The GNWT has established an Aboriginal Languages Secretariat (ALS) within the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) to enhance the revitalization and protection of Aboriginal languages throughout the NWT. The ALS provides support to regional language communities, Teaching and Learning Centres (TLCs) and Aboriginal Language and Culture Based Education (ALCBE) programs. The ALS also has a corporate leadership role when it comes to the promotion and revitalization of the nine official Aboriginal languages and works closely with all GNWT departments.
The ALS offers support to regional Aboriginal governments in the development and implementation of their five-year Regional Aboriginal Language Plans. At this time, seven regional Language Coordinators have been hired by their respective regional Aboriginal governments to help coordinate and implement these Plans; Inuinnaqtun and Inuvialuktun share one Coordinator and there is no current NWT representation for the Inuktitut Language.
The primary responsibility of the ALS is to:
- Provide Official Languages Act & Regulations oversight and accountability for Aboriginal languages;
- Manage, negotiate and administer the Canada/NWT Cooperation Agreement on Aboriginal Languages, and GNWT Aboriginal language investments;
- Provide support for the implementation of five-year Regional Aboriginal Language Plans, working closely with Regional Language Coordinators;
- Provide monitoring, evaluation and accountability planning and reporting for Regional Aboriginal Language Plans;
- Advance the development of Aboriginal language terminology and standardization in partnership with Aboriginal language communities;
- Support the delivery of early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary Aboriginal language programming;
- Support the coordination of Aboriginal language interpreter/translator services’;
- Build community capacity to deliver government services in Aboriginal languages; and
- Facilitate relationships between Aboriginal Governments, Aboriginal Language Communities, Education Bodies, Teaching and Learning Centres, and NWT schools.