A six-year project led by the University of Victoria is aimed at bringing new life and strength to Indigenous languages in Canada.
Nine Indigenous-led partner organizations, including the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and W̱SÁNEĆ School Board from Brentwood Bay, are forming a research network to revive Indigenous languages.
The organizations represent 42 distinct languages.
UVic Department of Indigenous Education professor Onowa McIvor is leading the research along with linguist Peter Jacobs at Simon Fraser University.
The project is supported by a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Grant.
“This grant highlights a lot of hope and possibility,” McIvor said.
“Across the country, intergenerational connections are being re-sown through language.”
McIvor says project goals include increasing Indigenous language on television and radio in Canada, promoting post-secondary language programs and inviting organizations to support Indigenous-led language revitalization programs.
Part of the study will focus on adult language learning, an area McIvor calls the “missing generation”, which refers to adults who had little opportunity to learn their ancestral language as children.