Aboriginal Languages Celebrated during March

Mar 6 2013

YELLOWKNIFE (March 6, 2013) – March is Aboriginal Languages Month and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) will be using some innovative  technology to deliver important messages to youth and residents across the territory.

“Languages are about identity – who we are and how we understand and interact with each other,” said Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty. “We are seeing some interesting shifts in how youth and residents are promoting our official languages and the opportunities we have to help support those shifts.  People are exploring our languages and cultural identities through film, technology and art, which are garnering much attention with our neighbours to the south.  These are exciting times and an opportunity for us to create a platform to showcase our culture and languages to the rest of the world.”

In 1993, the Assembly of First Nations declared March as Aboriginal Languages Month. Since then, highlights during March include language initiatives and activities, and a focus on preservation and revitalization of NWT official languages and cultures.  The theme for this year’s Aboriginal Languages Month is Speak Up! Use your Northern Voice! and is directed both towards youth and the general public, with activities in all of the regions, including a territory-wide online Jeopardy! Competition, and a photo contest featuring traditional activities.

The Aboriginal Languages Symposium, scheduled for March 20-21, 2013, focuses on strengthening Aboriginal languages in the NWT through discussions with Aboriginal language speakers, community leadership, Elders, youth, stakeholder groups and governments. The symposium will include themes of innovation in language preservation and revitalization, and discuss and validate the plan for the Aboriginal Languages Secretariat.

For more information:

Ashley Green
Public Affairs Officer
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-3059
Email: ashley_green@gov.nt.ca