International Decade of Indigenous Languages

Logo of the 2022-2023 International Decade of Indigenous Languages

Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person's unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. Despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate.

UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages website

With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2022-2032 the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

A key outcome of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Decade aims to draw global attention to the critical situation of many Indigenous languages and to mobilize relevant stakeholders for the preservation, revitalization, and promotion of these languages. The Decade also focuses on mainstreaming, and taking pride in, linguistic diversity and multilingualism, while ensuring that the rights of Indigenous peoples to preserve and promote their languages are respected.

Throughout the Decade, Canada will recognize, raise awareness of, and celebrate the richness and diversity of Indigenous languages.

Taking action

A Global Action Plan of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages was approved and published in November 2021. It outlines specific goals and expected outcomes for the Decade. This sets the stage for the next 10 years of activities and events focused on the revitalization of Indigenous languages.

Building on that momentum, Canada will continue to work closely with Indigenous partners to plan specific initiatives and activities to advance the Decade’s objectives. This includes:

  • Implementing the Indigenous Languages Act
  • Creating a National Action Plan recognizing the priorities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples for their languages

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