60 Indigenous Languages

60 Indigenous Languages

By Katarina Ziervogel

There are at least 6909 languages in existence among all people of various races, backgrounds, and cultures in the world. As of now, Canada holds English and French as its official languages with the possibility of American Sign Language to follow.

Having said that, both English and French languages are not the only spoken language among Canadians. There are also 60 Indigenous languages spoken by Indigenous peoples within several Canadian Indigenous groups. Considering their history with the colonization caused by the Government of Canada, not excluding the residential schools. They were all stripped of their native tongues and forced to speak either English or French, as an act of cultural genocide.

In the wake of Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, an expert from the University of Victoria calls for the Government of Canada to make all 60 Indigenous languages in Canada official. Not only would it make sense in order to bring reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada, but to keep language and culture alive as opposed to the way the Government of Canada attempted to erase their history years ago. This is not the first time a proposal has been made by several First Nations leaders to push for their own languages to be recognized officially and nationally across the country.