New Language Status Report published today! Today in celebration of International Mother Language Day we are releasing the fourth edition of the Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages, which reveals a more than 20% growth in First Nations language learners since 2018.
The First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) publishes this Language Status Report every four years, and in this latest 2022 edition, we are encouraged by the rise in the number of adult learners, semi-speakers and immersion opportunities for all ages to support the generational transfer of strong, living languages for First Nations in B.C.
Our communities have faced many challenges over the last four years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, record wildfires and flooding causing evacuations for many. Despite this, B.C. First Nations have worked hard to continue language revitalization work, engaging in more learning opportunities than ever.
2022 highlights on increases reported since 2018:
- Now reporting on all 34 First Nations languages in B.C.
- The number of language nests have tripled
- Increases in the number of full-time language immersion programs for adults
- New language learners increased by more than 20%
- Number of Mentor-Apprentice teams grew from 27 to 150
Perhaps most importantly, there has been an increase in children learning their First Nations language at home as their mother tongue. In this report, we have highlighted several families who are bringing back the generational transfer of language in the home, such as Roxanne George and Cody Dool who are raising their three children to speak Halq’eméylem.
“My great grandma played a really big role in language revitalization here in Stó:lõ, territory,” said Roxanne George, Halq’eméylem learner from Squiala. “I feel like the only way I can give thanks to her and fill her shoes is by contributing to the language, and not only me, but taking my entire family along for the ride. It’s a part of our culture and who we are, and what we’re supposed to be doing.”
The only Indigenous-led, report of its kind in Canada, the 2022 Language Status Report gathered information from 140,195 First Nations people living in 167 First Nations communities in B.C. First published in 2010, twelve years of data inform and support revitalization strategies, evaluation, advocacy and long-term sustainable investments.
Over the last 4 years, unprecedented positive actions taken by provincial and federal governments have directly increased the funding and program support FPCC provides to communities, which has in turn contributed to the growth observed in this report. With support from the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, valued funding partners and government pledges to provide adequate, sustainable and long-term funding, we are optimistic that the growth observed in this report will continue.
At FPCC, it is a privilege to support First Nations communities in B.C. with their goals to revitalize and maintain their languages well into the future. This report was funded by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, the B.C. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and the Department of Canadian Heritage.
View all four editions of the Report of the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages here
Learn more about the FPCC Language Program
Read the news release and media backgrounder here
Learn more about the languages where you live by vising the First Peoples’ Map
Learn words and phrases from B.C. First Nations languages at FirstVoices.com
Share Your Story!
Do you have a story about the work your community is doing to revitalize First Nations arts, languages, cultures and heritage 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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