McGill Students at AFN’s Youth Summit on Language Revitalization

The Assembly of First Nations hosted an online National Youth Gathering from the Languages and Culture Sector virtually over the weekend of October 17th and 18th. This gathering, Spirit Speakers: Our Languages, Our Future, was originally scheduled for March 27th-30th 2020, however, due to health concerns stemming from COVID-19, the gathering was canceled.

The gathering’s goal was to create a collaborative discussion space for youth to share their experiences, best practices, successes, challenges, and recommendations regarding the revitalization, promotion, and maintenance of Indigenous languages.

One of the organizers of the gathering is Isabelle Zwicker, an Anishinaabe student who is currently at McGill studying Law. In the gathering itself, Zwicker helped facilitate and moderate discussions as well as making sure that the gathering ran smoothly. As well, Vanessa Racine (a linguistics student at McGill and Administrative Coordinator for ISCEI) attended the conference.

Some of the concerns that participants voiced were the lack of visibility of Indigenous languages both in schools as well as in general media.

The ideas, experiences, and comments from the First Nations youth participants were compiled into a report and will be shared with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and other leaders in language revitalization.

Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill

Indigenous Awareness Week has begun at McGill University and this year it is taking place virtually. On September 18th, the Virtual Powwow allowed attendees to view exhibition dances from home. As well, In honor of the weeks, the Hiawatha Wampum Belt flag was raised on the Arts Building.

There is still a chance to attend an event. On September 24th

from 12pm -1, join the First People’s House for a virtual presentation with Healers Geraldine and Mike Standup. Listen to a discussion of the body and mind, and share the importance of recognizing how the connection affects our health.

RSVP before the end of the day to attend this event!

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