First People's Cultural Council
  In celebration of the United Nations 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation are thrilled to announce that this summer, in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, we will be hosting a major international conference on Indigenous language revitalization.

HELISET TŦE SḰÁL - ‘Let the Languages Live’ is organized by and for Indigenous people to celebrate Indigenous languages and support language revitalization best practices. 

WHAT: An international gathering to bring together Indigenous leaders and language experts, speakers, learners and advocates from around the globe to celebrate, honour and share expertise in Indigenous language reclamation, revitalization and maintenance and to learn about successful language projects in B.C. 
WHEN: June 24–26, 2019  
WHERE: Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, B.C., Canada 

Help us spread the word and please join us at this unique event! Come share your knowledge and support grassroots efforts to revitalize our languages worldwide. Indigenous people may request assistance with travel costs through the online registration process. 

To register click here. Early bird registration now open!

The goal of HELISET TŦE SḰÁL - ‘Let the Languages Live’ is to provide participants with practical skills and knowledge to support Indigenous language revitalization work. Multiple workshop streams will include: 
  • Practical training in Indigenous language immersion, archiving and documentation techniques
  • Language policy and legislation
  • Language revitalization program planning
  • Models for language revitalization and education
  • Language and technology
  • Storytelling
Revitalization of Indigenous languages is critical in B.C., Canada and around the globe.
There are more than 60 Indigenous languages in Canada and all are facing threats to their vitality. The greatest language diversity exists in British Columbia, with more than 50% of all Indigenous languages in Canada. Despite B.C.’s rich diversity of 34 unique First Nations languages and more than 90 dialects, currently only 3% (or fewer than 4,200 people) of First Nations people in B.C. consider themselves fluent in their mother tongue. 

In spite of the challenges, there have been positive changes that are supporting a language shift in British Columbia. There’s a growing level of interest in Indigenous language revitalization and an increasing number of people, especially younger individuals, who are learning and speaking these languages. Source: 2018 Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages

The United Nations declared 2019 as the Year of Indigenous Languages as an important mechanism to raise international attention about the critical loss of Indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize, promote and mobilize urgent and coordinated action at the national and international levels to protect them. More info about UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages:

We hope you will come to HELISET TŦE SḰÁL - ‘Let the Languages Live’ to share your knowledge, learn from others and find new tools and resources for language revitalization!


  Emmy McMillan
Communications Officer, First Peoples' Cultural Council
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