Investing in Reconciliation

Let’s Invest in Reconciliation Together

B.C. is home to more than half of the First Nations languages in Canada.

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council has worked in partnership with governments and First Nations in B.C. to make huge strides in the revitalization of languages, arts and heritage, but there is still a great deal of work to do. Fluent speakers are declining, and all First Nations languages in B.C. are at risk.

First Nations need access to long-term sustainable funding to support cultural revitalization. 

We’re producing results and revitalizing languages in partnership with First Nations in B.C. 

We work with First Nations in B.C. to help them reach their revitalization goals. 

  • Our board members hail from First Nations throughout B.C. 
  • We have an Advisory Committee with representatives from all 35 First Nations languages in the province. 
  • Our staff includes expert coaches who support First Nations people in communities with planning and implementation. 

By working in lockstep with community language revitalization experts, we are producing results. In the past five years (2018/19- 2022/23) alone: 

  • We saw language learners increase by more than 20% across B.C.  
  • More people are participating in language immersion programs than ever before, with FPCC supporting language immersion opportunities for over 3,600 people 
  • We provided training to more than 780 people 
  • We assisted with the digitization of more than 42,800 resources 

Our work is urgent. B.C. is home to more than 50% of the First Nations languages in Canada but the number of fluent speakers is declining.  All First Nations languages in B.C. are at risk.  

FPCC is working collaboratively with governments towards long-term sustainable funding for First Nations communities so they can reach their cultural revitalization goals. 

Let’s invest in reconciliation together.       
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We’re supporting jobs that revitalize First Nations languages and cultures in B.C.

Funding to revitalize First Nations languages, arts and heritage has an economic impact and FPCC funding supports First Nations jobs in all economic regions of B.C.  

  • Our programs supported more than 4,700 jobs in B.C. in 2022/23 and more than 4,300 in the previous year. 
  • FPCC provides training and mentorship support to build the skills people need for complex cultural revitalization work. 
  • When funding drops or when there are gaps in funding, skilled staff in First Nations communities are laid off.  

We need predictable, long-term funding so the dedicated people in First Nations communities who are working to revitalize languages today, can be confident they will have jobs tomorrow.   

Let’s invest in reconciliation together.  
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FPCC and the government are working together to revitalize First Nations languages, ensuring their vitality for future generations.

Canada and B.C. are committed to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

B.C. passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in 2019 and Canada passed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act in 2021. 

There is no question that First Nations people have a right to their languages. 

B.C. is home to 204 First Nations communities with 35 languages, more than half of the First Nations languages spoken in Canada. 

This work is urgent as the number of fluent speakers in B.C. continues to decline, dropping by 18% between 2018 and 2022.  

Seven languages have five or fewer fluent speakers, and all First Nations languages spoken in B.C. are at risk and need funding to flourish again.  (The Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages Report, 2022). 

It is critical federal language funding be maintained to continue language revitalization.

We need to keep working to revitalize First Nations languages, ensuring their vitality for future generations.   

Let’s invest in reconciliation together.  
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Provincial and federal funding work together to advance reconciliation and revitalize our languages.   

FPCC is a First-Nations led B.C. Crown corporation, with more than 30 years of experience in revitalization and is viewed as a leader by others around the world.  

FPCC receives funding for community grants from multiple partners, including the provincial and federal governments, which are responsible for providing long-term, sustainable funding.  

With this funding, we provided more than $103 million in grants to communities over the last five years (2018/19-2022/23). 

FPCC is more than a funder. We make coaching, resources and training available to all 204 First Nations in B.C. Our language programs include: 

  • Reclaiming My Language: A course that draws on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and offers support to people to reclaim an ancestral language they know, but do not speak. 
  • Mentor-Apprentice Program: One-on-one immersion training to help language learners become more fluent speakers. 
  • Language Revitalization Planning Program – Funding, resources and coaching to assist communities in developing comprehensive, long-term plans to reach their language revitalization goals. 
  • Pathways to Language Vitality – Funding and support for a variety of community-led projects that revitalize First Nations languages in B.C. and help create fluent speakers.
  • Language Nests: Early immersion programming for pre-school aged children. 
  • Digitization training: Training to convert delicate print materials and outdated technology to digital formats, ensuring they are available for future generations. 
  • FirstVoices.com: A free, secure online platform and suite of tools for First Nations communities in B.C. to upload and share language resources. 
  • First Peoples’ Map: An online map of First Nations language regions, which includes arts and heritage content in B.C., as well as First Nations place names with audio recordings of language names, greetings, places and more.  

Over the past three decades, through working in partnership with government and communities, we have become a world-leading model for language and cultural revitalization work.    

Federal language funding is key to our success. 

The federal government provides language program funding under the Indigenous Languages Act from Federal Budget 2019, as well as three years of funding from Federal Budget 2021. Canadian Heritage is seeking to renew these funds but if not successful, they will sunset on March 31, 2024.    

Let’s invest in reconciliation together.  
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Long-term sustainable funding enables First Nations to build strong communities.

Sustainable funding for language and culture supports First Nations as they build strong and vibrant communities.  
   
That’s why we are asking governments to maintain funding to support the revitalization of our languages and cultures.  
   
We know language connects us to our culture, community, land and identity and offers a path toward reconciliation.  

Research from around the world reinforces this, repeatedly demonstrating that language revitalization supports positive health outcomes, leading to strong communities. 

Long-term sustainable funding for First Nations languages is key to reconciliation. 

Let’s invest in reconciliation together.   
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