As a result of the Indian Residential School System, and other oppressive acts such as the Sixties Scoop, there has been a drastic decline in the number of Indigenous language speakers, as well as ceremonial practices. There is a huge resurgence in language revival, coming from youth, adults, and elders, to ensure that the languages and cultures will be there and available for the coming generations.
Background & Context
- Through initiatives like Algonquin Word of the Day, the Speak Mi’kmaq Campaign, and language immersion camps, many are learning and relearning their Indigenous languages, and the Indigenous languages of their territories. Many young people are taking it upon themselves to learn their culture, through seeking out ceremony, lodge keepers, language speakers and knowledge keepers
- Though living in the city, while trying to revive tradition and ceremonies can be difficult, many of us are creating our own communities and traditional-style families in our own cities, along with the communities we may be connected to on our reserves.
- There are many community-led language and cultural initiatives run through friendship centres and local Indigenous services, providing an opportunity to learn with your own community. Some universities and colleges also offer full language programs, such as Georgian College’s Anishinaabemowin and Program Development program. The University of Victoria is also home to nationally renowned undergraduate and graduate programs based on the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
Who is affected?
- Indigenous people trying to learn and relearn their languages
- Indigenous language teachers
Who is making change?
- Prime Minister
- Minister of Indigenous Services- Jane Philpott
- Minister of Heritage-Melanie Joly
- AFN – Perry Bellegarde
- ITK – Natan Obed
- MNC – Clement Chartier
- Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
- The Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs