“Indigenous Peoples know best how to lead the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of their languages, which is why our government is working closely with Indigenous partners to ensure this is done right. The consultations and the Indigenous Languages Symposium are key to the successful implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act in promoting and revitalizing Indigenous languages, and to strengthen our relationship with Indigenous partners and communities.”
-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Indigenous Languages Act was developed in consultation with Indigenous Peoples and received Royal Assent June 21, 2019.
The establishment of an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, with a commissioner and up to three directors appointed by the Governor in Council, is stated in the Indigenous Languages Act. The office will be an independent institution.
Virtual consultations will use video conferencing and teleconferencing technology. While these approaches are currently necessary to ensure everyone’s safety and to respect public health recommendations, they will not be a long-term replacement to more traditional, in-person events.
The symposium will establish national and international networks supporting the reclamation, revitalization, strengthening and maintenance of Indigenous languages. The symposium involves an international focus that will offer comparative perspectives to enrich the discussions, complement the consultations, and consider the upcoming Decade for Indigenous Languages.
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.