Canadian. Language. News.

December 6th, 2021

On our mind this week:

1. Misinformation: Our trust in institutions, including government information, is drastically eroding. That luck of trust transfers not only to voting but to overall disengagement. Yet, critics argue, one of the main reasons why social media companies like Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, are part of the problem is that they are exclusively focused on removing or fact-checking misinformation in English over all other languages combined. For example, Meta spent 87% of its misinformation budget on the English U.S. content only so their ability to detect any non-English misinformation is “basically non-existent”. As a result, a visible explosion of  misinformation campaigns in many languages is noted. We have no choice but to stay vigilant, carefully assess the sources of our information, always read beyond the headline, understand who the author is, and make sure to stay up to date.
2. We are less than a month away from the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 declared in 2019. The resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly has a purpose “to draw attention to the critical loss of Indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize, and promote Indigenous language” and to “take urgent steps at the national and international levels.” Follow @ILDecade to stay up to date.
3. AND - #LAD22 "Language Rights Canada Conference" is back by popular demand! Following the highly successful #LAD21 Conference organized virtually, a gathering place for language rights stakeholders to meet, share, learn from each other and collaborate on projects that promote  language rights advocacy in Canada, our second virtual gathering on February 22nd, 2022 will expand on language advocacy themes we've touched upon in the last year. If you are interested in creating or contributing to one of the panels, or volunteering, let us know!


The LACC Team


Indigenous Languages

  • The program, run through the N.W.T.'s education, culture and employment department, pairs fluent speakers of an Indigenous language with adult learners. Both are paid for practicing the language.I can understand it fluently': Inuvik woman credits N.W.T.'s language program'
  • Conne River sets a massive goal: Restoring the Mi'kmaw language - "When we as a community started the process of reclaiming our language, we couldn't find people within the community that were willing to share," Jeddore said. "Because, A, they didn't have the confidence. B, they didn't have the experience, and they weren't comfortable speaking the Mi'kmaw language because of everything associated with it...a lot of the language was put aside, never to be spoken again. Or only done in secret."
  • St. Paul’s Catholic Church integrates Squamish language into masses - St. Paul’s Indian Church is on a path of integration, merging Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language) and traditional knowledge with Roman Catholic teachings and faith.
  • Lori Idlout plans to speak in Inuktitut in the House of Commons  - “I’ll just be eager to have my next chance, and hopefully have enough advance [notice] so that I could inform parliamentary staff that I’d like to be able to do it in Inuktitut,” she said. “There are interpreters available, we just need to make sure we give them advance notice so that the interpreters can be available.”


Language Rights, Revitalization and Advocacy

Immigration/ Settlement and Emergency Communication 

  • Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge released a study today on the 4.4% target for immigration to Francophone minority communities outside Quebec. Data in the study shows that even if the target had been consistently met since the original 2008 target deadline, it would not have been enough to maintain the demographic weight of the French-speaking population outside Quebec, much less contribute to its growth.
  • Gone are the days when you had to rely on matchmakers to find you a partner in hopes of finding a connection. GoForDesi is a matrimonial platform for Indians living in the USA and Canada that is dedicated to redefining how matchmaking works and making it easier for Indian singles to find their soulmate.
  • Saskatchewan announces new pilot under Immigrant Nominee Program - The Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot will enable Saskatchewan employers to recruit workers through overseas missions, or other international recruitment activities, into select jobs that have significant recruitment challenges.
  • Nearly two years into pandemic, experts say messaging needs to evolve: Fear is out, hope is in - “Fear is not a really helpful motivator at this point. People are really burned out. Positive reinforcement and reminding people of the progress are key,” said Samantha Yammine, a Toronto science communicator who consults with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, translating guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization into plain language.
  • University of Manitoba Researcher Wins Award for Work on COVID-19 Indigenous App - Dr. Moneca Sinclaire, a researcher at the University of Manitoba’s department of environment and geography, was recently presented with the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – Indigenous. The award was in recognition of her work on an app that helps Canada’s Indigenous communities survey their residents about health and social issues, and own the data they collect.

The Politics of Language, Culture, and Technology 

Morgan Toney is a 21-year-old Mi'kmaq fiddler from the We'koqma'q and Wagmatcook First Nations in Nova Scotia. Toney was a drummer first, and when he picked up the fiddle, it was a difficult transition. Almost literally, in fact, because it was only when his family saw the instrument in his hands did the stories start spilling out that Toney actually came from a long line of fiddle players, including his great uncles and great grandfather. 
How Fake News Grows in a Post-Fact World | Ali Velshi | TEDxQueensU
OUR LANGUAGE RIGHTS BIWEEKLY is curated list of Canadian language related news brought to you by Language Access Coalition of Canada (LACC), a community of forward-thinking organizations and individuals in the non-profit, public and private sectors, driven by the desire to make a positive impact by advocating for access to information and services in languages people understand. Please follow us on social media channels.

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Language Advocacy Day 2021 · 789 Don Mills Road · North York, ON M3C 1T5 · Canada

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