$0 for Endangered Languages
Awareness-building Campaign on First Nations Education
The 11 First Nations languages in Quebec are either endangered or actually becoming extinct. “The continuing erosion of Aboriginal languages threatens Aboriginal cultural survival and represents irreparable loss to the cultural heritage of Canada and the world.” Reported Heritage Canada in a press release issued in February 2004. In 1998, the Chiefs Committee on Languages of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) had already declared a state of emergency.
First Nations languages are endangered, and the band school, which is the key institution in place for transmission of culture, receives the derisory sum of $185 per student to meet the challenge of reviving them. In addition, there is absolutely no funding available to promote the creation of immersion schools.
- With the impact of the integration of different languages on academic success and the decline of Native languages in mind, how is it possible that the federal government has put absolutely no adequate measure in place to support the community schools in their efforts?
A number of band schools cater for students for whom the language of instruction is a second and sometimes even a third language. Others provide a curriculum in the language of the community, then progressively introduce either English or French. In Quebec, the ratification of both French and English (as first or second languages) creates an educational headache for the band schools. Translation, the production of educational material, training of Native language teachers, the improvement of resources and means to cater for second-language students, geographical diversity, etc., are all concerns for the success of First Nations students which require a sustained and concerted effort.
With the impact of the integration of different languages on academic success and the decline of Native languages in mind, how is it possible that the federal government has put absolutely no adequate measures in place to support the community schools in their efforts?