Advancing Indigenous language rights in Canada (13:59)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=""][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]our first guest this morning is mayor eugene's roberto uh good morning madam mayor that's australia good morning yeah me too thank you for taking the time to speak to us today no problem so uh madam mayor we wanted you to speak uh to us about uh being the first person to speak denny in the house of commons and uh your work on the indigenous uh languages act how important was it for you to be able to communicate in a denny language in the house of commons thank you for that important question i was elected as a member of parliament at a really good opportunity there were i had an opportunity an excellent privileged opportunity to work with romeo saganash he has been working on the indigenous rights plus the languages and when we got in there we had a the liberal team had mark miller who is now the indigenous uh minister he he learned to speak mohawk and so he spoke mohawk in the in uh in the house of commons robert village and our own from our constituency kevin lewis was brought in for the cree interpreter to translate for robert oulet and then there are other ones as well plus myself to me i knew that when i got to the house of commons and i had for whatever reason it was in me to say i have the right to speak then in the house of commons and i'm going to ask for it and continue to ask for it and because romeo saginaws was already doing their work we team up we were very supportive we put pressure on the liberal mps who spoke the indigenous languages and we pushed and we had the support when i first spoke dna in the house of commons it was a wonderful experience i don't know the magnitude of it yet because now that's in the canadian history and that history is going to be forever written for generations to come young indigenous speakers deny or otherwise will look at the history from the period 2015 and 2019 and because of the work that we did the group of us did the work that i did that canada now recognizes indigenous languages so it's a it's an incredible incredible experience so maybe you could elaborate about it is there any other story behind you being the first person to have the denny language translated into parliamentary business it took a while to get the translators there was a committee process that we had to go through and it's such a bureaucratic uh place in ottawa bureaucratic systems are in place entrenched bureaucratic systems so they have processes that we all have to go through and i also also want to emphasize to me ottawa the house of commons and the federal piece of the the canadian history ottawa is the core and the heart of colonialism because it is so entrenched and i saw evidences of that day in and day out so i had a really good staff in the ndp party in the liberal party we joined forces together we submitted a request and we kept at it the committee said yes they will study the indigenous languages and from there it was wonderful i was able to a dna speaker was a translator was brought in for me and happened to be julius park and he is from la lash and he has the expertise to translate in danny and to raid and all and all the wonderful skills that come with it in the committee work it was an incredible experience when i appeared as a witness in the committee i spoke danny and julius park translated and it was incredible wonderful time and we went through that process the work was completed and then at the end toward going through that process at the end i had the opportunity meanwhile back in the house of commons because it hasn't passed it had the work hasn't been completed yet i could not get a translator yet within the house of commons but that didn't that didn't stop me from pushing to speak delay on various issues the opposition that i received from some of the political parties stunned me it was astounding to know that there are canadians from different political parties who do not support anything to do with indigenous legislation including the translation and they they will say i don't know what she is saying in denme i'm not a dna speaker i don't know so therefore i'm not supporting this i can believe it when i heard something like that but i kept pushing so the way i spoke dna without the translator i translated for myself and then i explained in english this is what i'm saying and i continue to do that and so we we kept at it we were successful so 2018 and 2019 were the important years where we were granted the opportunity to speak in danny in the house of commons and the translator will be provided it was incredible kevin lewis out of uh minnesoquin he was the translator for robert doulette and julius park was my translator i was able to stand up with 338 mps including the prime minister of canada and all the parties and then whoever was watching all the canadians who were watching in canada to me that is that is what we should be at anyways yeah because history says indigenous people were here first and canadians now we're canadians yes but everyone else came from somewhere else to become canadians we're here first so we should be recognized anyways and so that's why i continued the work that i do and that i did and and it shows the strength and conviction of you as as a leader one of our leaders uh that you persevered so i just i'm just wondering maybe you could elaborate a bit about how you felt personally about all this work my work in my political journey and my work have has evolved over the years in the back of my mind i was taught early on i was taught by elders and academics and others as well the work that i'm doing is really find the purpose find the intention but i was raised as a delay person my first primary language growing up is demi and that has been there was no english in there unless if i'd gone to school when we were growing up so to me culturally and language that's who and i'm thankful that the community the further north we go we still have that presence and so i thought this is this is me as a dna woman and i'm asking i'm a canadian i have this right so and i kept pushing and then i studied i i did study the french language i'm not very good at it but the more i studied the french language and the amount of importance plays on the french and it's the value it's recognized as one of the official languages and i keep thinking my back my mind okay where i grew up the french people were the priests and the nuns and there's some words that we picked up it was really during the committee process one of the professors from a university in toronto ryerson he made a point and i agreed with him he said indigenous languages across canada should and must be in official language official languages like french and english as indigenous people the contribution we make to our great country is a lot we are proud canadians we are proud of the work we do and we move forward some denny people or or people that were part day have had a huge impact on canadian history i.e louis riel and dumont they're some of their grannies are from northern saskatchewan and their denny so absolutely and you know just uh as a father of three denny children and then a beautiful danny wife to see such a strong role model for our children i want to thank you madam mayor for doing that for our kids because identity and culture and recognizing who you are as a child is really paramount to the development of uh of a person and you know lalosh has been a beacon for uh for the denny speakers in this province in this country for a long time so i wanted to know the indigenous language act 14 months so was the timing did anything have to do with unesco's 2019 international year of indigenous language was there like did you use all these things ungrip and stuff like that to help move the agenda when i went to the united wanted to be part of the canadian delegation for the first time and then other years that i went to new york to be a part of a few days that uh on indigenous issues of the united nations was incredible i was really touched and i was immensely proud when i was there i saw indigenous nations from around the world who are present at these events in the languages it was the multi-languages translators that are there it was i found that it was i can't put it towards this is great one year i brought my sister with me and i was able to get in with to to come with me to to these events and she was in awe as well because we were at united nations and to be with other indigenous people from around the world it was the work continues the act has passed now on june 21st uh 2019 with royal ascent so how much uh this felt for you and your colleagues maybe you can describe that and what what's the long range i guess uh goal for some of this some of this work that you see moving forward now i think and i hope indigenous people across canada as well as non-indigenous who like school divisions who teach primarily indigenous kids across canada the health care system and social services and the other other pieces where they provide services to indigenous people someone down the line my and i believe he gives the opportunity to any person saying let's work with indigenous languages because it is now recognized it gives them that the strength and the weight they need to push these continue to push these issues to speak our languages across canada yeah well i i know just as an example at the uh friendship center where we're working uh we are now this year we're going to have beginner dna language classes for urban urban indigenous people i want to thank you for that work that you did and uh that's one of my things that i have in my birchborg basket list is to learn one of the languages being a 60 school kid i just i just feel uh the work that you've done is is is going to have a huge impact on on the next generation of indigenous people moving forward you know when i was in the house of commons i looked at all the flags with each parliament and their names are all registered whoever mp was from louis riel to others all our names are in the plaque whatever 45 48 whatever our names are on the plaques and visitors will come and see and then my thinking is that generations to come they will look at my name and they will see that i became part of the community of the recognized recorded canadian history and that is that is awesome i i just want to say uh madam mayor thank you for taking the time this morning to speak with us and further we'll be uh looking at this this canadian history maker i i say in our language marcy chu nasa i hope you have a really great day you too robert thank you<br><!-- wp:image {"id":1776,"sizeSlug":"large","linkDestination":"none"} -->rn<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img class="wp-image-1776" src="" alt="Advancing Indigenous language rights in Canada (13:59)" 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Advancing Indigenous language rights in Canada  (13:59)


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