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Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc.

Registered Name: Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc.

Business No: 129574943RR0001

Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc.

The development of an Indigenous Languages and Cultural Education Centre provides a safe, inclusive, accessible, and educational space for Indigenous peoples to reconnect and reclaim their Indigenous language. The facility is to assist in the promotion and preservation of Indigenous languages and give every Indigenous person the opportunity to be fluent. The facility will have an abundance of opportunities, such as family immersion camps, master-apprenticeship programs for speaking and translating, classrooms for language learning, a library complete with language resources and literature written in the language, an outdoor classroom for land-based teachings, which are all hosted in an environment that promotes and celebrates language learning.

The aim is to be able to offer all the tools and resources needed for language programming, projects, translations, camps, classes, and more on one land – to be a completely accessible facility for all Manitoban Indigenous language needs. As of now, we must outsource all external programming and projects because we do not have a facility that is equipped to provide us with the necessary space for what our organization needs. An example is outsourcing venues for language documentation, as we do not have a facility for recording, meaning we are allocating funds to renting hotel rooms and conference rooms. Or even offering the language classes virtually because we do not have a space equipped to be used as a classroom, which severely impacts the connections needed between learner and teacher, as well as peers.

In terms of project success, language revitalization is measured on a scale of vitality; as of now Swampy Cree, Dene, Anishininemowin, Anishinaabemowin, Dakota, and Michif are all endangered languages, meaning that the intergenerational transmission is at a standstill, but it is possible through revitalization efforts that we, as a province, could restore the transmission of the language and move the Manitoban Indigenous languages higher up on the scale of language vitality. Documenting language revitalization initiatives is a concrete and legitimate measure of progress in terms of project success. But success does not just come from statistics, success can also be measured in the number of classes that are being held per annum, or how Indigenous peoples felt after completing a fully immersive camp for a month – and we have this data because we have been completing this type of work for decades. What we need is a space that allows us to keep these successes alive while also funding money back into the non-profit for a feasible and sustainable future of language revitalization and language learning in Manitoba.

This facility will be able to offer Indigenous community members the opportunity to reconnect with the seven Indigenous languages of Manitoba. The interior of the facility will consist of several classrooms, a board room, a hands-on learning space, a recording studio for documentation, a kitchen, a large foyer, a library consisting of language resources and literature in the language, and staff offices. The exterior of the facility will have a medicine garden, an outdoor classroom, additional gardens for land-based teachings, a camp – to host family immersion camps and the future project initiative of master apprenticeship programs for speaking and translations, an event building for markets or fundraisers, and a space for parking. The vision of the facility is to build a safe, inclusive, accessible, and educational center for language learning.