The NWT’s four year action plan for language revitalization and growth has been released, and a big part of it involves learning what’s working from other jurisdictions.
This raises some questions about just who is to be learned from, as the NWT is doing as well or better than most areas in Canada.
Newly appointed ECE Minister Caroline Cochrane pointed to our neighbours in Nunavut and Yukon as obvious choices, but says much of the knowledge could come from international partners who have seen greater success.
We’re looking for best practices, for example Australia or New Zealand. I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, I believe in making a northern focus because have our own distinct culture but we should be looking at other jurisdictions to see what works, and taking what works.
Cochrane also noted that the NWT is doing better than much of Canada because of it’s most valuable asset: living speakers.
The thing that we have within the Northwest Territories is we still have some of our languages. It’s losing it fast, but there are a lot of provinces that don’t even speak their language and their grasping at what that looks like. So we do still have speakers and that is our most valuable resource.
The plan, along with funding of twenty one million dollars, were announced at the legislative assembly by Cochrane and members of the language revitalization board.
The full plan and framework can be found here: https://www.ece.gov.nt.ca/sites/ece/files/resources/skills_4_success_4-year_action_plan_2016-2020.pdf