Canada’s first Indigenous languages commissioner hopes to be operating by summer

Dr. Ronald E. Ignace

OTTAWA- Canada’s first commissioner of Indigenous languages says he hopes to have his office fully operational by the summer, about two years after it was first announced.

Ronald Ignace appeared before a House of Commons committee today that is studying the issue of Indigenous languages.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has prioritized revitalizing Indigenous languages as one of its goals in advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities across the country.

It passed the Indigenous Languages Act in 2019, which mandated the creation of a languages commissioner.

Ignace was appointed to the role in June 2021, along with several directors, and told MPs that the main focus to date has been on staffing up the office.

He says because such a post has never before existed, the group is building the office from the “ground up” and needs to take the time to get it right.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

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