Policy on Official Languages

Moved by Aboriginal Peoples' Commission of Canada

WHEREAS the United Nations recognizes that cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature and it is generally accepted that language is an integral part of cultural identity;

WHEREAS Article 13 of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) stipulates that States are required to take effective measures to protect the rights of Indigenous people to use, develop and pass on to future generations their languages. And Article 14 that Indigenous people have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages;

WHEREAS Indigenous treaty rights are entrenched in the Constitution of Canada and Official Languages Act for Nunavut recognizes the Inuit (Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun), English and French languages as the official languages within the territory;

WHEREAS Indigenous languages are not given the same federal protection as guaranteed other minority languages by section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights;

WHEREAS the land and borders that Canada is situated within and upon are the traditional territories and homelands of many Indigenous nations whom have formulated treaties with the Crown and Canada that laid the groundwork for Canada’s formation;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party endorse Canada becoming a signatory of UNDRIP;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada will support efforts for Canada to grant official-language status to Canada's Aboriginal languages and to provide the necessary funding for preservation and revitalization efforts.