NAN Commits to Preserve, Promote Traditional Language after Historic Day in Ontario Legislature

TORONTO, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has re-affirmed NAN’s commitment to the preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of our traditional languages following today’s historic address in Anishininiimowin by Kingfisher Lake First Nation member Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong, in the Ontario Legislature today:

“On behalf of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, I commend and thank our friend Sol for this tremendous accomplishment. What he did today is something many of our Elders and leaders thought would never happen.

I was moved beyond words to sit in the House with Sol’s mother, his family, leadership and community members from across NAN territory and across Ontario as he spoke and conducted government business in his own language this morning. This was the first time an Indigenous language was officially spoken in the house of our provincial Treaty partner. I never imagined that I would witness such a significant and moving event in a government building.

What we heard today was so long overdue, and something that our Nations will cherish and honour forever. Our language is an essential part of our identity and culture. It is who we are as a people. Today, Sol has inspired us to make sure that we continue to express our true selves through our languages.

We are surrounded by the colonial legacy of Ontario and Canada, but leaders like Sol are breaking down barriers for generations to come. In honour of this historic day, we are re-affirming our commitment to the preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of our traditional languages.”

Under the Office of the Grand Chief, NAN will commit resources to support a Traditional Knowledge Keeper dedicated to First Nation-led initiatives to retain, revitalize, maintain, and strengthen NAN’s traditional languages (Cree and Algonquin in the east, Anishininiimowin in the west, Ojibway in the central south area).

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790

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