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“The implementation process will most likely not happen immediately”

SARAH ROGERS

As sections of the Government of Nunavut’s Inuktut-language laws that apply to private businesses come into force across the territory, Nunavummiut should hear more Inuktut greetings and see new and prominent Inuit-language signage.

After years of delay, sections 3 and 5 of the Inuit Language Protection Act and section 12 of the Official Languages Act were brought into force July 9, affecting all private businesses and organizations serving Nunavummiut, ranging from hotels and retail stores to daycare centres.

Nunavut MLAs passed the legislation in 2008, but the sections that affect to private businesses were delayed for years to give private businesses and organizations time to prepare.

The Inuit Language Protection Act has been in force for the Government of Nunavut since 2011.

The new standards require posted Inuktut text to be at least equally prominent with other languages and an “active offer” of services in spoken Inuktut.

“As a general rule, the text should be displayed so that Inuktut is likely to be read first,” said an information sheet on best practices recently sent out to private entities by the GN’s Department of Culture and Heritage.

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