I recently watched a CTV news story on the 2011 Census, which brought up some interesting new statistics on the languages spoken in Canada. While I was pleased to see that Canada remains as multi-cultural as ever, one segment of the population seems to be struggling. Our country's first languages - the Indigenous Languages are struggling.
Watch story here -
CTV News Story - Losing languages: 2011 census finds indigenous languages struggling
The reasons given for the struggle include past policies that removed Indigenous Language from the school and community as well as a higher value placed on the two 'official' languages. One can easily understand why these languages continue to struggle.
However, I was pleased to hear from the guest speaker - Lorna Williams, the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning at the University of Victoria, that there is good work being done in communities across Canada to preserve and strengthen our Indigenous Languages.
To continue and strengthen this good work, I was recently made aware of a new Call for Proposals for the Aboriginal Languages Initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The Aboriginal Languages Initiative supports community-based projects that contribute to the preservation and revitalization of Aboriginal languages in Canada. If you are interested in applying, please visit www.pch.gc.ca/aboriginal and click on 'Apply for Funding'. You can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-819-994-3835. But hurry - eligible applications must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 12, 2012.
If your community has an interesting project that has been implemented to help preserve your language - I would love to hear about it and share it on our blog. Let us know of the good work you're doing!!!