Indigenous Languages Symposium

The Indigenous Languages Symposium was held from January 25 to 29, 2021. Its theme was Building on Strengths and Successes.

The Symposium allowed participants to share best practices and their views on funding models for Indigenous languages, the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, and the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).

Graphic recordings

Graphic recorders listened closely, synthesized and drew the dialogue that took place at this symposium.

Graphic recordings are the real-time translation of presentations or conversations into text and pictures. They can help participants see patterns, immerse themselves in ideas, and integrate the collective wisdom of a group.

This graphic recording details some of the key messages and themes discussed.
Indigenous Languages Symposium – Text version

A visual interpretation of some of the topics and concerns raised January 25, 2021, at the Indigenous Languages Symposium. The image is titled “Building on Strengths and Successes”. Documented comments include:

  • Our language is who we are…
  • Our fluent speakers are elders but few youth
  • Language is about the survival of our people
  • Language is alive; it’s moving at all times
  • We are the language; it’s in our DNA
  • It’s all action; a story is in one word
  • We must:
    • Implement the Indigenous Languages Act
    • Identify best practices
    • Hold community consultations
    • Improve funding
    • Uphold our language
  • Inuktitut represents Inuit dialects in Nunavut
    • It is the language of community
    • Inequities exist that impact Inuit
  • The participants who spoke that day:
    • Hon. Steven Guilbeault
    • National Chief Perry Bellegarde
    • Clément Chartier, Métis National Council
    • Natan Obed, Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami
    • Elder Verna De Montigny, Métis
    • Elder Mike Mitchell
    • Elder David Serkoak, Inuit
    • Elder Rose Wawatie, Kitigan Zibi
    • Paul Pelletier, Canadian Heritage

To request any of the nine graphic recordings (available in English only), email

Video recordings

Plenary sessions and guest speakers are available as recordings.


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