Indigenous languages and cultural practices are at risk of disappearing!
Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian North are some of the most self-reliant in the world, thriving in what can be an unforgiving environment. However, Northern Indigenous ways of life are under considerable threat. Residential schools, forced relocations, the giving and extinguishing of rights, and religious coercion have all had a hand in exploiting and disenfranchising Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These colonial efforts to assimilate Indigenous Peoples into Western culture have profoundly negative impacts on connections to communities, homelands, and languages.
Ensuring cultural sustainability
Having control over language and culture is critical to the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples and their communities. But less than one percent of the Indigenous people in Canada can speak an Indigenous language. And three-quarters of Indigenous languages in Canada were deemed endangered or vulnerable in 2017.
Thankfully, we are in a period of Indigenous cultural and political resurgence in the North. Leading the charge are community-led organizations who are focusing on the following critical priorities:
- Increase the long-term sustainability of existing community-based culture and language resurgence programs.
- Generate emerging community-based culture and language resurgence programs that have the potential for long-term innovation.
- Promote knowledge sharing amongst community partners.
- Advocate for policies that protect and amplify Indigenous culture and language.
- Increase fluency in Indigenous languages and the practice of critical cultural ways of knowing and being.
Support the resurgence of language and culture
Although we cannot change the past, we can ensure a better future for all. Donate today to the Indigenous Culture and Language Resurgence in the Canadian North Fund. Your gift will assist in amplifying Indigenous leadership, accelerating Indigenous culture, and furthering Indigenous governance and stewardship of homelands. Together, we can support the preservation and resurgence of Indigenous language and culture, and help achieve self-determination and equity for all.
Here are some examples of projects that have been supported across the North:
- Yukon Adäka Cultural Festival – Song & Language Celebration
- Yukon Children of the Taku Society – Lingít yoo x’atángi aan eetí Land Immersion Language Program
- NWT Yellowknives Dene First Nation Daycare Early Childhood Language
- NWT Rainbow Coalition Youth Fish Camp
- Nunavut Nunavut Music Week Culture
- Nunavut Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik Early Childhood
- Nunavut Kitikmeot Heritage Society Language & Cultural Programming
- Nunavut Pirurvik Adult Education
- Nunavut Ilitaqsiniq Literacy Programming
ABOUT the The Indigenous Culture and Language Resurgence in the Canadian North Fund
The Culture and Language Resurgence fund will provide support to many community-led initiatives throughout northern Canada through our partner MakeWay. Projects will be varied and chosen after due diligence by MakeWay’s northern program staff in Yellowknife and Iqaluit, most of whom are Indigenous northerners. Funding is granted based on established priorities, including early childhood education language immersion, adult education focused on language and culture, cultural and arts festivals, literacy programs offered in Indigenous languages, and youth camps focused on traditional activities.
MakeWay is working with partners to develop and implement a return on investment approach to evaluate the impact of this programming and will be piloting the approach with key grant partners in the coming years. The evaluation approach will be measuring the food security, ecological, health and wellness, and economic impacts of key supported programs.