Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Funding loss threatens Indigenous language program in Victoria – Times Colonist

In 2023, Victoria Native Friendship Centre received $266,500 in federal funding to offer classes in seven Indigenous languages

Staff at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre has been left scrambling after losing the main source of funding for a program that teaches multiple Indigenous languages, says the centre’s executive director.

The centre’s Urban Indigenous Language Hub offers classes in seven different languages, including Nuučaan̓uɫ, two dialects of Nihiyaw, Nedut’en Carrier, Dene, Dakota, and Anishinaabe — and has had over 2,000 participants since 2018, said executive director Ron Rice.

Without learning opportunities, “the path to extinction is real” for Indigenous languages, he said.

Rice said the impetus for the program is to provide language training to meet the varied needs of Indigenous people living in an urban setting.

“The reality is the majority of the population is living off-reserve, whether they’ve moved away for school or for work or for love or for housing, whatever it is, they’re living away from their territory,” Rice said. “So this model makes some sense.”

Read More:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More