Ottawa, ON, July 3, 2024 – The Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages (the Commission) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) are pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work collaboratively to promote and support Indigenous languages across Canada.
Our organizations share a common goal of supporting the efforts of Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, strengthen, and maintain their languages.

The five-year MOU signed on June 19, 2024, outlines various areas of mutual interest, such as: exchanging knowledge to further common objectives concerning Indigenous languages, advocating for and enhancing awareness about the significance of Indigenous languages, and working collaboratively on initiatives like the United Nations International Decade for Indigenous Languages.

The MOU emphasizes shared values of reciprocity, respect for Indigenous self-determination, transparency, and accountability in all joint projects and initiatives. It also supports the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and advancing the goals of the United Nations International Decade for Indigenous Languages.

“This MOU represents a significant step towards helping to ensure that Indigenous languages in Canada are valued, protected, and promoted. By working together with CCUNESCO, we can bring our collective expertise together to help support the important goals of the UN International Decade for Indigenous Languages.” – Dr. Ronald Ignace, Commissioner of Indigenous Languages

“With over 70 Indigenous languages in Canada at different stages of revitalization, and the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages underway, this is a crucial moment for every Canadian to learn about and support endangered Indigenous languages. The protection and promotion of Indigenous languages is one of CCUNESCO’s priorities, given the important role of language in safeguarding the identities of Indigenous communities. CCUNESCO is excited to enter this new collaborative relationship with the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and eager to put meaningful initiatives in place that reflect our shared goals.” – Yves-Gérard Méhou-Loko, Secretary General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO