Linguistic Vitality

French in the home is doing relatively well...



In 2006, 470 residents of the Northwest Territories said they speak French most often in home.

In addition, 505 individuals said they regularly speak French in the home, though this was not the most commonly used language. Half of them have English as their mother tongue.

The use of French in daily family life is an important element of Franco-tenois dynamics. Given that French is in closer and closer contact with English everywhere in the Territories, this stability of numbers is somewhat surprising. It can be explained, however, by the yearly influx of Francophones to north of the 60th parallel from communities where French is the majority language or at least from places where the weight of numbers helps ensure it retains its place as the primary language of the home.
 

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Northwest Territories

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Northwest Territories

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

*Statistics Canada started collecting data on other languages spoken regularly at home in 2001

...knowledge of French is increasingly widespread...


In the Northwest Territories, the number of people who know French (alone or English also) has more than tripled since the 1950s. Currently, across the Territories, more than 3,720 persons are able to express themselves in French; this represents 9.1% of the population. The proportion of French speakers actually increased following the creation of Nunavut, where the vast majority speak Inuktitut and English.

After English, French is the most widely spoken language, but Aboriginal languages occupy a very important place in the linguistic landscape of the Northwest Territories. For example, 2,545 persons speak Dogrib, 1,830 speak South Slavey and 1,015 speak North Slavey (Hare).
 

Knowledge of French, 1951-2006, Northwest Territories

La connaissance du français, 1951-2006, Territoires du Nord-OuestKnowledge of French, 1951-2006, Northwest Territories

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

...and a modest advance for French in the workplace


In 2006, 715 N.W.T. residents stated that French is the language they use most often or regularly at work, which represents close to 30% of the active population with knowledge of French. However, workers who use French at work still represent only 3% of the overall active population.
 

Use of French at Work, Active Population with Knowledge of French, 2006, Northwest Territories

Use of French at Work, Active Population with Knowledge of French, 2006, Northwest Territories

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census