(Ottawa, February 5, 2019) – Today, the Federal Government tabled Bill C-91 – An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages, with the intention that this Bill becomes law by the end of the current parliamentary session, and well before the upcoming federal election.
This significant piece of legislation, which strives to support and protect Indigenous Languages, was co-drafted with First Nations input throughout its development. It was developed in response to both the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action.
“This commitment by the Federal Government is welcomed as an essential support for revitalizing Indigenous Languages across Canada. Now, it is up to each one of us – Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Mushkego – to reintegrate the languages of our homelands into every aspect of our lives.” said Ogimaa Duke Peltier of Wiikwemkoong First Nation.
“I would like to pay my respects to Ogimaa Duke Peltier and the other AFN Chiefs Committee members who ensured First Nations languages would be both protected and have the opportunity to thrive under this legislation,” said Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald.
The Chiefs of Ontario recognize that the introduction of Bill C-91 on the year dedicated to International Indigenous Languages is much-needed in order to ensure Canada’s historic and systematic efforts to eliminate Indigenous languages are undone.
“We know that our youth achieve greater success when they are supported through their traditions and language. Fluency in our own languages provides us with skills that can serve us well in future academic and professional pursuits. It provides us with an intimate connection to our history, our land, and our community. As Regional Chief, I know that this work is far from complete. Bill C-91 will require the continued capacity, support and input of First Nations moving forward,” said Regional Chief Archibald. “The preservation of Indigenous languages is beneficial to us all. I call on all Members of Parliament and Provincial Parilament, Ontarians, and Canadians to join me in their vocal support of the protection of First Nations Languages across Canada.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
Media Contact: Scott Cavan, Scott.Cavan@coo.org or cell: 416-522-0706