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Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Inuktitut


Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations Office in Geneva

Language Profile


21,500 (1991)


It i s an official language in Nunavut, Nunavik, Northwest Territories, Nunatsiavut (Canada) and spoken in Canada (Nunavut, Nunavik, Northwest Territories, Nunatsiavut). It also has legal recognition in Nunavik —a part of Quebec—thanks in part to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, and is recognised in the Charter of the French Language as the official language of instruction for Inuit school districts there. It also has some recognition in Nunatsiavut —the Inuit area in Labrador —following the ratification of its agreement with the Government of Canada and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador .


There are 21,500 speakers of Inuktitut (4000 in Western Canada, 3500 in North Alaska, and 14,000 in Eastern Canada). Inuktitut is the traditional language of the Inuit people. It has been spoken for thousands of years but has been written only in recent years. Although Inuktitut has been written for more than a hundred years, literature has developed recently through the publishing efforts of magazines and publishers in northern Canada. Different alphabets are used: in the western and central Arctic (Kitikmeot), the Roman script; in the eastern Arctic (Baffin and Keewatin regions), the syllabic script (developed in 1894 by the Reverend Edmund Peck for the Cree language and adapted for use in this region).