Indigenous rights include language rights (SDG 10)
Language 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!
Did you know that over 23 Indigenous languages are taught at colleges and institutes across the country? That includes language-specific programs as well as language courses taught as part of programs intended to teach about Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing, truth and reconciliation, and more! For example:
- 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.
This year marks the start of the UN International Decade for Indigenous Languages, which draws global attention to the critical situation of many Indigenous languages and encourages everyone to take part in preservation, revitalization, and promotion of these languages.
As we start Indigenous History Month and celebrate the history, culture, and diversity of Inuit, Métis and First Nations people across all of Canada, let’s not forget about the richness and diversity of Indigenous languages!
- George Brown releases UDL (Universal Design for Learning) e-course for educators across Ontario (SDG 4)
- Le Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, son École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA) et le Centre technologique en aérospatial (CTA) dévoilent le nouveau RobotLAB : centre d’apprentissage, d’expérimentation et de recherche appliquée. (SDG 17)
50 years: A look at our history!
Did you know that in 1993, we submitted our first position paper to the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples? And in 2006, we hosted our very first Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss the unique needs of Indigenous learners. Since then, we’ve held a total of 11 symposia on the subject! Explore the history of our advocacy on Indigenous education.
Share your expertise as part of our ImpAct project Technical Working Group (SDG 13)
Are you committed to net-zero action and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus? Share your expertise! Join our new Technical Working Group for Campus GHG Emissions (with particular focus on Scope 3 emissions). Deadline: June 3.
Help develop, deliver, and enhance skills training in Tanzania (SDG 5)
Our Empowerment Through Skills Program in Tanzania is seeking institutional partners to develop and deliver skills training programs that are community-demand-driven, competency-based, and support gender and human rights in twelve communities across Tanzania. Submit before June 28.
Support women’s empowerment through technical training in Senegal (SDG 5)
Looking for institutional partners! Join our new Milles femmes (One Thousand Women: I am a Woman, I Exist, I Participate) project supporting gender equality in prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) and vocational training in Senegal. Deadline: June 6.
Join Reboot Plus as a national delivery partner (SDG 8)
Douglas College in British Columbia is seeking three national delivery partners for its new Reboot Plus program. Be a part of an innovative skill, career planning, and post-secondary experience project that aims to reconnect marginalized youth to education and career pathways! Apply before June 14.
Must read: new Foresight Contributions from the WFCP
The new series from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics explores the future of professional and technical education and training (PTET) and why it matters.
- The first in the series: “Providing flexible pathways for learners to support post-pandemic recovery” from CICan president and CEO Denise Amyot. Check it out!
Did you know that Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne recently became the first college in Quebec to adopt the Okanagan Charter? The Charter acts as a guide for post-secondary institutions looking to integrate sustainable health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally! (SDG 3)
Cégep de Shawinigan named Geneviève Ducharme director of studies.
Banff, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
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