–Media release from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)
Today, Canada’s Governor General provided Bill C-91, An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages royal assent, thus passing the bill into Canadian Law.
The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) celebrates this historic achievement as a significant first step in taking the urgent action needed to preserve, protect and promote endangered Indigenous languages throughout Canada, and particularly in BC. BC is home to the greatest diversity of Indigenous languages in Canada with more than 50 per cent of all Indigenous languages in the country.
Bill C-91 provides a tangible opportunity for Canada to honour and uphold its commitment to full adopt and implement the Untied Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The UN Declaration, particularly Article 13, articulates Indigenous Peoples’ inherent human right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and person.
“The many Indigenous languages in BC form an intricate web of diversity and culture that holds unique worldviews and knowledges. With the implementation of this legislation and stable investments into community-based revitalization programs we hope to reverse the tide of destruction and loss for the 34 distinct languages, and more than 90 dialects. In addition, colonial laws, policies and doctrines that are driving this destruction must be removed,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “As we move forward, we hope to see an Indigenous Languages Commissioner appointed who will help promote First Nations languages and report on the adequacy of federal funding of First Nations languages initiatives and systemic changes.”
“We welcome this significant piece of legislation which places a priority on preserving, promoting and revitalizing Indigenous Languages in Canada”, said Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit political executive. “Indigenous Languages are the essence and fabric of Indigenous cultures and are fundamental to our survival, dignity and well-being as Indigenous peoples. Language is our inherent right and is central to our cultural and spiritual identities. The passage of Bill C-91 will contribute to our collective efforts to prevent the extinction of the remaining Indigenous languages in Canada”.
“Indigenous languages form the bedrock of our cultures, communities and ways of life. The continued survival of our Indigenous languages means the continued survival of our communities as self-determining and sovereign Indigenous nations,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. “The transmission and propagation of our Indigenous languages has been critically and intentionally endangered by the actions of Canada. This bill is the first steps along a long road to reconcile and account for Canada’s long history of abuse and oppression.”
The FNLC looks forward to assisting in any way we can to assist in the immediate implementation of this important bill. The FNLC maintains that the implementation of this bill must be aligned with the principles of the UN Declaration, and therefore must be done collaboratively, with the full participation of Indigenous peoples, with particular attention paid to the acute needs of the BC region.
- Indigenous human rights recognized in B.C. law with new legislation
- Changes to Gaming Control Act to support First Nations communities
- Today’s Human Rights Tribunal ruling says Feds must compensate First Nations children and families
- 143 years of sex-based discrimination through the Indian Act finally ends after decades of advocacy
- Murals at the T’Sou-ke Nation’s newest enterprise celebrate roots
- Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations, Canada, B.C. sign Agreement in Principle
- FNLC Celebrates the Passing of Bill C-91, An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages
- National Indigenous Peoples Day, local events
- NWAC Launches Phase 2 of Faceless Dolls Project on National Indigenous Peoples Day: ‘Putting a Face on Justice: From Calls for Justice to Action’
- Indigenous maps of North America and local First Nation communities
- Canada approves TMX despite failing to achieve consent: Declaration of Climate Emergency rings hollow
- “No matter who approves it, this pipeline will not be built,” Indigenous leaders
- Tim Hortons opens in Sooke
- Report: National Inquiry calls for transformative change to eradicate violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA
- Response: National Inquiry into MMIWG Report released: We demand immediate action from Canada
- Response: Premier’s statement on National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls final report
- The Truth Sharing Podcasts give voice to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
- Did you know? Donald Trump proclaims May 5 as Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, 2019
- Government of Canada supports Economic Development in T’Sou-ke Nation, British Columbia
- The aging face of homelessness in North American cities
- No more sunny ways: UBCIC appalled as Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott ejected from Liberal Caucus
- World Water Day: Environmental racism threatens health and well-being of Indigenous peoples across Canada
- Settlement Agreement reached for former students of Indian Day Schools
- Open Letter: Union of BC Indian Chiefs call Canadian Senators to pass Bill C-262
- First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) saddened by death of former Indigenous Youth Intern in air disaster
- National Energy Board recommends approval for Trans Mountain Expansion Project, Tsleil-Waututh Nation continue opposition
- Opinion: Complex Canadian-Indigenous relationship need united empathy, patience, understanding
- Canada and Beecher Bay (Sc’ianew) First Nation settle historic claim
- Moose Hide Campaign focuses on education to end violence
- Premier’s statement on the Moose Hide Provincial Gathering and Day of Fasting