Language is at the heart of cultural identity; it shapes who we are and our perspectives. When we speak our languages, we share stories, pass on knowledge and create bonds for generations. Through the Indigenous Languages Act, the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages (OCIL) will support Indigenous peoples in ensuring that languages grow and prosper so they can be shared and spoken for years to come.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the first appointees to the new Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages:

  • Ronald E. Ignace, Commissioner
  • Robert Watt, Director
  • Georgina Liberty, Director
  •  Joan Greyeyes, Director

The Commissioner and Directors were chosen following an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process. The Government of Canada ensured that the selection committee included First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation representatives who assessed and identified highly qualified individuals for the Minister’s consideration for appointment.

The Commissioner and Directors were selected for their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures and languages, including an understanding of language vitality and endangerment, and for their ability to represent the interests of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. They have unique strengths that will serve the interests, current needs and future direction of the OCIL. Collectively, their knowledge, expertise and leadership will facilitate better outcomes for Indigenous languages.

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