Why we are Welcoming the Decade of Indigenous Languages (and you should too!)
Many people may not know that besides our incredibly rich ecological and cultural diversity, British Columbia is also one of the most diverse language regions of the world.
B.C. is home to an astounding 34 First Nations languages – more than half of all Indigenous languages in Canada. Each language is at the root of a unique culture, which connects us to the land, to traditional knowledge, to our stories and the words of our ancestors.
As 2022 begins and we kick off the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), it is truly a time to celebrate. The next decade offers an opportunity to continue the work of language revitalization and bring attention to the need for more support for Indigenous language revitalization programs in communities around the world.
See how FPCC supports language revitalization through our resource library.
Why does the Decade of Indigenous languages matter?
The Decade emphasizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples to freedom of expression, education in our mother tongues and access to languages in our everyday lives.
“Over this decade, I would dream that there is an immersion school for families in every Nation – that there is one language domain, and only the language is spoken there.
I see places of language transfer as sources of hope – Language nests, immersion schools, those places are hopeful.” – Sofia Terbasket-Funmaker, First Nations Youth, Nsyilxcn Language Learner
Sofia, a Nsyilxcn language learner, exemplifies hope and aspiration, both of which have propelled her to dedicate herself not just to her own language learning and reconnection but to empower others on their own journeys.
The Decade of Indigenous languages brings awareness to the power of language, and how young people like Sofia are using this awareness to empower them on their journeys.
Are you wondering where to begin?
Whether you want to learn your mother language or the language spoken in your area, there are so many ways to get started…
- Explore our Language Programs, offering funding and resources to support language fluency, language planning, language technology and more. Click here.
- Discover FirstVoices, our hub for technology, training, and technical support for community language champions. Click here.
- Stay tuned for the launch of the Youth Empowered Speakers program on March 23 for First Nations youth between 18 and 30 who want to become fluent in their language while pursuing a career in language revitalization! Click here.
- Check out the First Peoples’ Map of B.C., an interactive online map featuring information about Indigenous languages, arts and cultural heritage in B.C Click here.
Share your story!
Do you have a story about the work your community is doing to revitalize First Nations languages, in B.C.? We want to hear from you! Please send your story to email@example.com and check back as we post more stories about the good work being done across the province.
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To view all current FPCC funding opportunities please visit our Grants page.