Minister St-Onge announces the launch of Canada’s National Action Plan for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages

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by ahnationtalk on June 20, 202426 Views

From: Canadian Heritage

June 20, 2024

Canada’s history of discriminatory government policies and practices has been detrimental to Indigenous languages and significantly contributed to their erosion. Restoring and promoting language is an important part of healing, reconciliation, and fostering a strong sense of identity and community.

On the eve of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the launch of Canada’s National Action Plan for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. The Department of Canadian Heritage has incorporated input from First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to develop the National Action Plan, which aims to support Indigenous peoples in defining their vision and advance their own action plans to support the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

The National Action Plan has four pillars that will contribute to the revitalization, advancement and visibility of Indigenous languages in Canada. The four pillars are: supporting Indigenous peoples in advancing their vision for the Decade; implementing the Indigenous Languages Act; engaging Indigenous youth; and creating lasting legacies.

Through the funding provided to implement the Indigenous Languages Act, Indigenous communities have multiplied their efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen their languages.


“Language is fundamental to our culture and our identity. In Canada, the languages of First Nations, Inuit and Métis are vanishing at an alarming rate. It is our shared responsibility to collaborate, share stories and support communities that are working hard to keep these languages alive. The National Action Plan will help us create a legacy that will be cherished by generations to come.”

—The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The United Nations declared 2022–2032 the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. Throughout the Decade, Canada will recognize, raise awareness of, and celebrate the richness and diversity of Indigenous languages. The main objectives of the Decade are to draw attention to the critical loss of Indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote Indigenous languages at the national and international levels.
  • Under the leadership of UNESCO, a Global Action Plan guides the Decade, sets out objectives and actions, and calls for the development of national action plans.
  • There are over 70 Indigenous languages in Canada. They are a key element of Indigenous culture and identity. Most of the living Indigenous languages in Canada are endangered, and none of them are considered safe.
  • The Indigenous Languages Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019. Canadian Heritage continues to work with Indigenous partners and organizations to implement the Act.
  • To ensure the vibrancy of Indigenous languages for generations to come and support the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act, Canada has provided important budget investments of over $1 billion from 2019–2020 to 2028–2029, and $162.7 million ongoing.

Associated links

For more information (media only), please contact:

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage


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