OTTAWA, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn
A-in-chut Atleo and First Nations across the country today acknowledged
the annual International Mother Language Day.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated:
"Indigenous languages represent the collective heritage and identity of
this country and this land. Our Elders have called upon us to never
forget our languages, to teach them and to learn from our languages.
Indigenous languages must be recognized, respected, fully supported and
should be a source of celebration and pride throughout Canada."
International research states that as many as 90-95% of spoken languages
may be extinct or very seriously endangered during this century. Most
of the threatened languages are Indigenous languages. Indigenous
languages in Canada are in a precarious position and must be considered
"critically endangered." In 1996, UNESCO stated: "Canada's Aboriginal
Languages are among the most endangered in the world."
"We take this opportunity to call on the Government of Canada and all
Canadians to partner with Indigenous peoples in their efforts to
revitalize our languages. As the original languages of this land,
Indigenous languages require significant investment and it should be
comparable to that provided for the two 'official' languages in
Canada," said the National Chief.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
endorsed by Canada on November 12, 2010, calls on states to work with
Indigenous peoples in the spirit of mutual respect and partnership. It
can serve as a guide for the work required and establishes important
Indigenous peoples have the 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
persons - Article 13.
Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their
educational systems and institutions providing education in their own
languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of
teaching and learning - Article 14.
International Mother Language Day was formally recognized by the United
Nations General Assembly in 2008 but was first announced by UNESCO on
November 17, 1999
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613 292-0857 or email@example.com