Inuvialuktun Dialects

The Inuvialuit belong to three linguistic groups. Collectively the three dialects they speak are known as the Inuvialuktun language:

  • Uummarmiutun meaning the language of the “people of the evergreens and willows” is spoken in the tree-lined inland communities of Aklavik and Inuvik.
  • Sallirmiutun meaning the language of the “people located farthest along the coastline” is spoken in the coastal communities of Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour.
  • Kangiryuarmiutun meaning the language of the “people of the large bay” is spoken in the community of Ulukhaktok (Holman) on Victoria Island. 

English is spoken widely in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, and unfortunately Inuvialuktun is classified as an endangered language because it is spoken by fewer than 50% of the population, many of whom are Elders.

The Inuvialuit Cultural Centre was opened in May 1998. Together with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation it has supported several oral history projects. Its mandate includes:

  • Developing a language plan for the Region
  • Creating an Inuvialuktun Language Curriculum
  • Providing Inuvialuktun teachers with resource materials
  • Preserving and modernizing the language

Search for language lessons or hear recordings in all 3 dialects of Inuvialuktun at the Inuvialuit Digital Library.