Indigenous Languages Year in Review

We’re excited to share some of the work we provided for residents in Indigenous languages in 2022-2023. The list below reveals a shared dedication and commitment to Indigenous language revitalization.

So, what did we do?

  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority created four Senior Indigenous Patient Advocate positions. This initiative was developed to: Provide system navigation to all residents and guests in the NWT; Work to ensure patients receive culturally safe and equitable care to help deal with the impact of illness and hospitalization; Provide cultural, spiritual and emotional support; Help make connections with family members, elders and community organizations; Provide support and solutions for Indigenous residents and their families based on their needs, and; Advocate for Indigenous residents and guests.
  • The Legislative Assembly launched the Tłı̨chǫ Audio Tour. The English audio tour script was translated into Tłı̨chǫ, interpreted and recorded.
  • The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs funded the NWT Youth Corps Program which supports eligible organizations with large-scale development projects that offer a structured and varied program aimed at supporting youth. In an average year, 30 projects are supported across every region, including the Take a Kid Trapping program and Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning. Courses provided through Dechinta’s curriculum include traditional knowledge, Indigenous languages and cultural teachings. The department also provides application-based funding under the Youth Contributions Program to eligible Indigenous cultural events geared towards youth under 25 years of age. In an average year, 60 projects are supported in most communities, including education events, youth and elder leadership camps and traditional skill building.
  • The Department of Education, Culture and Employment used Indigenous languages in a multilingual social media post to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. A print ad was placed in UpHere Magazine to promote the Mentor-Apprentice Program, which included participant testimonials in various Indigenous languages, and ‘Be Kind’ posters were created in all official Indigenous languages for the program to promote awareness of lateral violence. The department used print ads, Facebook posts and website content in Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik, Inuktitut and Inuvialuktun to advertise a new funding program for Interpreters and Translators. Two different radio ads were run on CKLB in to remind seniors to apply for the subsidy and to advise of the one-time payment to address concerns about the cost of living, and ads were used to notify people of the deadline for Indian Federal Day School settlement claims and how to access historical student records. CKLB radio ads for the call for applications for the NWT Arts Council Grant aired in Dene Kǝdǝ́, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé, Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik and Tłı̨chǫ.
  • Housing NWT used its social media to advertise and promote Indigenous Languages Month and advertised with CKLB for the Housing NWT Renewal Strategy and Energy Management Strategy.
  • The NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation created digital and radio ad campaigns on CKLB to promote public engagement for legislation review and the Canada Digital Adoption Program.
  • The Department of Infrastructure coordinated radio ads in Dene Kǝdǝ́ and Dene Zhatıé and transcribed a variety of engagement material, including an interactive map and presentation.
  • The Department of Justice ran 30-second radio ads in Dene Kǝdǝ́, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé, Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik and Tłı̨chǫ on CKLB to promote public engagement on Seasonal Time Changes.
  • Radio ads were translated into Dene Kǝdǝ́ and Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik for the Surface Rights Board and Gwich’in and Sahtú Land Use Planning Boards.
  • Housing NWT had signs for the Sahtú district office translated and posted.
  • The Department of Infrastructure completed signage regarding Wayfinding at Įtłǫ́ School in Yellowknife.
  • The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs has permanent directional/informational signage in local Indigenous languages in all five regional offices.
  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Agency, Fort Smith region, has an ongoing project for permanent directional signage for the Fort Smith Health Center. Translations of all necessary signage have been recently completed in Dëne Sųłıné and nēhiyawēwin.
  • The Department of Health and Social Services prepared oral health educational videos and an oral health book available in all official Indigenous languages. The department also translated brushing charts, promotional midwifery posters, Hay River flooding Evacuation Mental Health Support information, 8-1-1 video advertising and 8-1-1 flyers.
  • The Standing Committee on Government Operations performed a review on Increasing Indigenous Representation in the Public Service in which they sought public consultation. A one-page information sheet was produced and translated into the official Indigenous language of the communities in which they held public meetings.
  • The Standing Committee on Government Operations performed a review of the Official Languages Act, which is done every five years. The Committee created a one-page information sheet and translated it into Dëne Sųłıné and Dene Zhatıé for the communities where they held public meetings. From this review, a report and a one-page visual summary were created. The visual summary was translated into all official Indigenous languages.
  • The Interpreter Program continues to be utilized at the Legislative Assembly for Session and public meetings. During session, the Assembly has the capacity to offer live interpretation in five Indigenous languages at a time. New technical interpreter equipment and updated mobile travel kits were purchased for the interpreters of the Legislative Assembly. This allows more Indigenous languages to be recorded during Session and the ability to provide better interpretation services during travel. The equipment was installed in phases throughout 2022-2023 and will be fully operational by June 2023.
  • Legislative Assembly Public Affairs and Communications presented a proposal to the Board of Management to rename common areas throughout the building. Each designated area was named after a significant northern animal. Each room name was translated into one of the nine Indigenous languages and signs were unveiled during Indigenous Language Month.
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories launched the children’s book Full of Feelings in September 2022. The book was available in most Indigenous languages, including specific dialects: Dene Dedlıń e Yatı, Dene Zhatıé, Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik, Inuinnaqtun, Inuvialuktun, nēhiyawēwin, K’ásho Got’ın̨ ę, Sahtú Gotʼın̨ ę and Shúhta Got’ın̨ ę, Tłıc̨hǫ and Wııl̀ ııd̀ eh Yatıı. The book was written and illustrated in the NWT and is a resource for families with young children to teach of the importance of their feelings and emotions. Licensed early learning and child care programs across the NWT received copies of the book for use in their programs and to distribute to the families in their programs, with copies also sent to Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms and community libraries. The book was also made available online for download.