Our languages are the roots of our culture – connecting us to the land, traditional knowledge and stories. All that we know and all of our relationships grow from the words of our ancestors.
Since 1990, the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) has collaborated with communities who are working to carry their language into the future.
FPCC is a strong advocate for Indigenous peoples’ right to live and speak our languages and practice our cultures. We provide funding, training, resources and support for language revitalization.
Youth Empowered Speakers (YES) Program
The FPCC Youth Empowered Speakers (YES) Program is for B.C. First Nations youth between the ages of 18-30 who want to become fluent in their language while pursuing a career in language revitalization. The program provides training, paid work internships and funding for education and living allowance, in addition to mentor-apprentice language learning
Language Revitalization Planning Program
This program provides funding, resources and coaching to First Nations communities in B.C. to develop plans for Indigenous language revitalization. Funding can be used for wages, honoraria, equipment, resource materials and more.
Language Technology Program
This program combines the FirstVoices Program and the Digitization Grants Initiative to offer funding and training to First Nations communities, governments, bands and tribal councils and Indigenous organizations in B.C. The goal of this program is to support communities to develop and sustain cohesive language technology programming.
Pathways to Language Vitality Program
Created in response to community feedback, the FPCC Pathways to Language Vitality Program provides funding and support for community-led projects that revitalize First Nations languages in B.C. and help create new fluent speakers.
The Mentor-Apprentice Program supports one-on-one learning between an adult learner and a fluent speaker. The program provides funding for 300 hours of immersion over the course of a year, along with training and support. While completing this program is a big commitment, it works! Some apprentices have become highly proficient speakers in three years.
B.C. Language Initiative
This program supports a wide range of language projects for First Nations and community organizations. Funding can be used for language documentation, immersion, planning and community collaboration. This funding is now provided through the Pathways to Language Vitality Program.
Language Gathering & Sharing Grants
Language Gathering & Sharing grants provide funding so communities can connect and share language successes, tools and ideas. This stream provides funding for language gatherings and community-to-community mentorships. Funds for language gatherings cover travel and meeting costs so communities that share the same language can work together. Funding for community-to-community mentorships allows groups to visit with communities from other languages to learn from successful language revitalization initiatives. Funding for these events is now provided through the Pathways to Langauge Vitality Program.
Digitization Grant Initiative
This program provides funding, training and support so language recordings and documents can be preserved for future generations. Many communities have language resources – both audio and text – in old or inaccessible formats, such as workbooks, cassette tapes, and even open-reel recordings. Resources in these formats are difficult to use and share, and may become damaged or obsolete as they age. To prevent words and stories from being lost, the Digitization Grant Initiative supports the digitization and sharing of these valuable resources.
Reclaiming My Language
Reclaiming My Language is an Indigenous-developed program to support Silent Speakers to reclaim their language and begin speaking again. The course uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and supports silent speakers with tools and coaching to move forward in a good way and reclaim their language.
Communities nurture new generations of fluent language speakers by offering immersion for very young children and their parents. The Language Nest Program is built on successful models of language revitalization in New Zealand and Hawaii. In addition to funding, FPCC offers training, handbooks and online resources. Funding for Langauge Nests is now provided through the Pathways to Language Vitality Program.
The FirstVoices program provides training and grants for communities to develop and update language sites online. FirstVoices is a suite of free online tools for language documentation. The internationally recognized technology was developed by First Peoples’ Cultural Council. It is one way that communities can easily collect audio, stories, images, video and dictionaries. Community-based teams of fluent-speaking First Nations Elders and technically savvy youth are trained in the collection, editing and uploading of words, phrases, songs and stories.
Indigenous Languages Grant
This grant (previously called ALI) provides funding for a variety of language revitalization activities. For example, funds can be used for documenting language, creating resources, hosting language camps and more! This funding is made possible by the Department of Canadian Heritage as a result of the Government of Canada’s Indigenous Languages Act. This funding is now provided through the Pathways to Langauge Vitality Program.