Members of local First Nations attended a ceremony for the removal of the Kwakwaka’wakw house post replica totem pole from Thunderbird Park recently. Victoria will be hosting an international conference on languages. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

International conference to boost Indigenous languages comes to Victoria

Chiefs, politician, academics and Art Napoleon to attend

A global gathering organized to to promote Indigenous language revitalization gets talking in Victoria, June 24 to 26.

The HELISET TŦE SḰÁL – ‘Let the Languages Live’ – 2019 International Conference on Indigenous Languages, is being co-hosted by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation (FPCF) and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

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Held at the Victoria Convention Centre, the conference will see a number of knowledgeable speakers, including Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and Sébastien Goupil, the Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Scott Fraser, Minister of B.C. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation will also be attending.

The conference will be split up into presentations and workshops, with a host of topics explored, from traditional storytelling through strategies to harness digital technology. The intricacies of language, such as how to use root words in education and lessons learned from other places, such as Hawaii, will also be investigated.

As well as a host of luminaries making remarks and presentations, there will also be entertainment from Indigenous entertainers.

Art Napoleon, the host of Moosemeat & Marmalade will be a draw, showcasing his award-winning bilingual singing and his famous sense of humour.

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More music includes husband and wife team Twin Flames, and Inuit throat singing and futuristic dance floor beats fusing duo Silla. Local Victoria drummers ANSWER will also be performing.

The FPCF is a First Nations-led not-for-profit charitable organization that supports grassroots efforts to revitalize Indigenous arts, languages and cultures unique to British Columbia, Canada. Over its 10-year history, the Foundation has worked closely with the FPCC, delivering millions of dollars to Indigenous and First Nations artists and First Nations communities.

Similarly, the FPCC aims to revitalize Indigenous languages, arts and cultures across British Columbia, and is a First Nations-led provincial Crown corporation. The organization provides funding, resources and training to communities, monitors the status of First Nations languages, develops policy recommendations for First Nations leadership and government.

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Further to the speakers and musical entertainment, Edge of the Knife (2018) will be screened, which is Canada’s first feature-length film in Haida language dialects. It will be shown on June 24 at 7 p.m. in the Victoria Conference Centre’s Lecture Theatre.

For more information on the conference and the organizations behind it, as well as a full list of speakers and performers, visit fpcflanguageconference.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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