An analysis of language provisions in the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
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Tulloch, S. and V. Hust (2003). An Analysis of Language Provisions in the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. IN G. Duhaime and N. Bernard (eds.), Arctic Economic Development and Self-Government. pp. 283-296. Quebec: GETIC, Université Laval.
The Nunavut Act and Nunavut Land Claims Agreement were negotiated in response to a plethora of needs and desires, as expressed by the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Nunavut Tungavik Inc., an organization representing the Inuit living in the Nunavut region. An analysis of the articles in these two documents illuminates both what these needs and desires were at the time of negotiation and what the three parties deemed to be mutually appropriate and acceptable legislation in response to these needs. One relatively minor index of such concerns is the provisions for the use of the Inuit language, Inuktitut. In this paper, we examine the clauses in the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement that deal specifically with language use in varying contexts. This systematic analysis of the language provisions reveals that although language is a minor element, it is nonetheless treated explicitly and compellingly in the two founding documents of the Nunavut Territory. The analysis further demonstrates that the application of the provisions is unambiguous and, if done conscientiously, will lead to certain intended, as well as other, perhaps unintended, results.