Man. Premier Wab Kinew cites importance of youth on National Indigenous Languages Day

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew released a statement on March 31 to mark the National Indigenous Languages Day, stating that it is healthy for youth to speak in the languages of their peoples. David Lipnowski / The Canadian Press

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew released a statement Sunday to mark the National Indigenous Languages Day, highlighting the importance of Indigenous youth speaking the languages of their people.

“If we come from places like Winnipeg, Lake Minnewasta, the Assiniboine River, Odanah Colony, Manitoba or Canada, to name but a few, we are people who use Indigenous languages,” Kinew said in his statement, which was published first in the Anishinaabemowin language.

“And so it is that our youth will be healthy if they continue to speak the languages of the Anishinaabemowin, Dakota, Cree, Anisininew, Métis, Inuit and Dene peoples.”

In an interview with Global News Morning last year, Elder Dr. Ellen Cook with Indigenous Languages Manitoba said learning to speak in one’s own language is important, but so is being a part of the culture that stems from it.

“It is very important, because it’s not just about the language, it’s also because of the culture. Because of our stewardship of the environment… we know we have been good stewards of the environment and the land,” she said.

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“I have been teaching the language to fluent speakers in universities and colleges for the last 50 years or so. I know the structure of the language.”

Indigenous Language Manitoba is a non-profit organization that teaches seven Indigenous languages with goal of supporting the “strength and survival of our Indigenous languages.”

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National Indigenous Languages Day

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