Inuit language and English instruction in later grades
There are numerous people and organizations who can help you find Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun resources.
Your colleagues - Speak with your colleagues about what Inuit-language resources are available in your school. They can provide you with an inventory list for your school, or help you find resources elsewhere.
Regional consultants - Regional consultants are another valuable resource. They can connect you with other people offering support in this area. Do not hesitate to send them an email. However, be aware that consultants are also teachers and Nunavut Teachers’ Association members so if you contact them during the summer months they may be on their summer break.
Resource Services - Formerly known as the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC), the Department of Education created this section to ensure educational materials are readily available in English, Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and French. You can access Nunavut-created teaching and learning materials as well as classroom aids such as posters, nametags, and bulletin board borders through this section. Ask your Regional School Operations or the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut (RSO/CSFN) for the electronic resource catalogue that’s available to schools. There is no charge for these materials.
Director, Resource Services
Department of Education
Government of Nunavut
PO Box 1000, Station 930
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0
Tel. (867) 975-5657
Fax (867) 975-7924