This conference will be held on June 23-26 between three locations:
Royal British Columbia Museum
Victoria Conference Centre
- to raise the profile and celebrate the diversity of Indigenous languages world-wide. Indigenous languages matter because Indigenous people matter.
- to bring Indigenous people together to network, tell stories and share their efforts to keep their languages thriving.
- to encourage the exchange of best practices, practical skills and knowledge between Indigenous peoples so they can return to their home communities and apply what they have learned to their Indigenous language revitalization work.
Please visit the Program page for full schedule.
You will have the opportunity to:
- share knowledge, best practices and resources with Indigenous language speakers and experts
- honour and celebrate successes of language champions and allies in B.C. and around the world
- network with language speakers, experts and advocates from around the world
- gain new skills in a variety of language revitalization strategies
- learn from youth and support youth learners and educators
- learn about First Peoples Cultural Council’s language revitalization tools and funding opportunities available to B.C. First Nations to support community-based language projects
- Bringing people together to exchange knowledge about Indigenous language revitalization, best practices and to celebrate the existence of the world’s Indigenous languages.
- Knowledge sharing about ways to keep languages thriving
- Building skills to further advance Indigenous language revitalization work in B.C and worldwide, i.e. creating fluency, developing language plans and documenting languages.
We expect that Indigenous youth, Elders, leadership, international language experts and advocates from B.C., across Canada and around the world will attend the conference.
Registration and Travel Assistance
Registration includes 3 days of conference programming, breakfast and lunch, and evening programming.
Some funding is available for Indigenous delegates to attend from within and beyond B.C. and allocation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Due to overwhelming interest in the conference and the limited amount of funding available, we are unable to provide travel grants to all who applied.
Presenters will include Indigenous language experts and advocates from all around the world, including from British Columbia’s own First Nations communities. Visit the presenters page to read about our keynotes and program page to read about panelists and breakout workshop presenters.
Presenters will be notified by April 15, 2019.
Despite their immense value, Indigenous languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Approximately 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world are facing threats to their vitality. The fact that most of these are Indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.
Indigenous languages are critical for Indigenous people. There is wisdom and knowledge that comes with each of these languages that does not exist in English, French or Spanish, for instance.
Indigenous people from many countries, including Canada, have been advocating for a way to raise awareness of Indigenous languages worldwide. The United Nations declared 2019 as the Year of Indigenous Languages, not only to benefit those who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate their importance to our world’s rich cultural diversity. An International Year is an important means of international cooperation to raise global awareness of Indigenous languages and to mobilize different stakeholders and resources for coordinated action around the world. Everyone is encouraged to take measures to promote and protect the right of Indigenous peoples to preserve and develop their languages.
Events focused on Indigenous languages, as well as a series of national and international expert meetings and initiatives, will be launched around the world. More information about global events as well as the focus areas and objectives for IYIL2019 can be found on the UNESCO IYIL 2019 website.
As an Indigenous-led B.C. Crown agency, FPCC has a clear mandate to provide leadership for the maintenance, preservation, restoration and promotion of First Nations languages in B.C. The organization provides funding and services to Indigenous communities within B.C. to support language revitalization efforts while also playing an advocacy and promotional role, standing up for greater investments into and protections of B.C.’s unique Indigenous language diversity.
In alignment with its mandate, FPCC is involved with IYIL 2019 to not only celebrate B.C.’s unique diversity of Indigenous languages, but also to bring international attention to the challenges facing B.C.’s Indigenous languages and to underscore the urgent need to protect and revitalize them before it’s too late.
IYIL 2019 is an important opportunity to bring Indigenous language experts and advocates as well as government officials, policy makers and other groups together to work together to take concrete and sustainable measures to support, access and promote Indigenous languages around the world in accordance with the legitimate rights of Indigenous peoples.