GNWT’s Action Plan for Indigenous Languages extended to 2025

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 7, 2023

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has extended the timeline of its NWT Indigenous Languages Action Plan to 2024-2025.

The action plan has been in place since 2018 and was set to be renewed in 2022-2023. Extending the plan by two years allows the government to align the renewed plan, set to be released in 2024-2025, with funding received from Canadian Heritage. It also provides more time to complete the remaining actions and deliverables identified in the action plan.

The action plan lays out the best approach for the GNWT to reach its two main goals: to revitalize the Northwest Territories’ (NWT) official Indigenous languages and provide access to public services in the NWT’s Indigenous languages. As the government moves forward with completing the actions set forth in the plan, the territory moves closer to reaching the shared vision of an NWT where Indigenous languages are supported, respected, and thriving as languages of communication by all people.

Over the last four years, all but one action of the plan has been initiated or completed. The action that still needs to be initiated is the development of a promotional campaign on the Official Languages Act and access to Indigenous language services in the NWT. This action is contingent on the completion of several other action items that are currently underway.


“We are working with Indigenous people and governments on the protection, revitalization, preservation, and strengthening of Indigenous languages in the NWT. A renewed action plan with the funding to support it will allow us to continue to strengthen Indigenous languages in the NWT and our commitment to developing a new generation of Indigenous language speakers.”

- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • The current Canada–NWT Agreement on Indigenous Languages was signed in March 2022. This agreement provides the GNWT with $5.9 million per year for Indigenous language programs and services until 2024.
  • In June 2017, the GNWT tabled the NWT Indigenous Languages Framework: A Shared Responsibility. The two overarching goals of the Framework are to ensure all people in the NWT:
    • Maintain the strength of Indigenous languages as a means of communication and as a connection to culture.
    • Can use and benefit from high-quality public services in all official Indigenous languages.
  • The NWT has nine official Indigenous languages: Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé (Chipewyan), nēhiyawēwin (Cree), Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik (Gwich’in), Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Dene Kǝdǝ́ (North Slavey), Dene Zhatıé (South Slavey), and Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ (Tłı̨chǫ).

Related links


For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352  Ext. 71073