Language and Culture

  1. We call upon the federal government to acknowledge that Aboriginal rights include Aboriginal language rights.
  2. We call upon the federal government to enact an Aboriginal Languages Act that incorporates the following principles:
    1. Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.
    2. Aboriginal language rights are reinforced by the Treaties.
    3. The federal government has a responsibility to provide sufficient funds for Aboriginal-language revitalization and preservation.
    4. The preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of Aboriginal languages and cultures are best managed by Aboriginal people and communities.
    5. Funding for Aboriginal language initiatives must reflect the diversity of Aboriginal languages.
  3. We call upon the federal government to appoint, in consultation with Aboriginal groups, an Aboriginal Languages Commissioner. The commissioner should help promote Aboriginal languages and report on the adequacy of federal funding of Aboriginal-languages initiatives.
  4. We call upon post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.
  5. We call upon all levels of government to enable residential school Survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, health cards, status cards, and social insurance numbers.
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