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Indigenous languages matter: MP Falcon-Ouellete dreams of day when House debates are translated in his native tongue

By Liberal MP Robert Falcon-Ouellette      

On Nov. 29, the House concurred in a House Affairs Committee report to allow for the use of Indigenous languages in the Commons Chamber and in House committees. MPs will have to give notice to the House Clerk in advance for simultaneous interpretation.

Liberal MP Robert Falcon-Ouellette delivered a speech on Nov. 29, imploring Parliamentarians to consider the value of having parliamentary debates translated in the languages of Indigenous peoples. The report passed Thursday night. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

HOUSE CHAMBER—The House of Commons only allows translation into English and French. However, it is my dream that one day in the future, when we tune into CPAC on the television, and as we have more Indigenous members from across the country who are elected to the people’s House, we can watch it in Cree, that a grandmother can watch the great debates of our Parliament. Also, young children will be able to hear that language in the background and know that it is important, that it is not a forgotten language and it is not something which is not worthwhile, but is spoken and heard on TV and the internet, and it has value. It has value to them and their self-esteem, and it will lift our people up and raise them so our young people can be successful and reach their full potential.

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