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Indigenous Languages Act consultations continue virtually


The federal government said on Monday it will continue to meet with Indigenous people across the country to gather input on how to implement the Indigenous Languages Act.

The act recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples, includes the creation of an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, and establishes what is described as long-term, sustainable funding for languages.

The federal government said it will now hold up to 40 virtual consultations with Indigenous people across Canada – including Elders, youth, persons with disabilities, women, men, two-spirited individuals, and LGBTQ+ persons.

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The virtual consultations replace in-person consultations that began in March but were soon curtailed by Covid-19.

The sessions will address the appointment of a commissioner and directors of Indigenous Languages, as well as collecting input on how funding can be used to help revive and maintain languages.

“Indigenous peoples know best how to lead the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance, and strengthening of their languages, which is why our government is working closely with Indigenous partners to ensure this is done right,” said federal heritage minister Steven Guilbeault in a Monday news release.

In early 2021, an Indigenous languages symposium will be held to compile experts’ knowledge and ideas on the revitalization of Indigenous languages.

An online questionnaire is offered for those needing another way to contribute to the consultations.

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