English becomes the sole official language of the Northwest Territories

An ordinance and a resolution make English the only language permitted in schools and in the legislative assembly.

The ordinance followed Conservative M.P. D’Alton McCarthy’s bill to abolish the bilingual character of this federal territory.

However, amendments in 1896 and 1901 permitted the teaching of a French primary course for students who did not understand English. More specifically, the 1901 amendment stipulated that school boards could authorize instruction in French during a year of primary school and gave them the necessary authority to raise the money required for teachers’ salaries by levying a special tax on parents who wanted such instruction.

It was not until 1984 that the Northwest Territories’ Legislative Assembly restored the status of French as one of the territory’s official languages.