New First Nations Languages Degree Under Development in BC

The following information is excerpted from a release issued by the Province of British Columbia.

The Province is providing $103,300 toward the development of a new degree to support the revitalization of First Nations languages in British Columbia.

Efforts to establish the Indigenous Language Fluency Degree arose through community consultations undertaken by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association (IAHLA). They have partnered with a consortium of post-secondary institutions, including Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a, En’owkin Centre, the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia.

“The development of this degree program is one of the early actions resulting from our work to develop a First Nations Social Determinants of Health Strategy with the First Nations Health Council,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad.

Building on work initiated by FNESC and IAHLA, the framework for the proposed degree program includes two years of language instruction in communities and the final two years at a public post-secondary institution. Further consultations with BC First Nations communities and Aboriginal-controlled institutes are planned early in the year to seek feedback on the proposed degree structure and delivery mechanism.

“Through consultations, we’re creating relationships and curricular structures that build on the strengths and capacities of each of the partners involved, including the communities served,” says Jeannette Armstrong, Canada research chair in Indigenous Philosophy and assistant professor of Indigenous studies at UBC Okanagan. “These partnerships will be integrated into a growing network of expertise and experience which will help expand effective language training capacity and move work forward on an Indigenous Language Fluency Degree.”

For more information, please consult the release issued by the Province located here.

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