In a variety of unique cultures, histories

In the last several decades safeguarding language anddialects has become a major concern to which UNESCO has turned its attention.Nowadays, this issue has taken huge dimensions, as innumerable languages are onthe verge of extinction. It is estimated that in a century from now the numberof the remaining languages will drop dramatically from 6.000 to a few hundreds.UNESCO’s role is to minimize this threat, protecting, promoting and maintainingall languages and dialects in order to preserve multilingualism. The endangeredindigenous languages of Canada are those of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples (FirstNations, Inuit and Métis).

Their languages mirror a variety of unique cultures,histories and identities. For all these three groups language is the foundationof their culture. Aboriginal peoples’ languages are on the brink of extinction.It is estimated that only one third of the Aboriginal languages have the prospectof survival. It is specified that at least five languages have already beenextinct, while others barely survive into the present. Canada is the firstWestern country to declare and put into action an executive policy ofmulticulturalism in 1971.

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A decade later in 1998, The Canadian Governmentcreated the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) to fund a variety ofcommunity-based language projects such as language learning resources,documentation, communications and media, recording interviews with elders anddeveloping dictionaries for over twenty-five endangered languages. Moreover, Canadaadopted the Declaration of Vienna of the World Conference on Human Rights. In theyear 2010, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will implement theUN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples stating that “No relationship is more important to me andto Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples.

“. In 2017, the government provided $90 million infunding to “protect, preserve and revitalize” those languages forthree years. Meanwhile, numerous Aboriginal language organizations aredeveloping teaching resources such as the Canadian Indigenous Languages andLiteracy Development Institute (CILLDI). It is a widespreadbelief that the endangerment of a language may finally lead to its extinction.This disappearance seems to have tremendous effects on national, as well as oninternational level. To analyze further, every language, large or small, capturesreality in a characteristic approach.

If it is to lose one, several discoveriesabout human cognition might be closed off. Thus, the extinction of a languageunavoidably leads to the disappearance of diverse forms of Intangible CulturalHeritage. Every song, every poem and tradition, which the speakers of thislanguage passed on for thousands of years, will be lost once and for all. As itcomes to the national community, the extinction of their language willinevitably cause the loss off their cultural and possibly their nationalidentity. Therefore, these people may become victims of massification.

The majority agreethat the rapid technological evolution in the modern society conduces to theextinction of several languages and dialects. In order to minimize this threatinternational community ought to guarantee the linguistic diversity incyberspace. This can be achieved by creating television networks, wherelanguages in danger can be broadcasted and thus promoted. Moreover, raisingawareness via social media, providing internet access to the speakers ofendangered languages and creating linguistic documentation in digital form willalso assist on maintaining these languages.

In Canada numerous organizationsprovide online language resources to First Nations, while the media expands theawareness across Canada. Specifically, The Aboriginal Peoples TelevisionNetwork (APTN) broadcasts nationally with programming by Aboriginal peoples.Throughout the yearsvarious Declarations and treaties have been signed in order to safeguardendangered languages. The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights is one ofthe most significant one.

According to the preliminaries, UDLR takes intoconsideration that “Invasion,colonization, occupation … often involve … distort perceptions of the valueof languages”, which indeed confirms the fact that UDLR helps to detectphenomena of cultural imperialism. In the meantime, UDLR helps detect events ofcultural marginalization as well, in view of the fact that the Article 26declares “All individuals must beprotected from discrimination on grounds of language”, while the Article 23proclaims that “Education must always beat the service of linguistic and cultural diversity and harmonious relationsbetween different language communities.” Taking all these into consideration, Canada firmly believes that despitewhat has already been done new measures need to be taken to evade the attritionof a language. To begin with, Canada advocates that in order to guard, maintainand promote all the endangered language, it is required to form a basicpedagogical and linguistic training.

It is needed to provide trained languageteachers who will acknowledge the basics in linguistics and teaching methods.Furthermore, local communities shall establish centers where the speakers of anendangered language will be taught how to document and archive their ownlanguage materials. Last but not least, the delegation of Canada stronglysupports that we ought to create broadcast media, television channels andnumerous internet websites where these languages can be promoted so that theirspeakers are able to have access to the world of technology without the need tofend off their language and shift to a more prestige one.


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