Canadian. Language. News.

April 12th, 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

UVic experts on Indigenous language revitalization National Indigenous Languages Day was first celebrated on March 31, 1993. The following University of Victoria experts are available to media this week for comment on the following themes. They are among the many at UVic who work closely with Indigenous communities, Elders, students, community-based researchers, community language experts and educators on the revitalization of Indigenous languages. 

Canada’s first Indigenous language degree to be offered at UBC Okanagan  The first bachelor’s degree program in Indigenous language fluency, for all of Canada, will be offered right in the Okanagan. The program will be offered at UBC Okanagan (UBCO), in partnership with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and the En’owkin Centre in Penticton.

Outdoor classroom in the N.W.T. perfect for language, culture There’s something about being outside that’s putting learning into focus for high school students in the Northwest Territories.Milder weather means a break from the classroom and the opportunity to sit in front of a roaring fire. “How do you say fireplace?” asks Language Arts teacher Paul Boucher of Paul William Kaeser High School in Fort Smith. “kún k’é means fire in Dene yati.”

Woman's request to register business in her Indigenous language denied by B.C. government Cheyenne Cunningham speaks the down-river dialect of hən̓q̓əmín̓əm̓, a language she's been piecing together since she was seven. Not a single person in her Katzie community, east of Vancouver, is fluent, but she's been picking it up since taking hən̓q̓əmín̓əm̓ classes at her community school when she was a child.

Nipissing First Nation Chief says Indigenous languages revitalization is critical The Chief of the Nipissing First Nation says that he is all for a federal government program, which aims to help Indigenous-led efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.


Minister Lametti Announces $2 Million for Foyer Richelieu Welland Community and Cultural Centre Construction WELLAND, ON, April 8, 2021 /CNW/ - By choosing to live their lives in their language, 2.4 million Canadians in official language minority communities are a model of everyday resilience. The Government of Canada understands the importance of helping these communities create and maintain strong institutions, supported by and for their community, to ensure their vitality and sustainability. That is why gathering places are essential to the survival of these many communities.


After immigrant from France fails French test, Quebec says it may tweak rules for tradespeople MONTREAL -- After a French man—from France—failed Quebec’s official French test, the province says it’s working on adjusting its testing for tradespeople. Yohan Flaman, 39, said he was flabbergasted when he failed, in his first attempt at the immigration test, to prove proficiency in his own mother tongue


Immigration/ Pandemic and Emergency Communication

Canada's first on-site COVID-19 immunization clinic opening at Cargill plant Coakley said workers at meat-packing plants often have multiple jobs, meaning they don’t have enough time to access off-site vaccination clinics and can face challenges related to language barriers, transportation and difficulty with Alberta’s online booking tool.

Multilingual campaign aims to combat COVID misinformation, vaccine hesitancy Social Sharing OPH is holding various town halls in different languages that represent multiple communities across the city — English, French, Arabic, Mandarin, and Somali.

Language Rights and Advocacy

Ontario G1 driver's licence test now available in 3 Indigenous languages The knowledge test to get a G1 driver's licence in Ontario is available in 27 different languages — and Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Cree are the most recent additions. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) now offers written and audio versions of the knowledge tests in the languages, and are available at MTO DriveTest locations across the province. That includes remote delivery of driver testing in northern, fly-in First Nation communities.

 New Gujarati newspaper in Windsor-Essex serves 'huge need' to reach generations At first glance, the difference between the regular daily newspaper that drops at your doorstep and The Prerna may be obvious — the latter is written in Gujarati, a South Asian language with origins in the Indian state of Gujarat. But for the people behind The Prerna, the publication serves as a way to keep the language alive across generations.

Panel: Pandemic Communication and Language Gaps.
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