Wendake, February 6, 2019 – The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) welcomes Bill C-91 with optimism while emphasizing the importance of its joint implementation with First Nations authorities.
“Indigenous languages are fundamental to our self-determination, our culture, our identity and our definition of the world. However, the process to reclaim and revitalize our languages will not be possible without stable, sustainable and predictable funding. It is about the recognition of our peoples and self-esteem among our young people who are proud of their languages and cultures,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
This new law confirms and recognizes rights to Indigenous languages. It establishes an Office of the Independent Indigenous Languages Commissioner, which will be the advocate of language revitalization, act as Ombudsman for Indigenous peoples with respect to their language rights, assess the effectiveness of Canada with respect to its obligations under the Act and will produce reports on it.
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the right to transmit our languages from one generation to the next. All languages are important, regardless of the number of speakers. All efforts will be made to ensure that the measures to revitalize, recover and maintain our languages through community and school programs are respectful of the cultural identity of First Nations in Quebec-Labrador, ” concluded chief Ghislain Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. Follow us on Twitter @APNQL.