National Indigenous Languages Day

National Indigenous Languages Day
Posted on 03/31/2023
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Language is central to a person’s identity, culture, sense of belonging, and connection to beliefs, values, and traditions. It affects our interactions with other people and the way we see the world around us.
This day is an opportunity for all to reflect on the far-reaching effects of colonization, the tremendous resilience of Indigenous people, and the importance of language preservation.
Laws that were enforced by the Canadian government in the late 1800s forced Indigenous people to be renamed with European names and forbid them to speak their languages. Children were removed from families with the goal of breaking the ties between generations and destroying Indigenous culture forever.
For hundreds of years, generations of Indigenous people continued to endure, persist, and keep their culture alive for their children. They continue to do so to this day.
In 2019 the Indigenous Languages Act was implemented in Canada as a concrete response to the urgent need for action to support the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance, and strengthening of Indigenous languages spoken in Canada.
Last year the United Nations declared the period of 2022 to 2032 to be the International Decade of Indigenous Languages in an effort to ensure these practices were taking place at national and international levels.
The High Prairie School Division recognizes the ties that language has to a student’s self-esteem, identity, connection with the world, and academic success. We believe in fostering a learning environment that is supportive of inclusivity and cultural diversity.
Some ways that you can contribute to the continuation and preservation of Indigenous language are:
1. Learn a greeting and response,
2. Learn more Indigenous language words and phrases using smartphone apps,
3. Learn the names of mountains, lakes, rivers, and towns in a local language,
4. Watch a movie or TV show in an Indigenous language,
5. Listen to artists who sing in their Indigenous language.
Go to to view our Cree Language Classes for Beginners, facilitated by Dr. Kevin wâsakâyâsiw Lewis.
Miywâsin ta-nêhiyawê anohc
It is good to speak Cree today
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