In the News

25th Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS2018)

25th Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS2018)

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Lethbridge AB, 7-9 June, 2018

Hosted by Peigan Board of Education and University of Lethbridge Symposium Themes and Program

Day 1 (Thursday June 7): Research. Opening ceremonies. Exchange of academic research on language reclamation, maintenance and revitalization. Keynote addresses by indigenous scholars. Parallel sessions in an academic format. Celebration of the 25th anniversary of SILS. Poster presentation and reception.

Day 2 (Friday June 8): Instructional skills. Promising practices in language learning and teaching. Keynote addresses by instructional skills experts. Hands-on presentations in language learning and teaching in a workshop format. Excursions to Waterton National Park or Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Screening of documentary Making Treaty Seven.

Day 3 (Saturday June 9): Community. Community-initiated and community-led language documentation and revitalization initiatives. Keynote addresses by community activists. Presentations and workshops on topics such as community planning, project design, funding, and curriculum and materials development. Closing ceremonies. Symposium evaluations.

Call for Presentations

We invite teachers, activists, students and scholars to submit proposals for presentations, posters, workshops or panels relating to our Symposium themes. Submission deadline: March 30, 2018 Topics may include but are not limited to: Culture-based education; Language revitalization/reclamation/maintenance; Immersion schools, Mentor-Apprentice Programs and other paths to fluency; Community organizing/fund development/activism/program planning; Research/assessment/best practices; Technology/audio-visual language maintenance & revitalization techniques; Other Indigenous language education topics; Elder, speaker, teacher and student outreach and recruitment

Instructions and proposal submission form:


CILLDI Application Information 2018

"We are pleased to present the 19th Annual CILLDI summer program on the beautiful University of Alberta campus from July 9-27, 2018. We are dedicated to the revitalization of Indigenous languages through documentation, teaching, and literacy. We supply tools to Indigenous language activists so that they can better protect, preserve, promote, practice, and pass on their language. Please read the following letter for specific details regarding the upcoming CILLDI summer program."

The Glendon Truth and Reconciliation Declaration on Indigenous Language Policy

We declare that, to truly celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017,

  1. The Crown and Her Federal Government must formally acknowledge, without the need for litigation, that section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 includes Indigenous Linguistic Rights.
  2. The Crown and Her Federal government must enact an Indigenous Languages Act. In doing so, it can be guided by the Report of the 2005 Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures, which responds to each of the five principles required by the TRC Report.
  3. The Crown and Her Federal Government in enacting an Indigenous Language Act must create an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, with three national Indigenous Language Commissioners, one for the First Nations, one for the Inuit, and one for the Metis, with an ancillary staff complement comparable to that of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and a Commissioner’s representative located in each Indigenous Nation and/or Territory to assist with the carrying out of the intent of the Indigenous Language Act.
  4. All of the above recommendations are subject to consultation with the three Aboriginal groups, First Nations, Inuit and Metis as identified in the Constitution Act, 1982, in a manner which respects the principle of free, prior and informed consent.

With respect to the Related Responsibilities of Post-Secondary Institutions, we further declare that:

  1. Post-secondary Institutions must develop collaborative funding models to support Indigenous language initiatives open to research, pedagogy, and partnerships
  2. TRC Committees must be established in all post-secondary institutions
  3. Post-secondary institutions must engage in Community building: both inside the university and between the institution and Indigenous communities and Indigenous community-based organizations
  4. Varying qualifications and credentials of Indigenous people must be recognized and honoured
  5. There must be cross-training and collaboration across university administrations, programs and faculty
  6. Post-secondary institutions must develop programs in Indigenous language studies with a view to promoting full oral proficiency and literacy in Indigenous languages, with certification through college and university diplomas and degrees in Indigenous languages
  7. There must be Indigenous Cultural Competency Training for all post-secondary institutions which would include Governors/Regents, Administration, Faculty and Staff.

The Public Launch of the Declaration will take place at Glendon on November 18th at 5:30 pm in the context of the International Conference on Languages and Cultures in Contact.

Indigenous Languages Education in the News - July 2017

First Nations K-12 Students Book Writing Contest (SICC FNLKC)

November 23 & 24, 2016 the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC) will present the  First Nations' Language Keepers Conference. Elders, master speakers, community leaders and students from across Canada and the United States will be "Celebrating Youth: Our Future Language Keepers." Winners of the Book Writing Contest will be announced.

More information on the Conference can be found here.

More information on the Book Writing Contest can be found here.

Cree girls' cultural summer camp at risk (Edmonton Journal)

Read Full Article here

For eight summers, the Young Indigenous Women’s Circle of Leadership has gathered girls age 10 to 16 for an immersive leap into Cree language and culture using drama, songs, activities and outings to help boost their sense of identity.

The program has attracted girls from the four western provinces and the Northwest Territories, director and co-ordinator Rochelle Starr said. Now, it’s under threat.


“Our culture is dying out. More First Nations women and girls are trying to be like white people. They don’t know any history of our culture, or what the language is,” J’vin said.

Determined to keep Plains Cree language alive, Tiarayne now wants to teach it to future generations.

Starr dreams of a day when the program has enough funding for more participants, to add a boys’ program, and to spend days living outdoors, teaching traditional cooking, tanning and skinning hides. Read Full Article here

Congratulations Delores PrudenBarrie - Esquao® Award

Delores PrudenBarrieinstitute for the Advancement of Aboriginal WomenDelores PrudenBarrie, Director of FNMI Learning for Aspen View Public Schools, is the recipient of a 2016 Esquao® Award in the category of Education, presented by the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.

