|Rank among provinces|
*Note: Yukon Territory was ceded from Northwest Territories in 1898.
***Note: Data through 1996 includes Nunavut. 2001 data does not include Nunavut.
French was made an official language in 1877 by the appointed government, after lengthy and bitter debate resulting from a speech from the throne in 1888 by Lt. Governor Joseph Royal. The members voted on more than one occasion to nullify and make English the only language used in the assembly. After some conflict with Ottawa and a decisive vote on January 19, 1892, the issue was put to rest as an English-only territory.
In the early 1980s, the government of Northwest Territories was again under pressure by the federal government to reintroduce French as an official language. Some native members walked out of the assembly, protesting that they would not be permitted to speak their own language. The executive council appointed a special committee of MLAs to study the matter. They decided that if French was to be an official language, then so must the other languages in the territories.
NWT residents have a right to use any of the above languages in a territorial court and in debates and proceedings of the legislature. However, laws are legally binding only in their French and English versions, and the government only publishes laws and other documents in the territory's other official languages when the legislature asks it to. Furthermore, access to services in any language is limited to institutions and circumstances where there is significant demand for that language or where it is reasonable to expect it given the nature of the services requested. In reality, this means that English language services are universally available and there is no guarantee that other languages, including French, will be used by any particular government service except for the courts.
The 2006 Canadian census showed a population of 41,464.
Of the 40,680 singular responses to the census question concerning 'mother tongue' the most commonly reported languages were:
There were also about 40 single-language responses for Ukrainian; 35 for the Scandinavian languages, Slovak and Urdu; and 30 for Hungarian, the Iranian languages and Polish. In addition, there were also 320 responses of both English and a 'non-official language'; 15 of both French and a 'non-official language; 45 of both English and French, and about 400 people who either did not respond to the question, or reported multiple non-official languages, or else gave some other unenumerated response. The Northwest Territories' official languages are shown in bold. Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses.)
There were also about thirty-five immigrants from Pakistan; and about thirty each from India, Lebanon, Nigeria and Slovakia.
A total of 12,100 people moved to the Northwest Territories from other parts of Canada between 1996 and 2006 while 15,955 people moved in the opposite direction. These movements resulted in a net influx of 825 from Newfoundland and Labrador, 295 from Nunavut, 235 from Quebec and 195 from Nova Scotia; and a net outmigration of 3,955 to Alberta, 705 to British Columbia, 260 to Manitoba, 245 to Ontario and 230 to the Yukon. (All inter-provincial movements and official minority movements of more than 100 persons are given.)
|Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2006 Census)|
|Population group||Population||% of total population|
|Visible minority group
|Visible minority, n.i.e.||30||0.1%|
|Multiple visible minority||40||0.1%|
|Total visible minority population||2,265||5.5%|
|Multiple Aboriginal identity||105||0.3%|
|Total Aboriginal population||20,635||50.3%|
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Canada:
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area, and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest, and marine borders with France and Greenland on the east and northeast, respectively.
The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War.
In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.