The implementation of the Indigenous Language Act-an act to support the efforts of Indigenous Peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages-remains a top priority for the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, is undertaking the first in a series of online and in-person consultation and engagement sessions to implement the Act. The focus of this phase will be to help him make recommendations to the Governor in Council for the appointment of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and Directors.
The Commissioner will play a key role in supporting the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages.
The Government of Canada is building on the approach taken to co-develop the Indigenous Languages Act, by inviting Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous elders, youth, children, persons with disabilities, women, men, two-spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ people across Canada to complete the online questionnaire.
Consultation and engagement sessions will be ongoing in every province and territory, as well as via the Web, until June 2020.
“Indigenous knowledge, vision and experience are essential to ensuring the Indigenous Languages Act is fully implemented. We must consult and work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada to ensure we set the foundation for them to reclaim, revitalize, strengthen and maintain their Indigenous languages.”
-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Our government is committed to the preservation, protection and revitalization of Indigenous languages in Canada. These consultations with Indigenous Peoples are essential as we work together to implement the Indigenous Languages Act and increase the availability of translation, interpretation and terminology services.”
-The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
The Indigenous Languages Act was co-developed with Indigenous Peoples and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
Budget 2019 announced an investment of $333.7 million over five years, starting in 2019-2020, with $115.7 million ongoing to support implementation of the Act.
Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Translation Bureau will also participate in this consultation. The Translation Bureau is the Government of Canada’s centre of expertise for the provision of translation, interpretation and terminology services in English, French, Indigenous languages and foreign languages.
The Bureau relies on independent service providers to offer translation and interpretation services in Indigenous languages, and is actively looking to expand its pool of service providers in order to cover a greater number of the many Indigenous languages in Canada.