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International Day of Indigenous Peoples

Social Change

Our voices are diverse in Canada and protecting that diversity is a cause we should all support.

August 9 is the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, who number an estimated 370 million in 90 countries and speaking roughly 7,000 languages. There are 60 distinct Indigenous languages in Canada alone. Indigenous languages are marked as official languages in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories; the Yukon recognizes the significance of the Indigenous languages of the territory. Nunavut is currently the only territory in Canada with a language protection act in place.

On December 6, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan to develop the Indigenous Languages Act – a law to protect and preserve Indigenous languages in Canada. Inuit, First Nations and Métis organizations are working alongside the federal government to ensure that the nationwide law moves forward with significant input from local communities.

According to this year’s census study, there are more speakers of Indigenous languages in Canada than in previous years. Thanks to the rapid growth of technology, it is easier than ever to gain access to Indigenous languages. Younger generations can even access apps specifically designed for learning First Nations languages. Preservation of the cultural practices and languages helps Indigenous youth connect with their culture on a deep level and helps Canada maintain itself as the diverse, inclusive nation it has always touted itself to be.

The YWCA has a long history of working with Indigenous groups and providing holistic, integrated programs and services like the Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program and the Aboriginal Infant Development Program at Crabtree Corner Community Center. Programs like Crabtree Corner Community Centre’s Books, Bags and Babies teach reading, storytelling, drumming, crafts and other Indigenous traditions to encourage early childhood literacy and a connection to the Indigenous community.

We are continually exploring the principles of Truth and Reconciliation and assessing how they can successfully be incorporated into a framework for our organization and programs.

If you’d like to learn more about these programs or register, please contact Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre directly at 604 216 1652

If you’d like to support one of these programs as a YWCA Metro Vancouver donor, please click here

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