The Indigenous Languages Act, co-developed with the Métis Nation and which received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, is a landmark achievement for reclaiming, revitalizing, protecting, and maintaining our Métis Nation languages.
MNBC was successful in an application for funding from the Government of Canada and will receive $250,000 under the Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program, Indigenous Languages Component. The Indigenous Languages Component (formerly known as the Aboriginal Languages Initiative) supports the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance, and strengthening of Indigenous languages through community-driven activities.
The project is in the early stages of consultation and development, but components may include: capacity building, language preservation and revitalization, community engagement, and cultural development. MNBC wants to hear from Citizens on their understanding of language endangerment, policy and planning for the revitalization of Michif and other Métis languages, and the type of projects that should be considered under this program. Under a strategic plan informed by the collective wisdom of our Citizens and a variety of specialists in language revitalization, projects may involve: developing community language training programs, digital and other, resources to increase Métis language use and proficiency, creating tools to share information, materials and resources among Métis languages groups, or documenting, archiving and mobilizing knowledge of Métis languages.
Sa praañ kahkiihtwaam pee-kiiweehtataahk lii lañg di Michif pi lii fasooñ kayaash oschi por chi-miyo pimaachishiyaahk. Maachi-atoshokeetaak avaañ oshaam Il i taar! Kashkitaanaan toot aañ saambl.
(We have to bring Métis languages and traditional ways back home in order to live well. Let’s start working before it too late! Together can do this.)
“The Métis Nation is at a critical turning point for the protection and revitalization of our Métis languages. A generation of fluent Michif language speakers are passing away. The Michif language is considered endangered, and urgent action is needed for Michif to survive. This funding will help us to revitalize and protect our languages.” – President Morin Dal Col
“Supporting the Métis Nation in reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining and strengthening their languages is essential and a top priority for our government. With their project ‘Honouring Our Roots,’ the Métis Nation British Columbia will be working toward our shared goal of promoting and revitalizing Michif as a fundamental language of the Métis Nation’s identity, unique cultures, spirituality and self-determination.” —The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“As MNBC Minister of Culture, Language and Heritage, I have been listening to the many voices calling for change, for a strategic approach to language reclamation, revitalization and preservation. It seems to me that we all need to better understand what needs to be done and what our priorities should be in light of the critical and serious stages of endangerment of our various Mètis languages—most of all Michif. The time remaining with many of our Old Ones/Elders is very short, and we know they don’t want our languages to go silent and customs to disappear. Our task now is to quickly educate ourselves and choose our courses of action wisely.” – Patrick Harriott, Minister of Culture, Language and Heritage