The Government of Canada Calls for Applications to Fill the Positions of the Commissioner and Directors of Indigenous Languages
GATINEAU, December 8, 2020
The implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act, an act supporting the efforts of Indigenous Peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages, is a priority for the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today that the Notice of Appointment Opportunity, which solicits applications to fill the positions of (1) Commissioner and (up to 3) Directors of Indigenous Languages, has been posted on the Governor in Council Appointments website.
The Commissioner and the Directors will work with Indigenous Peoples and their respective governments; other governing bodies, communities and organizations; the governments of Canada and the provinces and territories; and all Canadians to support the self-determined work of Indigenous peoples in reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining and strengthening First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages.
The Commissioner, who will be supported by up to three Directors, will act as a champion for Indigenous languages by leading the independent Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages.
To fulfill this role, qualified candidates must have the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures and the languages and dialects associated with them, including an understanding of language vitality and endangerment. Candidates should also have experience in a senior leadership role in the private, public or not-for-profit sector. A detailed description of education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities required for the positions is provided in the Notice.
The Government of Canada is committed to an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process. A modified selection committee which includes First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation representatives has been established to review applications and recommend candidates for appointment based on the key responsibilities of the Commissioner and Directors as stated in the Act, and to ensure the selection of the Commissioner and Directors is directly informed by Indigenous perspectives.
The Notice reflects what we heard through not only the most recent consultations but also what we heard during the engagement on the development of the Act. It also reflects ongoing work with our Indigenous partners.Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their applications. Apply now!
“The appointment opportunity for the Commissioner and Directors of Indigenous languages achieves a concrete milestone in the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act. The feedback we received through our consultations with Indigenous Peoples will be reflected in this selection process, and I am confident that the selection committee—which includes strong Indigenous representation—will recommend the best candidates to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis in their journey to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen their languages.”—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 15 calls on the federal government “to appoint, in consultation with Aboriginal groups, an Aboriginal Languages Commissioner. The commissioner should help promote Aboriginal languages and report on the adequacy of federal funding of Aboriginal-languages initiatives.”
The Indigenous Languages Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019. Its main purpose is to promote the use of Indigenous languages and support the efforts of Indigenous Peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.
The Act also establishes the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, which is composed of a full-time Commissioner, and up to three full-time Directors who represent the interests of First Nations, Inuit and the Métis.
The Office is an independent, arms-length organization from the Crown.
As set out in the Indigenous Languages Act, the Minister of Canadian Heritage is required to consult with a variety of Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies and a variety of Indigenous organizations on the appointment of the Commissioner and up to three Directors of Indigenous Languages. The feedback received will continue to inform the appointment and roles of the Commissioner and Directors.
Our joint work toward the full implementation of the Act is a testament of our commitment to the Crown-Indigenous relationship and the importance of moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation, collaboration and renewal.
Given the unique nature, scope and role of the Commissioner and Directors of Indigenous Languages, the composition of the selection committee has been modified to include First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation representatives, thereby ensuring the selection process is directly informed by Indigenous perspectives.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
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