Inuit Note Appointment of Bernard Lord as Special Advisor for Consultations on Official Languages – Call for Protection of Inuit Language
Monday December 3 , 2007 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Inuit leader Mary Simon commented on the appointment of Bernard Lord by Prime Minister Harper today to lead Cross Canada Official Languages consultations.
“It’s a positive development to have former New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord leading these consultations,” stated Mary Simon. ” As I understand it, Mr. Lord will be visiting seven designated cities across Canada with a particular focus on protecting minority language rights within the ambit of the Official Languages Act,and that is a good thing. I am however calling upon the government to recognise that Aboriginal languages in this country also require protection and enhancement if our societies are to prosper within Canada.””The very survival of the Inuit language is at stake. While I support the appointment of Bernard Lord, I also call on the government of Canada to dedicate equitable resources to ensure the promotion, and preservation of the Inuit language. We are witnessing the development of new Language Legislation in Nunavut, and this is absolutely necessary – as it was in Quebec in the 1970s – to protect the Inuit language and ensure its survival.”
“The Inuit language with its different dialects will require considerable assistance from the government of Canada to ensure its survival, and by implication the survival of Inuit culture. I intend to write to the Minister of Canadian Heritage to ask for a meeting with her, where together we can explore necessary federal support for the Inuit language including exploring the use of enabling legislation to protect the Inuit language,” concluded Mary Simon.
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Senior Communications Officer