Press Release

NWAC CEO Lynne Groulx Participates in United Nations Effort to Preserve Indigenous Languages Worldwide

(Ottawa, ON) – To help commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and to support the vital work of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFFI), Native Women’s Association of Canada CEO Lynne Groulx will be in Washington, D.C. August 9 to add Canada’s voice to the growing worldwide call to revitalize, preserve and promote Indigenous languages.

To commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Secretariat of the UNPFFI has chosen Indigenous Languages as its theme for 2019 and has organized an event that will bring together Indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society and relevant stakeholders to share good practices and innovative initiatives on Indigenous languages.

“Given the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages, I am delighted PFFI is helping to highlight and advance the critical issue of preserving Indigenous culture and language,” said Groulx. “In Canada, the final report of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls (MMIWG) urged, as one of its 231 Calls for Justice, that Canadian governments recognize Indigenous languages as official languages, with the same status, recognition, and protection provided to French and English. Communicating with Canada’s Indigenous peoples in the language of their choosing is a critical step toward restoring, reclaiming, and revitalizing cultures and identities.”

Recent UN estimates suggest that more than half of the world’s languages will become extinct by 2100 and that 95 percent of them may become extinct or seriously endangered by the end of the present century. The loss of Indigenous languages is one of the most critical issues that Indigenous peoples face today.

The PFFI event will feature a panel of Indigenous experts and guest speakers and be moderated by Ms. Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Chief of the Indigenous Peoples and Development Branch - Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.


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Steven Pink
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