For Immediate Release
February 6, 2019
Press Release: CIJA Supports Revitalization of Indigenous Languages Legislation
Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, the Government of Canada tabled the Indigenous Languages Act in the House of Commons.
In response, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA CEO, issued the following:
“We commend the government for tabling this crucial piece of legislation, as well as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and other Indigenous groups for their years of hard work and leadership on this initiative.
“The revitalization of Indigenous languages is a human rights issue, and all parliamentarians should work together to support the swift passage of this legislation before the end of this parliamentary session.
“CIJA has long advocated for this process, supporting the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015 when we presented a statement of solidarity with Indigenous peoples on behalf of six Jewish organizations. The TRC’s 94 calls to action include language rights. Last week, we were honoured to build on this work as guests of the AFN at the United Nations global launch of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages in New York.
“Language is a fundamental part of cultural expression, identity, historical preservation and nationhood. Canada’s Jewish community understands this because the successful revitalization of Hebrew, the Indigenous language of the Jewish people, was central to the national revival of the Jewish State.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada