Infographic: The French Presence in Nunavut

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The French Presence in Nunavut. Details in text following the infographic.
Text version: The French Presence in Nunavut

Text version: The French Presence in Nunavut

  • French is the first official language of 1.5% of the population (478 people)
  • 4% of the population (1,200 people) can speak both English and French
  • 1.4%*(of eligible enrolment)
    133 students are enrolled in core French.
  • Nunavut is home to the world’s northernmost French-language school: L’École des Trois-Soleils (Kindergarten to Grade 12).
  • The name “Trois-Soleils” symbolizes the harmony between Francophones, Inuit and Anglophones, the three cultures present in Nunavut’s capital city of Iqaluit.

Where do francophones live?

Most Francophones in Nunavut live in the capital, Iqaluit.

Economic regions: 

  • Baffin (Iqaluit): 405 (84%)
  • Keewatin: 55 (11%)
  • Kitikmeot: 25 (5%)

Where were they (francophones) born?

More than 80% of Francophones in Nunavut moved there from elsewhere in Canada.

  • In Nunavut: 11%
  • Elsewhere in Canada: 83%
  • Abroad: 4.5%

Where were French-speaking immigrants born?

There are very few French-speaking immigrants in Nunavut (20). Half were born in Africa and the other half were born in Europe.


The Association des francophones du Nunavut hosts events throughout the year, such as French-language film screenings, music concerts and book fairs.

Spring: The Rallye familial de motoneiges (family snowmobile rally) is held during the spring festival in Iqaluit and brings together Francophone families.

Fall: The Partie d’huîtres (oyster supper) is a traditional activity that has been held for the past 18 years in Iqaluit’s French-speaking community.


The first Francophones to come to the area that would become Nunavut were members of whaling crews in the 1800s.

In the 1970s, the federal government opened regional offices with bilingual staff in Frobisher Bay. In 1981, the organization that is now the Association des francophones du Nunavut was founded.

The first French mother tongue education program started in 1993 (Grade 1 to 6).

Nunavut was created in 1999. Nunavut’s only French-language school was opened in 2001. The Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut was created in 2004.



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