Delores joined Aspen View Public Schools in August 2015. Her career includes teaching assignments in Calling Lake, AB; Onion Lake, SK; and Beaver Lake, AB; after which she served as both Supervisor of Aboriginal Programs and Director of FNMI Education for Northland School Division, and Resource Manager with Alberta Education’s Learning, Teaching and Resources Branch. Delores was presented with her Esquao® Award at an awards gala on April 15 in Edmonton.

Canada removing objector status to UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Canada will remove its permanent objector status to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (read the declaration here).

CBC News articleThe declaration — first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 (read more about this here)— recognizes Indigenous people's basic human rights, as well as rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others.

More than 140 nations passed the UN declaration in 2007, but Canada — which had been involved in drafting it — initially opposed it, along with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.


FEL Canada Newsletter 2: February 2016


Kwey! ᐊᕆᐅᙵᐃᐹ Tawâw! ᑕᐋᐧᐤ! Pee-piihtikwee!
Welcome! from the FEL Canada team


Hello Members!

2015 proved to be a busy first year for Foundation FEL Canada and we are excited by the growth that we have experienced in this short time. Our membership has grown to nearly 50 supporters of language vitality in our first year! Due to your support, we expect to begin directly assisting in language projects soon, which is very exciting, indeed! We hope to continue building our network and further solidify our ability to raise awareness of the benefits of strengthening ancestral and heritage languages in Canada and around the world – so, please, spread the word!

What else have we been up to? Since incorporation, we have stayed busy behind the scenes with the tedious, but necessary, administrative stuff – not the least of which is that we have applied for charitable status. This will grant us access to other funding opportunities – and so strengthen our ability to assist you in accomplishing your language projects. We are aflutter with the possibilities and will keep you posted on our progress.

Along administrative lines, we have made it easier for people to join FEL Canada and to make donations by offering PayPal as a payment option on our website. Yes, we have also updated our website and have established a page on Facebook! Visit us at and like our page: which has relevant news posted with great frequency. Our Facebook page is a great way to stay informed of ancestral and heritage language news. Finally, we were very proud to produce our first, and now our second newsletter, packed with more information that we hope inspires you, our members.

FEL Canada Strengthening First Nation, Inuit and Métis Languages of Canada


Kwey! ᐊᕆᐅᙵᐃᐹ Tawâw! ᑕᐋᐧᐤ! Pee-piihtikwee!
Welcome! from the FEL Canada team


This newsletter is a special one. It’s our first newsletter, and it marks many new beginnings. In January of this year, FEL Canada was incorporated to work toward its stated purpose:

FEL Canada exists to safeguard cultural heritage for future generations by enabling the documentation, protection, revitalization and promotion of First Nation, Inuit and Métis languages in Canada, and endangered languages throughout the world.

In June, we held our first Annual General Meeting with a group of 20 interested individuals, and we’ve grown to about 40 people now. The membership decided on its first elected board, and we are proud to have Lorna Wanosts’a7 Williams as our President.

Our website ( is up and running, and it looks great (thank-you, Adam Stone!). There, you’ll be able to see what we’re doing and find ways to connect and join our team of volunteers.

We hope you will consider serving with your own special skills and working toward your own goals, and our common purpose, for strengthening the languages of this land!

Med vennlig hilsen, With warm regards,

Erik Anonby, Executive Director
on behalf of the FEL Canada Board

Aboriginal languages in Canada can and should be made official

Making all 60 indigenous languages spoken in Canada official, along with English and French, is entirely doable, according to a University of Victoria expert.

Onowa McIvor, director of indigenous education at the University of Victoria, says the proposal has been made by First Nations leaders multiple times over the past few decades, but little has been done.

"These are their heritage languages as well, the original languages of this country, and I think we should all be concerned that they're not already official languages."

Listen to "Making Indigenous languges official in Canada" here.

Metro story about the APYWCL

Metro News APYWCL...Alliance Pipeline is pulling its funding from the program due to the recent economic situation.

The eight-day Cree-emersion educational camp, run out of the University of Alberta, seeks to reconnect girls aged 10 to 16 with their indigenous roots.

Rochelle Starr, APYIWCL’s director, comes from Little Pine Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan and said few of the young women have ever heard their ancestral languages or had any exposure to traditional ceremonies.

Starr says the camp is essential because research documents how integral indigenous knowledge is for indigenous people’s identity and personal development.

You can read the story here.

YIWCL on Illuminate - Faculty of Education Magazine

Illuminate News ArticleWhile Canadians grapple with how to handle the legacy of these schools, UAlberta’s Faculty of Education has spent the past seven years trying to heal some of those wounds. Founded by Elementary Education professor Heather Blair in 2008, the Alliance Pipeline Young Women's Circle of Leadership (APYWCL) strives to restore some sense of identity and belonging to young Indigenous women while teaching them valuable skills based in traditional Indigenous culture.

“Residential schools really put a huge barrier in the ability to pass on that knowledge from generation to generation,” explains Rochelle Starr, director of the APYWCL. “So right now, we’re just trying to provide access to that knowledge that they should know, and by no fault of their own, don’t know.”

“The traditional knowledge that they’re learning right now has been around for thousands of years, but it’s still just as valuable in our everyday lives as it was a hundred years ago,” says Rochelle Starr

Click or tap here to read on Illuminate - Faculty of Education Magazine