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Everyone has a role in strengthening Indigenous languages this month

Press Release

February 1, 2024

February is Indigenous Languages Month in the Northwest Territories. Indigenous languages are the foundation of the territory’s identity, pride, and community. This month, help support Indigenous language revitalization and ask everyone to “say it in our languages” to encourage them to speak Indigenous languages with pride.

Denekʼę́ arı̨dı

(deh-nek ay ah-deen-dee)

Dene t’á arı̨nı̨

(deh-net ah ah-reen-ee)

Dene kʼę́ę́ adındı

(deh-nek ay ah-deen-dee)

Dinjih zhuh kʼyuu tʼijiinuh

(din-jee zhuh k-yoo tee-jee-nuh)

Inuinnaqtun tailugu

(ee-noo-een-awk-toon tie-loo-goo)

Inuktitut uqarlugu

(ee-nook-tee-toot oo-kar-loo-goo)

Inuvialuktun tailugu

(ee-noo-vee-ah-look-toon tie-loo-goo)

itwe nehiyawihk

(it-way neh-ee-ya-wak)

Tłı̨chǫ yatıı̀ kʼèè haahdı

(klee-cho yah-tee kay hah-dee)

The loss of Indigenous languages is an ongoing challenge in our territory and around the world. To reverse the loss of language and culture and keep Indigenous languages alive and thriving, they must be spoken in homes and communities.

That’s why, this month, the Government of the Northwest Territories encourages all residents to use Indigenous languages, whether it is their first language or not, and to join the online celebration at www.facebook.com/GNWTece to learn new Indigenous words and phrases, and pass them on!

Quote(s)

“Using Indigenous languages every day, whether at home, school or out in your community, promotes their use. We do not have to be fluent in the language to make a difference. Practicing Indigenous languages and incorporating them into daily life is a step we can all take to reverse the loss of language and culture.”

  • Caitlin Cleveland, Minister of Official Languages

Quick Facts

  • Join the online celebration: Use the hashtag #IndigenousLanguagesMonth to stay connected on social media and check out ECE’s website for ideas and downloads to help you spread the word!
  • The NWT is the only political region in Canada that recognizes 11 official languages. Of these languages, nine are Indigenous: Dene Kǝdǝ́, Dene Zhatıé, Dëne Sųłıné, Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, nēhiyawēwin and Tłı̨chǫ.

Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
briony_grabke@gov.nt.ca
867-767-9352 Ext. 71073

ILR5

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