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LANGUAGE RIGHTS MATTER
Canadian. Language. News.

March 1st, 2021
Welcome to OUR LANGUAGE RIGHTS, bi-weekly curation of language related news across Canada brought to you by LAD Canada, 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. We are interested in the role languages have in economic recovery, education, mental and seniors' health as well as in creating a more equitable and inclusive society. Our objective is to inform, connect and help with increasing visibility for language rights activism efforts through all relevant platforms, offline and online.

Indigenous Languages

 

Why My Métis Grandfather Spent A Lifetime Denying His Heritage
When I was seven years old, I listened as my father questioned my grandfather over the kitchen table about rumours he had heard growing up that hinted at “Indian blood” in our family. My grandfather, unmoved, rejected any such notion. He emphatically declared: he was not Métis, but rather was French, “through and through.

 

Comedian shares learning his traditional language on podcast series
“Paul Anishinaabemo (Speaks Ojibwe)” is a new podcast series by Paul Rabliauskas and his mother Sophia Rabliaukas. Paul Rabliaukas is a comedian from Poplar First Nation in Northern Manitoba, and he has sat with his mother every Sunday this month at her kitchen table to learn Anishinaabemowin.

 

Google Translate’s Exclusion Of Indigenous Languages A ‘Squandered’ Opportunity
A petition requesting Google add one of Canada’s most common Indigenous languages to its Translate app is gaining traction. The petition had more than 1,600 signatures as of Tuesday.

 

Survey data sheds light on Indigenous languages, traditional activities across Canada’s North Less than one in 10 Indigenous Yukoners can speak or understand an Indigenous language, and young people across the North were far less likely to understand even a few words than their parents’ generation.

 

COMMENTARY: When it comes to vaccines, Canada needs to earn Indigenous, Black people's trust
I’m a Black and Mi’kmaw journalist originally from Elsipogtog First Nation, and knowing the history of colonization of Turtle Island, and the abuse and systemic racism vulnerable populations have endured in the health-care system, one can understand why my communities may be hesitant of the vaccines now available in Canada for COVID-19.

 

A bit of the Nakota language died with Armand McArthur 
Language is taken for granted by most, a form of communication many learn at a young age and develop through their years of living. Canadians are known for their use of English and French, but there are far more languages native to this land that are kept alive by the people who were here first.


Linguist says more COVID-19 education needed in Mi'kmaw language
As variant strains of the coronavirus spread quickly in many parts of Canada, a Mi'kmaw elder is worried that important information about COVID-19 could get lost in translation. Terms like variant, B117 and mRNA simply don't exist in the Mi'kmaw language, said linguist Bernie Francis, who helped create the writing system for the oral language.

Francophone

French language profs at Laurentian worry about cuts in wake university's insolvency
A group of francophone professors at Laurentian University are worried about the future of francophone programs as the institution re-structures under creditor protection. A member with the Assembly of Francophone Professors — which represents the university's 130 francophone and francophile professors and sessional teachers — says they may be perceived as small and vulnerable to cost-cutting.

Joly: Canada’s bilingualism is under pressure, and reform can't wait
Too often, parents who want to enroll their kids in French immersion can only do so through a wait list or lottery system, due in large part to an insufficient number of French teachers in their community. And too often, our federal public servants don't feel comfortable using French either.

City of Montreal's French action plan 'coming soon'
The city of Montreal will soon unveil its action plan to protect the French language, executive committee member Cathy Wong said Monday. Wong was responding to a question from Olivier Lacelle, a language activist and former aide to past Bloc Québécois leader Mario Beaulieu, during the citizens’ question period at the monthly city council meeting.

 

Immigration/ Pandemic and Emergency Communication
 

Syrian refugee family finds new hope in Antigonish.
 
One more sleep until a move to a new country where hope and opportunity awaited. A joyous time for Abed Ghentawi, his wife Miyada Al Soufi, and their children, to be sure. Then, heartbreak.

 

Newcomer for one and all from everywhere
The Newcomer Connections Program is new to St. Albert too, and it is here to greet you with open arms and in multiple languages. “This is something that we saw was necessary in talking with many of the people that we helped to learn the English language but they didn't feel that there was one place in town that they could go to and get the information that they they need,” explained Cheryl Dumont, executive director of St. Albert Further Education.

 

Official languages ​​in the workplace | The “reform document” was expected in Ottawa
According to sources close to the file contacted by the Canadian press, this is one of the parts that appears in Minister Melania Jolie’s revision paper on the future of official languages, which will be unveiled early Friday. The federal government, while operating under its own jurisdiction, draws inspiration from the French language charter in Quebec, which has the right to operate in French in all federal companies with employees in more than 50 regions.

 

RESCON: Lack of skilled trades will cause delays Author of the article:Richard Lyall
The sector could run short of skilled trades workers if the numbers aren’t increased, resulting in a possible delay of much-needed housing builds. We’re already under-producing on housing, especially in the Greater Toronto Area, but the present situation will only make matters worse.


Alberta man helps Somalis translate COVID-19 information into local languages

Language Rights and Advocacy

 

Punjabi Language Education Association’s virtual celebration of International Mother Language Day 
The Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) had a very successful virtual celebration of the 18th International Mother Language Day on February 20. In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it was a very different kind of celebration.

Language Education and Technology

 

Official languages commissioner prefers a public review of N.B's language law Social Sharing New Brunswick's official languages commissioner says she'd prefer to see a review of the province's language law unfold in public, and without other issues such as education being part of the discussion. Shirley MacLean told a committee of MLAs on Tuesday that she wasn't consulted on the review process and had no control over what the Higgs government chose to do.

Government of Canada Unveils Plan to Modernize Official Languages Act  
After holding extensive consultations with Canadians, the Government of Canada has presented its vision for modernizing and strengthening the Official Languages Act. More than ever, the time has come to examine the linguistic situation in Canada, acknowledge the evolution of official languages over half a century, and to address the challenges they face.

Official languages ​​in the workplace | The “reform document” was expected in Ottawa 
According to sources close to the file contacted by the Canadian press, this is one of the parts that appears in Minister Melania Jolie’s revision paper on the future of official languages, which will be unveiled early Friday. The federal government, while operating under its own jurisdiction, draws inspiration from the French language charter in Quebec, which has the right to operate in French in all federal companies with employees in more than 50 regions.

 

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