The First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation worked in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to host the HELISET TŦE SḰÁL (pronounced ha-LEE-sut-te-skwayl) ‘Let the Languages Live’ 2019 International Conference on Indigenous Languages, held in Victoria, B.C.
This conference brought together approximately 1,000 Indigenous language leaders from over 20 countries around the world to share stories, best practices and expertise related to Indigenous language revitalization as well as to celebrate and honour the hard work that so many are devoting to their languages and communities. Not only did the conference provide a meaningful opportunity to share knowledge and develop connections between many Indigenous Nations, but it also inspired UNESCO’s declaration of the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032).
The event honoured the vast knowledge of Indigenous experts who are working throughout B.C. and the world to revitalize their languages. It also spotlighted the Foundation’s role as a global leader and brought public attention and visibility to the value of Indigenous languages.
The conference provided an opportunity to celebrate the work that is being done across the globe, and in that celebration, we gained knowledge that will help us all to further our efforts. If you would like to be a part of the work that we do, consider donating today.
“Seeing the many nations working together to restore fluency and normalize our languages is an act of reconciliation, pride and nation-building and is a key element in self-determination. Our languages are a reflection of who we are as First Nations people. They are essential to our ceremonies, traditional laws and to the land and water – to our very identity.
I want to acknowledge the role of the HELISET TŦE SḰÁL ‘Let the Languages Live’ Conference in bringing together both our speakers and learners to ensure our traditions, beliefs, ceremonies and cultures are passed on from generation to generation.
Kininaskomitin from me to you in continuing this most important and essential work.”National Chief Perry Bellegarde
Assembly of First Nations