May 30, 2022Language is a really important part of Canadian identity, but not just French and English. Did you know that over 70 Indigenous languages are spoken across the country, a key part of the many Indigenous cultures? The census divides those into 12 language families: Algonquian languages, Inuit languages, Athabaskan languages, Siouan languages, Salish languages, Tsimshian languages, Wakashan languages, Iroquoian languages, Michif, Tlingit, Kutenai, and Haida. Each one is vital to cultural preservation! The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report includes five calls to action that relate directly to language and culture and recognize the urgency of revitalizing Indigenous languages as a means of preserving Indigenous cultures. The two go hand in hand.
- For postsecondary institutions, in addition to programs tailored to the needs of Indigenous learners, that also means language instruction!
- At Collège nordique francophone, the Tłı̨chǫ language course gives students a unique opportunity to learn about Dene culture and to practice constructing and pronouncing simple sentences through storytelling.
- At Confederation College, the Let’s Start Ojibwe Maajtaadaa Anishinaabemowin course gives students an introduction to Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language), focusing on the basic framework of orthography and pronunciation. Learning in this course is also supplemented with online-tutorials!
- At Nunavut Arctic College, the Interpreter & Translator program is designed for students interested in technical aspects of the Inuktitut language and who wish to pursue a career in this field.
- The college also offers the Inuinnaqtun Language Revitalization Certificate program, which supports community by strengthening understanding of the complex context of language loss, maintenance, and recovery.
- At Cégep de Sept-Îles, the Innu Translation & Interpretation helps students develop skills and abilities in translating documents written in French into Innu, as well as in the oral interpretation of an Innu or French speech into either language.
- At Red River College Polytechnic, the Indigenous Language Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) course teaches students the fundamentals of reading, writing, and speaking Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) using the double vowel system.
- At Fanshawe College, the new Oneida: Language Immersion, Culture and Teaching program prepares students for a variety of language-related careers including teacher of Onyota’a:ka as a second language, translator, language consultant, language specialist or storyteller.
- At Kenjgewin Teg, Anishinaabemowin Early Childhood Education is a specialized Anishinaabe immersion program designed to help individuals improve their Ojibwe language acquisition while training to become early childhood educators!
- At Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Indigenous language training includes a one-year Language Certificate, a two-year Language Diploma and a three-year Advanced Diploma in Indigenous Language Teaching. These programs encourage learners to begin speaking, practicing, and teaching their respective languages!
- At Six Nations Polytechnic, the special Mohawk language app allows users to browse different categories, listen to words, see the correct spelling, understand pronunciations, and test their knowledge by playing games.