Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 15: Language and Culture (13-17)

Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages

June 14, 2021

Under Bill C-91, the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages will:

  • conduct or commission research to support Indigenous languages and to obtain information on language use and vitality in light of community language assessments
  • work with Canada and Indigenous organizations to support innovative language teaching projects
  • promote Indigenous language use
  • prepare annual reports to Parliament on the vitality of Indigenous languages
  • promote public awareness of the significance of Indigenous language rights, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the negative impacts of colonialism and discrimination
  • provide facilitation or mediation services upon request

The Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages will be overseen by a Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and 3 distinctions-based directors: one each for First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism will engage with diverse Indigenous governing bodies and Indigenous organizations and recommend candidates for the positions of the Commissioner and 3 Directors to the Governor in Council.

Section 25 | Support offered by Office:
”At the request of an Indigenous community or an Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body, the Office may provide support to the community or the Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body in its efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen an Indigenous language, including its efforts to:

(a) create permanent records of the language, including audio and video recordings and written materials such as dictionaries, lexicons and grammars of the language, for the purposes of, among other things, its maintenance and transmission;
(b) establish certification standards for translators and interpreters;
(c) conduct community assessments in respect of the use of the language;
(d) develop and implement plans for reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining and strengthening the language; or
(e) engage with the Government of Canada or provincial governments to establish culturally appropriate methods of teaching and learning the language.