The development, implementation and contestation of language-in-education policies in Nunavut provide grounds for a critical case study of the possibilities and constraints of Indigenous self-governments legislating in the area of language-in-education policy and planning. When this territory was created, Inuit legislators in Nunavut gained authority to create laws and policies promoting the Indigenous language that had been threatened by decades of federal, assimilationist policies. However, a critical analysis of language planning efforts, and the discourse that surrounds them, reveals barriers to implementing strong policies towards bilingual education, even with relevant state power. Discursive and ideological power limits the capacity, intent and impact of potential agents of language revitalization and instruction, as do structural constraints, such as racism, Eurocentrism, English normativity, and micro interactions between teachers and students and among teachers. The history of LPP in Nunavut, and its contestation, reveals the need to overcome hegemonies that undermine the agency of Inuit teachers, parents, student, policy makers and organizations, if the LPP goals of Nunavut’s government are to be realized.