Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is working with the Government of Canada, as well as the Assembly of First Nations and the Metis National Council, to co-develop Inuit, First Nations and Metis language legislation to ensure the revitalization, maintenance and promotion of Inuktut and other Indigenous languages in Canada.
The organizations will work collaboratively, and on a distinctions basis with the federal government through two joint mechanisms – a co-development working group, and permanent bilateral working groups including the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. ITK will lead targeted engagement in Inuit Nunangat to gather input to help develop legislation that is transformative and ensures that Inuktut is spoken in every sector of Inuit society.
The legislation will recognize Inuit, First Nations and Metis language rights and that those rights are fundamental to Indigenous self-determination. It will support the full and meaningful implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“During our meeting this morning, the Hon. Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said that she couldn’t imagine not speaking her mother tongue. I gave her a personal example of what that experience is like for Inuit,” said ITK President Natan Obed. “I have fought to ensure that my children grow up speaking Inuktut as their mother tongue, and my expectation is that through this legislation, we can ensure that all Inuit in Canada have the same opportunity.”
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