On Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23, 2017, the Assembly of First Nations will host an Engagement Session on the Indigenous Languages Initiative at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel for British Columbia and Yukon First Nations.
Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s December 6, 2016 announcement that the Government of Canada would jointly develop legislation for the revitalization and recovery of Indigenous languages, the Assembly of First Nations convened a series of Engagement Sessions to seek input from First Nations.
In his speech to the Chiefs-in-Assembly, the Prime Minister said: “So today, I commit to you that our government will enact an Indigenous Languages Act, co-developed with Indigenous Peoples, with the goal of ensuring the preservation, protection, and revitalization of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit languages in this country.”
We look forward to this co-developed legislation and seeing it successfully enacted. Because if we fail to take prompt action, experts agree that most Indigenous languages will become extinct within the next 15 to 20 years. And if this happens, it will erase the identity of entire First Nations communities along with their culture, heritage, and sense of who they and we are.