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Inuit and Inuk

Linguistic Recommendation

To standardize the use of Inuit and Inuk in the federal public service, the Translation Bureau recommends the following:

How to Use Inuit and Inuk in English

Singular noun

Inuk is the singular noun. It is always capitalized:

  • the first Inuk to play in the NHL

Plural noun

Inuit is the plural noun. It is always capitalized:

  • Inuit enjoy the arrival of spring.
    (not Inuits enjoy)

Because Inuit means "the people," do not use the or people with Inuit:

  • Inuit use traditional hunting methods.
    (not The Inuit or The Inuit people)


Inuit is the adjective. It is always capitalized:

  • Storytelling is an Inuit tradition.

How to Use Inuit in French

Singular noun

Inuit is the masculine noun. It is always capitalized:

  • Un Inuit du Nord canadien

Inuite is the feminine noun. It is always capitalized:

  • L'œuvre d'une Inuite

Note: Inuk is no longer used in French.

Plural noun

Inuit and Inuite both take an "s" in the plural form. They are always capitalized:

  • les Inuits qui vivent au nord du 60e parallèle
  • les Inuites et les autres femmes autochtones


The adjective inuit agrees in both gender and number with the noun it modifies. It is never capitalized:

  • la culture inuite
  • des chanteuses inuites
  • des artistes inuits

Linguistic Recommendation reference number


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Linguistic Recommendations and Reminders
Inuit and Inuk (REC-6/2008-06) - Comments

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