An important message from an Indigenous member of our Deaf community. CAD-ASC is in full support and will work with our Indigenous Deaf community members to have their message to our government of Canada too: put Indigenous Sign Language in the Indigenous Language Act (ILA)!
Un message important d’un membre Indigène de notre communauté sourde. ASC-CAD appuie pleinement et travaillera avec nos membres de la communauté des Sourds Indigènes pour transmettre leur message à notre gouvernement du Canada: mettre la langue des signes Indigènes dans la Loi sur les langues Indigènes!
My name is Nicole Sellars
I am myself Secwepemc First Nation.
1st Indigenous Affairs
2nd ISL, ASL and LSQ Chairperson
I wanted to announce about ISL- Indigenous Sign Language. Indigenous sign languages are some of the oldest in the world, but they are very different to ASL and LSQ. Our cultural sign languages are very different from ASL because they are more connected to OUR culture, feast and land.
You may notice that we show the strong connection between Indigenous Sign Language and ASL/LSQ. ISL share similar aspects of common language, and a shared culture and history can be considered
I recently learned some important information that you all should know about.
Did you know that the federal government already did consult with Indigenous people across Canada about the Indigenous Language Act (ILA)? The first consultation finished in 2017. It is now second phase consultations, to finish Sept. 12 in Nunavut.. Now the next step is to write the words for the Indigenous Language Act, then process is on way to House of Commons to approve the Indigenous Language Act in 2019.
The problem is Indigenous Sign Language is not there in the consultation report that was published recently. In fact, Indigenous Deaf have been left out. Now, we need to come together that to tell Canada we want the law to recognize Indigenous Sign Languages in the Indigenous Language Act.
Indigenous Deaf and persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and Deaf culture.
Indigenous Deaf persons require a culturally-relevant and spiritual approach as well as effort to be sure all Indigenous’ accessibility needs are accommodated so they may be engaged in meetings and events. Our Indigenous Sign Language must be equal that is the same to ASL/LSQ in English and French.
“Indigenous Peoples have a right to have their languages accessible, preserved, and acknowledged.
Our languages are central to our ceremonies, our relationships to our lands, the animals, to each other, our understandings, of our worlds, including the natural world, our stories and our laws.”
It is a core part of our identity.
Another fact, Accessible Canada Act (ACA) was introduced as the first reading stage since it was introduced to House of Commons on June 20, 2018, just before the summer break.
Now you know and see everywhere that CAD-ASC is hosting the ASL and LSQ Awareness Day on September 22nd in many provinces and in Yukon.
I have been part of the planning in my province, and as a First Nations person I have talked with the CAD-ASC and they support us to include this second goal:
To add Indigenous Sign Language as part of the Indigenous Language Act (ILA)!
It’s the right time to grab it and march to get Indigenous Sign Languages included with all other Indigenous languages in Canada in the ILA!
Come and join me to spread awareness to government representatives and get their attention to put it in policy for Indigenous Sign Language in ILA law and ASL and LSQ for ACA law. This is why I stand here. It is time for us to stand together, practicing our traditions, stitching ourselves back together and supporting the fight for our Indigenous Sign Languages, our culture, and new generations of all peoples.
We need your help as we gather to unite our Indigenous Deaf communities and work together to reach our two goals:
We support 2 parallel languages… We support both:
1 – Indigenous Sign Languages recognition in the Indigenous Language Act (ILA)
2 – ASL and LSQ recognition in the Accessible Canada Act (ACA)
Kukwstsétsemc (Thank you)
Please contact me at this e-mail if you want more information: ISL.BC.ASL.LSQ@gmail.com