Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2019-02-20 17:57 [p.25577]
Madam Speaker, I thank everyone who spoke to this and I want to make it very clear that I support the concept and the idea behind the legislation. However, in its current form, I do not believe I can support it. I know the president of ITK, Natan Obed, said that the office of the commissioner of indigenous languages outlined under the legislation was little more than a new title for an existing aboriginal languages initiative program, a federal office that had largely failed so far to halt the decline of indigenous languages despite having a mission to improve it.
He said that unlike provincial and territorial languages commissioners, this national indigenous language commissioner would basically be a powerless advocacy group controlled by the federal government and that there was no obligation under the legislation on the part of the federal government to fund indigenous languages. He also said that in no way was the bill co-developed with Inuit.
I am an Inuk and I have lost my language. I have lost what I am very proud to see in Nunavut right now. People are showing an interest in learning and regaining their languages. In fact, in 2008, we passed our own Nunavut indigenous languages protection act and pieces of the education act that would force the government to offer bilingual education in Inuktitut. Sadly—
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