Co-development of a National First Nations, Inuit and Métis Languages Act

The Department of Canadian Heritage, the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis Nation are working together to co-develop national First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages legislation that will reflect the distinct geographical, political, legislative and cultural context impacting language preservation, promotion and revitalization. Read more about our collaborative work.

Working collaboratively to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages

Assembly of First Nations

Based on direction from First Nations, the Assembly of First Nations is advocating for legislation to establish long-term, sustainable, consistent, appropriate approaches to support First Nations in their efforts to recover, reclaim, revitalize, maintain and normalize First Nations languages in these lands now called Canada. 

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami led targeted engagement in Inuit Nunangat to gather input to help develop legislation that is transformative.

Métis Nation

The Métis Nation engaged with Michif speakers, educators and advocates from across the Métis homeland to inform the key elements of the proposed legislation.

Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage engaged with language experts to seek their views on what should be considered in the legislation.

Have your say! 

Take part in our national engagement to create First Nations, Inuit, and Métis languages legislation. 

 

What Canadian Heritage has heard through its early engagement sessions

Read the summary of findings.

Key dates

1701 – Present: Historic and modern treaties

1870s – 1996: Impact of Residential Schools and Government policies

1996: Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

1998: Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan (Gathering Strength) and Statement of Reconciliation

2002: Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures (Towards a New Beginning: A Foundational Report for a Strategy to Revitalize First Nation, Inuit and Métis Languages)

2003: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Report (Language Vitality and Endangerment)

2007: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

2008: Statement of apology to former students of residential schools, Prime Minister of Canada

2015: Truth and Reconciliation: Final Report; Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future – Summary of the Final Report; and Calls to Action

2016: Commitment to Enact an Indigenous Languages Act - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Speech to the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly

2017: Canada becomes a full supporter of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

2017: Declaration on Co-Development of Indigenous Languages Legislation – Canadian Heritage, Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis Nation; and Backgrounder

2017: Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples

2018: Intensive engagement (summer) and Tabling of the bill (fall)

2019: Towards Royal Assent

How a bill becomes a law

To help you understand the process, consult The Legislative Process: From Government Policy to Proclamation. We anticipate that the proposed bill will be submitted through the Parliamentary process in 2018 with the objective of receiving royal assent in 2019.

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