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GNWT ‘extends timeline’ of Indigenous languages action plan

A sign in the Deline Got'ine dialect of Dene Kǝdǝ́ bears the name of a daycare and preschool in Délı̨nę
A sign in the Deline Got'ine dialect of Dene Kǝdǝ́ bears the name of a daycare and preschool in Délı̨nę. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

The NWT government says an Indigenous languages action plan previously expected to expire in 2022 will now run until 2025.

The plan, first published in 2018, was due for renewal in this financial year. Instead, the territorial government said on Tuesday the existing plan will be extended until the end of 2024-25.

Doing so provides “more time to complete the remaining actions and deliverables,” the territory stated, and allows the GNWT to align the next plan with the Canadian Heritage funding cycle used to pay for some of it.

At the moment, an agreement signed in March last year is providing the NWT government with federal funding worth $5.9 million per year “for Indigenous language programs and services.” That agreement expires in 2024.



Other than crossing out 2022 and replacing it with 2025, and adding a foreword explaining that change, there are virtually no differences between the 2018 version of the plan and the newly released version.

The only change of note is that in the new version, the language previously known by some as North Slavey is referred to as Dene Kǝdǝ́. In the old version, it was listed as Sahtúot’ı̨nę Yatı̨́.

The action plan is designed to guide revitalization of Indigenous languages in the NWT and set out how residents can access public services in those languages.

An online tracker suggests that of 17 action items, 11 are complete, five are on track (presumably now for completion by 2025 rather than 2022) and one is on hold.

The action that is on hold reads: “Develop a promotional campaign on the Official Languages Act and access to Indigenous language services in the NWT.”

In a statement, the NWT government said doing so – which would involve a campaign across radio, print media and social media “to inform NWT residents on language rights” – rests on “the completion of several other action items that are currently under way.”