Manitoba working to preserve Aboriginal languages

The Manitoba government and educational leaders throughout the province have formed a partnership designed to preserve Aboriginal languages.

The Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy aims to create a partnership agreement to keep Aboriginal languages alive, establish an Indigenous research group focusing on those languages, and develop a communication strategy to promote them.

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The strategy will further develop a system for sharing resources and expertise, and promote and develop teacher training with the goal of producing more fluent speakers/teachers.

“Language is a critical component of cultural identity, and the Manitoba government recognizes the importance of working with our partners in the Indigenous community to protect and promote Aboriginal languages,” Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum said in a news release. “This partnership agreement will provide us with a framework to ensure our language strategy reflects the diversity of Indigenous communities throughout this province.”

The strategy was developed with the guidance of elder representatives from all seven Aboriginal language groups recognized in Manitoba: Cree, Dene, Michif, Ojibwe, Inuktitut, Dakota and Oji-Cree.

The strategy stems from recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report made earlier this year, Allum said.

Partners in the strategy include Frontier School Division, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and University College of the North and both Winnipeg universities, among others.

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