The federal Indigenous Languages Act received royal assent on June 21, 2019. The intent of this Act is to support the reclamation, maintenance, revitalization, and strengthening of Indigenous languages in Canada.
The Assembly of First Nations has prepared a guide to help First Nations people understand how the Indigenous Languages Act can support efforts regarding our languages.
A Guide to An Act respecting Indigenous languages: A Tool for First Nations Language Revitalization 2019-2020
The Assembly of First Nations worked with the Department of Canadian Heritage to co-develop this legislation, along with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Métis Nation of Canada (MNC). The First Peoples’ Cultural Council provided valuable support through the facilitation of engagement with BC First Nations, advocacy with the two Ministers of Heritage and the department, participation on the AFN’s Technical Committee on Language and presentations to the parliamentary and senate committees reviewing the bill.
Visit the FPCC website for in depth information regarding the bill, engagement with First Nations, and language revitalization legislation analysis and reports.
BCAFN Resolution 03/2019 Support for Bill C-91: An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages
The BC Assembly of First Nations has been mandated to pursue provincial languages legislation to support the reclamation, maintenance, revitalization, and strengthening of Indigenous languages in British Columbia. The BCAFN Chiefs-in-Assembly have directed the Regional Chief and BCAFN staff to advance work with the Province of British Columbia to co-develop provincial Indigenous languages legislation, in partnership with the First Nations Summit, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Peoples Cultural Council, and the First Nations Education Steering Committee.
BCAFN Resolution 11/2019 Support for Co-Developing Provincial Indigenous Languages Legislation
The BCAFN, in partnership with the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Peoples Cultural Council, and language champions, have drafted a preliminary draft Discussion Paper on BC Indigenous Languages Legislation outlining Four Pillars for a Legislative Framework:
British Columbia Indigenous Languages Legislation Draft Discussion Paper
For more information or to provide feedback please contact Sarah Froese, BCAFN Policy Analyst
The BCAFN will be working with partners to call on the Government of BC to partner on, and fund, the co-development and implementation of legislation to support the revitalization and protection of Indigenous languages in BC, including participation in the implementation of a BC Languages Legislation Working Group.
The First Peoples' Cultural Council (FPCC) provides leadership for the revitalization of Indigenous languages, culture and arts in British Columbia. It monitors the status of BC First Nations languages, cultures, and arts, and facilitates and develops strategies that help First Nations communities recover and sustain their heritage. The First Peoples Cultural Council is supported by the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Act.
For more information on FPCC’s work, including funding opportunities, programs, toolkits, and advocacy visit